The Apprentice kicked off on BBC once again with a new stream of candidates hoping to impress Lord Sugar – but one familiar face was missing.
Although there were numerous delays on the show due to Covid-19, it is now firmly back on screens and candidates are getting ready to face the boardroom.
Lord Sugar, however, confirmed that one key person from the show will not be joining the cast this year due to an injury – and he'll certainly be missed.
Speaking to the candidates, he said: "Now, you can see there's an empty chair here.
"My very good friend and business colleague Claude unfortunately will not be with us this series. Regretfully, he has had a nasty accident, and I'm sure we all miss him well."
He told them that Claude was "on the mend" and confirmed that his friend Tim Campbell will be replacing him for the new series instead.
Tim has been in the shoes of the candidates himself having won the first ever series of The Apprentice as he shares his expertise with the new business-savvy hopefuls for 2022.
While Tim is replacing Claude for this series, Claude took to Twitter to confirm that he will certainly be returning to the next series.
Following multiple tweets from fans saying they miss seeing him on screen, Claude responded to one viewer and said: "Relax! I am doing well and already planning my return next series. Meanwhile, enjoying this year's apprentices."
He also reassured fans that he was making "very good progress" and is doing "very well".
Claude's absence comes after he faced a horror crash in April last year while he was out on his bike – with the incident leaving him fearing his leg would be amputated.
Speaking to PA at the time, he said: "I must have been doing no more than 10 kilometres an hour on this sort of two-track road.
"The next thing I knew, I was on the left-hand side of the street, my bike was in the middle of the road and I didn’t know what happened."
He explained that he believes he his a pothole and said he "must have blacked out" while an ambulance rushed him to the hospital.
Claude said the doctors had decided they were going to amputate his leg, but shortly after rushed him into theatre and attempted to save it.
He added: "And I went into theatre and it was a very long operation and they didn’t take my leg off."
Claude is still on the mend and he is expecting to be back in the boardroom for the next series.
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