The Apprentice star Claude Littner to be replaced on BBC show due to ‘medical issues’

The Apprentice star Claude Littner to be replaced on BBC show due to ‘medical issues’

The Apprentice is returning to the BBC after a year off the air – but it will mostly be without Claude Littner.

Littner made a grand return after taking a year off in 2022 when he almost lost his leg following a horrific injury.

However, Lord Alan Sugar was forced to drop his aide once again just one episode into the latest run.

Speaking at a press launch for the series, multiple outlets reported Sugar as saying: “Unfortunately, Claude suffered some medical issues and so I was asked to think of someone else.”

He opted for series one winner Tim Capmbell, who stepped into Littner’s shoes for the previous outing, which aired in 2022.

“Who better than somebody who’s actually been through the process?” Sugar said of his decision.

“It was a bit of a no-brainer really because when it comes to making the excuses that these candidates do, you’ve got Tim there, who’s seen it and heard it all.”

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

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.”

Tim Campbell will replace Claude Littner on ‘The Apprentice’ once again (BBC)
Tim Campbell will replace Claude Littner on ‘The Apprentice’ once again (BBC)

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.”

At the time, Baroness Karren Brady, who will appear alongside Sugar and Campbell in the new series, 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 was “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 on Thursday (5 January) at 9pm on BBC One, followed by You’re Fired on BBC Two.

Littner will be back for the interview process, which occurs in the penultimate week of the competition.