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In excerpts from his new autobiography, which channels the past decade of his life since ‘The Apprentice’ arrived on UK screens, Lord Sugar reveals that as the years went on, the BBC were keen to have candidates psychologically analysed before they’re thrown into the boardroom with him.
One extract, published in The Mirror, reads: “I guess someone at the BBC felt that the grillings I put them through might be considered traumatic, so they insisted all the candidates would have to be checked out by a shrink.
However, Lord Sugar goes on to insist that ‘The Apprentice’ doesn’t set out to exploit its participants to make the show more interesting, adding: “Not that ‘The Apprentice’ sets out to upset candidates.
“The psychologist has to assess whether they are able to be away from their families, they’re able to hack it in this kind of environment and whether they will be able to stand up to the interrogation in the boardroom.
“To be fair to the BBC, I think this procedure was quite novel. Not many formats that use members of the public go to such lengths to protect the contributors.”
In the 10 years ‘The Apprentice’ has been on the air, over 100 candidates have passed through Lord Sugar’s boardroom, and it probably won’t surprise you to hear that Katie Hopkins is the one who sticks in his mind the most.
“At the wrap party she was the only candidate standing on her own. No one was socialising with her, so she obviously hadn’t made any friends in the house.
“I remember going up for a little chat because I felt a bit sorry for her. Perhaps in hindsight I shouldn’t have bothered.”
‘The Apprentice’ is currently gearing up for its 11th series, which will hit our screens this autumn.
Claude Littner will be taking over from Nick Hewer as Lord Sugar’s right-hand man, while Karren Brady will be returning as his other advisor.
Lord Sugar’s book, ‘Unscripted: My 10 Years In Telly’, goes on sale on 24 September.