As Apprentice finalists chosen, aide Claude Littner back after accident fears he’d be ‘written off’

It’s been great to have the very first winner of The Apprentice, Tim Campbell, sitting alongside Karren Brady and Lord Sugar throughout this latest series. But there’s good news for those who’ve been missing Claude Littner’s steely glare.

He was unable to take his usual role while he recovered from a serious bike accident but he’s back next week (March 17th) to put the candidates through their paces during the interview round.

Here, he talks about his return…

Claude, you’ve been really missed this series. How are you feeling?

I’m feeling absolutely fantastic. I’m raring to go and really looking forward to being back for the interview stage of the process.

What have you made of the current series?

I’ve enjoyed it so far and the candidates have been a mix of outrageous with very little chance of getting investment, to the few who emerge over time and viewers start to see investable qualities.

Do you think Lord Sugar has been making the right firing decisions so far?

He always makes the right call! It’s very difficult because inevitably, with each episode, you get to the final three in the boardroom and very often all three have the potential to go. Viewers are invested in the tasks and candidates; they enjoy the entertainment and words of wisdom from Alan.

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Was it nice coming back for the interviews?

I had written off this series, but it would seem Lord Sugar and the production company had other ideas! I’ve had so many messages on social media too from viewers saying they hope I’m coming back for the interviews and how much they miss my smiling! Alan arrived at my house one day (although he phoned me almost daily) and he just said, “You will do the interviews, won’t you?” and I replied, “Yes, of course”.
By the time it came to filming I was feeling better.

Will we be seeing a softer side to Claude – or can we expect the interview process to be as ruthless as ever?

I have mellowed with age but it’s important when we get to the interview stage that we really interrogate the finalists. By now the candidates are full of confidence and they think they’re brilliant!

Watch Claude Littner in the audition stage on Thursday March 17th on BBC One.

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