Lord Sugar reveals reason he almost quit The Apprentice

Jack Shepherd

While The Apprentice may have boosted Lord Alan Sugar's profile, there was a time when he once considered quitting the BBC series.

“I’ve always liked to be a bit humorous,” he told The Mirror. “But unfortunately previous editors of The Apprentice, under the BBC’s instructions, have been advised to make me look like a bloody ogre or whatever."

Rather than continue being portrayed as a villain, Sugar gave the producers an ultimatum: either stop playing up Sugar's monstrous outbursts or find someone else to host the series.

“Part and parcel of the agreement for me to continue doing the programme is for me to say that I am not going to be shown as that anymore," he continued.

“People get nervous because of this perceived stance of mine that they see on television. But for most people when we’re together in real life, it’s very straightforward, very business-like, and there’s no reason for people to be nervous. It’s as simple as that."

Sugar is currently hosting the 14th series of The Apprentice, which last week saw another candidate get booted off the series.

Earlier this year, Sugar caused controversy by likening the Senegal national football team to "these guys from the beach in Marbella."

Addressing the Tweets, Sugar said: “You know, I’m 71 years old, I’ve lived through various periods of change of habits, change of laws. This is just another one, really, this current PC culture.

"One of the good things that came out of it was to grow a rhinoceros skin. And that skin is still that thick, so that doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s a balance, really.

“Someone of my age, as you get older, you know what not to say. That’s the most important thing.”

The Apprentice airs every Wednesday on BBC One at 9pm.