Tim Campbell thought Apprentice offer was a prank

Tim Campbell is a new advisor on The Apprentice credit:Bang Showbiz
Tim Campbell is a new advisor on The Apprentice credit:Bang Showbiz

Tim Campbell thought it was a “prank” when he was asked to be an adviser on ‘The Apprentice’.

The 44-year-old trader – who was the first ever winner of the business reality competition almost 17 years ago – was stunned when his old mentor, Lord Alan Sugar’ called him and didn’t believe the offer was genuine at first.

He recalled thinking: “Is this a prank? I thought people were going to burst in with cameras and say, ‘Got you!’ ”

Telling how ‘Lord Alan Michael Sugar’ had appeared on is phone display, he added to the new issue of Radio Times magazine: “I’m quite anal and data-focused. Everyone in my contacts book has their middle name and whether they’re a doctor or an OBE.

“I thought, ‘Why is he phoning?’ When he explained, I said, ‘Are you being serious?’ It was mad.”

Tim admitted it was “exciting and humbling” for him to take such a key role in the show while regular advisor Claude Littner takes a break following a cycling accident.

He said: “I had to remember I was going to be part of somebody else’s journey, who is going to be in exactly the same position as me. That was incredibly exciting and humbling. I cannot wait for you to see what happens.”

But the businessman admitted it felt “really weird” to be on the other side of the table in the boardroom.

He said: “It’s really weird. Having been on one side of the table and coming back to the other, moving from apprentice to adviser, is unbelievable.

“But I bring an authenticity to the seat, having been in the same position as the candidates. It adds a good dynamic.”