The Apprentice: Lord Sugar claims BBC’s business-style programme will ‘kill itself off’ if they replace him
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The Hackney-born business magnate, 75, has hosted the reality show since it began 17 years ago, and sees “no reason why” he can’t make it to 25-years.
Season 17 comes to an end on Thursday (23 March), with Marnie Swindells and Rochelle Raye Anthony going head to head to win the £250,000 business investment.
It has been confirmed that Lord Sugar will front the next two series. However, the 20th series is yet to be nailed down, and he is unsure whether it stops there.
He told The Sun: “There’s no reason why I can’t go on to do 25 years. I’m very fit, so I don’t know whether it stops at 20. But if I ever did stop, I get a feeling the BBC wouldn’t stop it.
“I think they would try to find someone new to do it and that’s where it may kill itself off.”
The 75-year-old also said that he “can’t think of anybody” who could do a good job in his place, despite there being loads of people that would queue up for the position.
The business magnate thinks that if he leaves the show, the BBC should wait at least 10 years to bring it back with different hosts - mirroring what they did with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
The Apprentice, which first aired in February 2005, has lasted longer than other popular shows including Simon Cowell’s X Factor which began four months earlier.
However, Lord Sugar feels that he doesn’t get much recognition for his contribution to business, adding that the likes of Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsey are praised for their contributions to music and food respectively.
The series sees contestants face challenges to win a big money investment and guidance of an expert, and this format is now echoed in other shows including Future Food Stars.
However, Lord Sugar doesn’t think that Gordon Ramsay’s shows will be getting talked about in 17-weeks time, never mind 17-years.