Lord Alan Sugar is set to return for at least two new series of The Apprentice, it's been reported.
The show has been off-air since 2019 due to the pandemic but is set to finally return to screens in the new year.
In the meantime, the BBC is said to have started work on a further two series with Lord Sugar in charge.
"BBC bosses like what they’ve seen on the upcoming series and want two more," a source shared with The Sun newspaper.
The insider added: "The Apprentice was a big miss in the schedules last year, which they think will be reflected in the ratings."
The source said that the new series will be filmed back to back with hopes of "more of an international feel" as pandemic restrictions are eased.
Lord Sugar previously suggested he planned to step down after making it to twenty series.
"We would have been doing series 16 this year and I was happy to do four more," he said. "Of course, it is the BBC who will decide if they wish to do it.
"I fully understand they are in charge but if they wanted to do it, I think 20 years is a nice round figure."
For now the show's new series is scheduled to begin in 2022.
Lord Sugar said previously about the delayed run: "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 latest instalment will see former winner Tim Campbell join as one of Lord Sugar's aides.
He will stand in for Claude Littner who cannot take part in the series because of medical reasons.