The Apprentice star Claude Littner replaced on BBC show after almost losing leg in horrific accident

The Apprentice is returning to the BBC after more than a year off the air – but without Claude Littner.

Lord Alan Sugar was forced to drop his aide from the latest series after he sustained a horrific injury.

Littner underwent nine surgeries after falling off an electric bike in April 2021.

The accident occurred near his home in Mill Hill, London.

He was rushed to a trauma unit at St Mary’s hospital where doctors immediately said they would have to amputate. However, they were able to save his leg after rushing him into surgery.

Speaking about the incident in June 2021, Littner told PA: “I was just pottering along, I must have been doing no more than 10 kilometres an hour on this sort of two-track road. The next thing I knew, I was on the left-hand side of the street, my bike was in the middle of the road and I didn’t know what happened.”

He continued: “My wife and my sons were there as well and [the doctors] decided they were going to amputate my leg. And then they had another chat about it and they said, ‘Look, let’s get him into theatre right away tonight and let’s see if we can save his leg’. And I went into theatre and it was a very long operation and they didn’t take my leg off.”

Tim Campbell, the winner of the very first series, will take Littner’s place.

Lord Sugar will put 16 new candidates through their paces on the new series of ‘The Apprentice’ (BBC)
Lord Sugar will put 16 new candidates through their paces on the new series of ‘The Apprentice’ (BBC)

At the time, Baroness Karren Brady, who will appear alongside Sugar and Campbell, wrote: “I’m so sorry that my good friend @claudelittner won’t be with us on this year’s @bbcapprentice – he will be missed! Wishing him a very speedy recovery.”

Campbell said he’s “excited to be looking after Claude’s boardroom chair while he recuperates”.

He added: “I was saddened by the circumstances which led to getting the call from Lord Sugar, but having been on the show myself, I know the hard work that goes into it – so I didn’t take the decision lightly. I wish Claude the very best as he recovers.”

The Apprentice begins tonight (6 January) at 9pm on BBC One followed by You’re Fired on BBC Two.

Read our review of the first episode here as well as out interview with the first fired candidate, who shares a comment made by Lord Sugar’s aide Tim Campbell that left him “uncomfortable”, here.