The Apprentice: Claude Littner to miss next series after accident

Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner

Claude Littner will be absent from the next series of The Apprentice while he recovers from a cycling accident.

The businessman had the accident in April while riding an electric bike that injured his right leg so badly doctors considered amputating it.

He has had nine surgeries to date and is due to have another on 19 July.

Former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell will join Lord Alan Sugar and Baroness Karren Brady when the series returns to BBC One in early 2022.

Littner replaced Nick Hewer on the programme in 2015 having previously been seen interviewing the show’s candidates.

Lord Sugar said he had been speaking to his long-time friend and business associate regularly and hoped to see him back in the boardroom “very soon”.

Littner, 72, said he had been “pottering along” near his home in north London when the accident occurred.

“I suspect I hit a pothole or something like that,” he said. “The next thing I knew I was lying on the ground.”

An ambulance took him to the trauma unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington where surgeons successfully managed to save his leg.

Littner said he had lost two stone (12.7 kg) since the accident from which he had an “absolute determination” to recover.

He said he was equally determined to return to The Apprentice as soon as he is able, adding: “There’s no ifs and buts about it.

“Whilst I’m disappointed that I won’t be out and about covering the tasks or in the boardroom for this upcoming series, I’ll most definitely be glued to the action from my sofa.”

Tim Campbell

Campbell, who won the first series of The Apprentice in 2005, said he was both “saddened” to hear of Littner’s accident and “excited” to fill his chair.

“Having been on the show myself, I know the hard work that goes into it so I didn’t take the decision lightly,” he added. “I wish Claude the very best as he recovers.”

The Apprentice sees budding candidates compete in a series of tasks to see which of them will eventually be chosen to be Lord Sugar’s new business partner.

Karren Brady joined the panel in 2009 following the departure of Margaret Mountford.

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