Lord Sugar explains Claude's reduced role on The Apprentice

The aide will only appear twice in the new series

The Apprentice,05-01-2023,Iconics & Portraits,Front Row l-r:
Denisha Kaur Bharj, Joe Phillips, Megan Hornby, Lord Sugar, Shazia Hussain, Shannon Martin, Kevin D'Arcy, Emma Browne.
Back Row l-r:
Avi Sharma, Marnie Swindells, Bradley Johnson, Simba Rwambiwa, Mark Moseley, Dani Donovan, Gregory Ebbs, Victoria Goulbourne, Sohail Chowdhary, Reece Donnelly, Rochelle Anthony, ++ STRICTLY EMBARGOED until 1230hrs 3rd January 2023 ++,Fremantle Media Limited,Ray Burmiston
Lord Sugar and The Apprentice hopefuls. (BBC) (BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Lord Sugar has explained why long-time aide Claude Littner will feature in a reduced role on the new series of The Apprentice.

Premiering later this week, Littner will only appear in two episodes and in the others be replaced by former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Sugar confirmed that Littner's role was reduced due to "medical issues" believed to be from a bicycle accident the businessman suffered in 2021.

Claude Littner will only appear on two episodes of The Apprentice. (BBC)
Claude Littner will only appear on two episodes of The Apprentice. (BBC)

Of Campbell taking over the role, Sugar said: "Obviously it's been a great journey starting with [former aide] Nick Hewer and then Claude. Unfortunately, Claude suffered some medical issues and so I was asked to think of someone else – and who better than somebody who's actually been through the process."

Read more: 'The Apprentice': All the winners so far

Sugar added: "So it was a bit of a no-brainer really, because when it comes to making excuses like these candidates do, you've got Tim there, who's been there, done that, seen it and heard it all.

"And that's why I warn the candidates also that there's no pulling the wool over his eyes, so to speak."

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:01:00 on 21/12/2021 - Programme Name: The Apprentice - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED for use until 00:01hrs, Tuesday 21st December 2021** Baroness Brady, Lord Sugar, Tim Campbell MBE - (C) Ray Burmiston - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Tim Campbell. (BBC) (BBC/Boundless/Ray Burmiston)

Littner joined The Apprentice as Lord Sugar's aide in season 11 following the departure of Nick Hewer. In the previous 10 seasons, Littner had acted as one of the interviewers during the later stages of the competition.

Since winning the first season of The Apprentice in 2005, Campbell went on to work for Sugar until 2007. He has since set up his own social enterprise Bright Ideas Trust and sits on the City of London education board.

He received an MBE in 2012 for services to enterprise culture.

Watch below: On this Day 1986: Alan Sugar expands his tech empire.