LORD Alan Sugar has slammed fame-seeking Apprentice candidates who go on the show “for the wrong reasons”.
The 72-year-old has been at the helm of the BBC One show since 2005, with the 15 series kicking off next week.
Speaking at the show’s launch in London today, the business mogul admitted some candidates have sought fame rather than business acumen on the show in the past, but he does his best to whittle them out.
Asked if he worries about people coming on the show for the wrong reason, he said: “I don’t worry about it, I know it’s a fact that sometimes they come for the wrong reasons.”
Giving an insight into the casting process, he continued: “While we do as best as possible and the BBC do as best as possible to ensure in screening those people and asking them those questions, there is no question of a doubt some of them do come for the wrong reason.
“Nevertheless we weed them out throughout the course of the process and they don’t get the fame that they were trying to get, and we end up with proper contestants who are there for the right reasons and have a business mind.
“But I must say, not many slip through the net, talking about 16 candidates, there may be a couple that are there for the wrong reasons.”
Lord Sugar add how his advisers on the show, Karren Brady and Claude Littner, are his eyes and ears during the tasks, and let him know if any of the candidates seem to be particularly playing up to the cameras.
Lord Sugar – who also commented on the news that Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament had been ruled as unlawful – admitted he was glad the show had tweaked the format in 2011, seeing the prize change from a job at one of his companies to him going into business 50/50 with the winning candidate.
He explained: “It was very difficult in the early days to try to find or create a job for somebody, so the 50/50 business venture has turned out to be a sparkling winner.
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“It’s great, it takes me back to my old days hustling around and starting from scratch and help these young people get going.”
This years 16 candidates are a diverse mix including a para athlete, a sexy artisan bakery owner and an ice cream maker.
They will battle it out over 12 weeks to try and win the £250,000 business investment from Lord Sugar.
The Apprentice begins on Wednesday, October 2 at 9pm on BBC One.
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