The chairman of the Amshold group of companies, may leave to devote more time to his other work, his right-hand man has claimed.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Nick Hewer, who sits next to Lord Sugar in The Apprentice boardroom, speculated that he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if he left after the tenth series next year. Hewer added: ‘He won’t get bored. But he is all over this show for 12 months of the year, every task, every aspect of the scheduling, marketing, and press. Don’t think he just pops in, does his little bit and pushes off home. Not a chance. He’s very devoted: possibly, I think, to the detriment of his other business interests.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point after ten years he said, ‘Actually lads, I think I’ve done my bit.’
Hewer first met Lord Sugar in 1983 when his PR company was chosen to represent the businessman’s company Amstrad. Since then, they have become firm friends as well as business confidantes.
The show has brought Lord Sugar other headaches. Earlier this year, he was forced to give evidence to an employment tribunal after a former winner, Stella English, claimed she was treated like an ‘overpaid lackey’ in her prize job. She lost the case.
Sugar’s management style has also been called into question, with The University of Leicester School of Management’s Professor Martin Parker the latest to be fiercely critical claiming that The Apprentice is “false” and Sugar “morally bankrupt”
Hewer went on to say that the BBC should not attempt to replace Lord Sugar with another host if he does decide to leave the show.
He said: ‘People would pay to do that job. But as a broadcaster, the BBC would have a really tough decision whether or not to rest this programme.
‘If Alan Sugar says, “Look, I’ve done my ten years,” or whatever it is, if he thinks he’s done his bit, I think they would be crackers to run it the next year with someone else.
‘Because it’s his show, and he’s made such an impression that you would need to be a suicide merchant to take it on after Sugar in the next year.
‘Rest it for three years, let the memories dim, and then bring it back.