The Apprentice ‘won’t return to BBC One until 2022’

Lord Sugar says The Apprentice won’t be back on TV until 2022.

The last series of The Apprentice was cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic making 2020 the first time since 2005 without the show airing.

Now Lord Sugar says the show won’t be back until 2022.

He told The Sun newspaper: “I think you’ll see it in the early part of next year, in fact that’s the plan.

“If things go well, and there’s no outbreaks or third waves, we’re planning to start recording later this year and it should be just after Christmas that they’ll start it again.”

It’s the latest delay after Lord Sugar said in March he hoped the show would air this year.

He said at the time: “I know that many people will have been disappointed that we weren’t able to make a new series of The Apprentice last year, myself included. I am pleased to say that there is some good news to share – we are going to be cracking on with a new series of The Apprentice very soon.

“In fact, the pre-production phase has already begun and plans are coming together to make sure that we are back on air later this year.”

Sugar continued: “We’ve got to be real though. We are living in an ever-changing environment right now, where rules and regulations can literally change at the drop of a hat. It’s frustrating, but it’s reality, and right now we have no choice but to accept it.

“So let me tell you, putting something together that is as complex as The Apprentice means that the production team need to be flexible, but we have one of the best teams in the business working around the clock and I can assure you that they will do their absolute damnedest to get the show back on TV.

“The return of the programme will also show the world that Britain is back on track and open for business once again. It is an exciting prospect indeed.”

The Apprentice typically airs from October on BBC One.

Programme makers previously paused production of the next series in March 2020.

Instead of the usual series airing last autumn, a six-episode run of Best Bits was broadcast in its place.

Producers said at the time: “Sadly we have decided to postpone The Apprentice for 2020.

“Production safety and the wellbeing of everyone involved in the show is our number one priority.

“While this is understandably disappointing news, viewers will still be able to get their weekly fix of memorable tasks, favourite candidates and boardroom bust ups alongside brand new insights from Karren, Claude, Lord Sugar and many more from the past 15 years in a special highlights series airing on BBC1.”

Lord Sugar previously tweeted that the show had a line up of candidates ready to go when filming could begin.

He wrote: “The BBC has a selection of candidates ready to go from the last recruitment process in March. They will be called on once we have the green sign to start filming @bbcapprentice.”