The Apprentice: Lord Alan Sugar on older candidates being cast

The Apprentice cast has been compared to the Love Island line-up (Picture: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

The Apprentice viewers might assume that the candidates chosen to be in the cast are purposely chosen to be of a younger age, but according to Lord Alan Sugar, there are no restrictions on older applicants.

This week, the BBC programme returns for a brand new series, introducing 18 budding entrepreneurs to TV viewers across the UK.

All of the business hopefuls are desperate to bag Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment and his invaluable mentorship as they strive to reach the next stage in their careers.

At a press conference for the 2023 season attended by, the business magnate was asked about the age of individuals who apply to be on the show, as he was questioned on whether he would be open to welcoming older contestants on future series.

‘There is no age limit to our applications,’ the 75-year-old stressed in response, despite the majority of the cast appearing to fall into a similar age bracket.

He continued: ‘In the past series, I think there was someone who was a little more mature than the other candidates. There is no age limit and we don’t restrict people of more mature age.’

When a comparison between The Apprentice line-up and the cast of Love Island was brought up, Lord Sugar added: ‘I don’t know – I’d be able to answer that question if I ever watched Love Island.’

The Apprentice has been going on the BBC since 2005, with Lord Sugar fronting the show from the start with his original aides, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer.

Karren Brady replaced Margaret from season six, while Claude Littner took Nick’s place from season 11.

Karren Brady, Lord Alan Sugar and Claude Littner on The Apprentice

Karren and Claude are back to lend their expertise (Picture: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Last year, season one winner Tim Campbell temporarily stood in for Claude, after the business executive known for his gruelling interviewing techniques was injured in a bike accident.

Claude is back for the 2023 series, but is only appearing in two episodes, with Tim rejoining Lord Sugar and Karren in the boardroom.

As The Apprentice nears its 20th anniversary, Lord Sugar was asked at the Q&A session how long he thinks he’ll remain on the series.

With the 2023 series set to mark the programmes 17th season, he replied: ‘I have agreed to do two more series, which will bring me up to 19 and depending on how well that is received, and the BBC do their statistical numbers and all that, I’d be delighted to do a 20th.’

The Apprentice returns on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.


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