Alan Sugar mocked by Donald Trump as small timer in brutal The Apprentice stand-off

Donald Trump calls Lord Alan Sugar a 'small timer' in 2016

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The Apprentice returns to our screens this evening, as 16 entrepreneurs battle it out to win Lord Alan Sugar’s prestigious £250,000 worth of investment into their business. The sixteenth series was due to begin filming almost two years ago, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the BBC to postpone production to a later date. It was confirmed in May last year that filming would begin shortly after, ahead of a scheduled broadcast in January 2022.

This year will look a little different, however, with one notable absentee.

Claude Littner will be absent from this year’s series as he recovers from a cycling accident.

The businessman had the accident last April while riding an electric bike.

His injuries were so bad that doctors considered amputating his right leg.

Taking his place will be Tim Campbell, winner of the first series of the show back in 2005.

Lord Sugar cites the pandemic on numerous occasions throughout the series, telling candidates in the first episode: “In this board room, you don’t get furloughed, you get fired.”

With a net worth of an estimated £1.2billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, Lord Sugar is best known for his role on The Apprentice.

The BBC programme is a British spin-off from Mr Trump’s show of the same name in the US, which he starred in from 2004 to 2015.

However, it seems the outspoken tycoon-come-President did not hold his British counterpart in high regard.

During an interview with Piers Morgan for Good Morning Britain in 2016, Mr Trump, then a presidential candidate, happily responded to Lord Sugar bashing him in the British press.

Mr Trump said: “He works for me. He is a small timer.

“I mean, he’s doing a nice job but don’t forget, he works for me — I make money from The Apprentice.”

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He continued: “When we first chose him for the show, he was so low on the economic scale, he didn’t really fit the role.

“I think he’s made more money by being on The Apprentice than he has in business.

“I just wish him luck.”

Lord Sugar does not appear to hold Mr Trump in particularly high regard either.

During an appearance at the 2019 Humber Business Week, he labelled Mr Trump a “buffoon” in an impassioned rant.

He said: “Donald Trump is a buffoon. If you were to say to me three years ago he would be President, I would have bet anyone £1million it was never going to happen.

“It happened because he made promises to the US population of the things he was going to do. It included matters to do with immigration.

“It was music to the ears of truck drivers and their wives in certain states. They were sick of people who spoke high-brow languages and were sophisticated.”

“They were sick of people who spoke high-brow languages and were sophisticated.”

He similarly labelled Boris Johnson a “buffoon”, as well as a “serial liar” and a “clown”, in the same rant, but also added that he was a “refreshing change to these stiff upper-lipped people who talk things the public cannot understand”.

Upon Mr Trump’s failure to secure a second term in office, Lord Sugar tweeted him: “@realDonaldTrump is it with regret You’re Fired!”

He had not finished there either. Just last year, Lord Sugar laid into Mr Trump ahead of the launch of The Celebrity Apprentice in Australia.

Asked for his opinions on Mr Trump, he responded: “He’s a w*****. A complete and utter double-barreled t*****.

“He is not in my class. And you can print that if you want to!”

The Apprentice airs at 9pm on BBC One. It will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

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