Entertainment & Arts

Claude Littner replaces Nick Hewer on The Apprentice

Claude Littner
Image caption Claude Littner is already a familiar face on the show

Lord Sugar has announced his replacement for adviser Nick Hewer on BBC One's The Apprentice - Claude Littner, who has grilled candidates during the interview rounds.

Littner, 65, will join Baroness Karren Brady in following the candidates as they vie for the the chance to win a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

Littner chairs a number of Lord Sugar's companies and has been part of the interview episode for 10 years.

Hewer left after a decade on the show.

Image caption Baroness Brady appeared as Hewer's fellow adviser on the programme in 2009

Baroness Brady and Littner will report back each week to Lord Sugar on how the contestants performed during their tasks.

At the end of the show they sit alongside him in a boardroom, giving him feedback before he makes his final decision as to who is going to be fired.

Littner is famous for his straight-talking approach, including telling Solomon Akhtar in series 10 that his business proposal was "a disgrace".

He said: "You can leave. Goodbye... There's nothing to argue, you've given me pictures of sailboats... What is that? What is that? Please leave... That's not the way out."

Littner, who has previously served as a director of Amstrad PLC, Viglen and Tottenham Hotspur, warned any budding contestants that he would be just as tough in his new role.

Image caption Hewer said he was leaving the show because "my stamina is not up to those long weeks"

"If the candidates think I am soft and fluffy, they haven't been watching me on The Apprentice over the past decade.

"I will now be assessing their performance in the process, individually and within their teams. I will be reporting to Lord Sugar to play my part in ensuring that his personal investment of £250,000 goes to the best candidate.

"I'm ready, and this won't be a walk in the park."

Lord Sugar added that having first worked with Littner in 1990, he trusted his judgement "completely".

"He will no doubt take a very different approach to Nick. It's great to have him on board."

PR guru Hewer, 71, who hosts Channel 4's Countdown, announced he was leaving last December, because "my stamina is not up to those long weeks" [of filming].

Margaret Mountford, who was replaced by Baroness Brady, left in 2009.

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