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Daily Mirror
Hana Carter

The Apprentice start date confirmed in new trailer as Claude Littner makes a comeback

The Apprentice is back for it's 17th series and Lord Alan Sugar's trusted aide Claude is back.

A fresh set of hopefuls are gearing up to take on whatever challenges are thrown their way by the multimillionaire after the BBC released the official trailer.

The new series kicks off on Thursday January 5 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The series starts in style as the contestants are flown to Antigua for their first task, where they will be confronted with no-nonsense Claude Littner.

They will be given the task of flogging excursions to tourists in the popular holiday destination.

The 74-year-old was missing from last year's show after he was left with severe injuries following a cycling accident.

Claude Littner returns after he was missing from last year's show (BBC)

He nearly had to have his right leg amputated after he came off his bike in Mill Hill, London.

“I was just pottering along. I must have been doing no more than 10 kilometres an hour on this sort of two-track road," he said earlier this year.

“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.”

Lord Alan Sugar prepares to put another group of contestants through their paces (BBC)

He was replaced by Tim Campbell MBE, who was the show's first ever winner in 2005.

Claude is only featuring in two of this year's episodes and Tim will be back as a permanent feature on the show.

Baroness Karren Brady will also be back in the hot seat beside Lord Sugar.

The team start the show in Antigua (BBC)

For the first time since series 13, the show will return with 18 new candidates, all competing to win a life-changing £250,000 investment in their businesses.

Series 16 of The Apprentice saw a record return, peaking at 8.9 million viewers tuning in for the launch episode, which was the highest ratings since 2017 final.

The series saw a standout young performance averaging 2.1 million viewers across the series, making it one of the highest rated young titles on the BBC of this year.

They are tasked to tell excursions to holiday makers (BBC)

This comes after Lord Sugar recently hit out at people who work from home, branding them a "bunch of lazy layabouts".

The 75-year-old said that he was "sick" of the new working from home culture that boomed during lockdown.

Lord Sugar said: "I am sick of this working from home culture. The people who benefitted the most from Covid are a bunch of lazy layabouts."

The businessman said that people who work from home are 'lazy' (BBC)

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"Working from home was necessary at the beginning but we are well past that now," he said.

"I was told I was out of touch. I am not out of touch, believe me. You know nothing until you are in a workplace bouncing off other people."

The Apprentice will start on January 5 on BBC One.

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