Claude Littner, the tough-talking businessman famed for his brutal interviews, will replace Hewer as Lord Sugar’s boardroom advisor
Image: Tim Anderson
Few things strike more fear into an Apprentice candidate’s heart than a grilling from Claude Littner. The nation has seen ten years of Littner’s often brutal interrogations turn the most confident candidates who have reached the interview stage into quivering wrecks, as he sets about tearing apart their business plans and CVs.
Well, it's safe to say the heat has just turned up a notch for this year’s candidates, who will now face Littner every single week. The straight talking interviewer is set to become Lord Sugar’s right-hand man on the board and, alongside Baroness Karren Brady, will act as the eyes and ears for Lord Sugar. Taking the reins from Nick Hewer, who departed the show last December after ten years, Littner will join his former boss in the boardroom to feedback the ins and outs of the candidate tasks as they battle it out for the chance to win a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.
Littner has known Lord Sugar for 25 years and helped head up Sugar’s empire as director for Amstrad plc, Amstrad International, Dancall, Viglen and Tottenham Hotspur. While he may well be feared by trembling candidates, Littner is respected by Apprenctice viewers and budding businessmen and women alike. In October 2014, the University of West London bestowed upon him a great honour by naming its business school the Claude Littner Business School.
Littner tweeted last night: “Thank you all for very positive comments and for following. I am looking forward to the new role. Not sure the candidates will be happy!” He also warned that he will step up his tough persona for candidates. “If the candidates think I am soft and fluffy, they haven't been watching me on The Apprentice over the past decade.”
Lord Sugar commented that he trusted Littner’s judgment “completely” having first worked with him in 1990. "He will no doubt take a very different approach to Nick. It's great to have him on board,” Sugar said.
While we’ll miss Hewer’s bitter lemon faces, we can’t wait to see how the pressure of this toughie keeping tabs will leave candidates vying for the next taxi home.
In the meantime, why not sit back and enjoy Littner tearing poor old Solomon Akhta to pieces on last year’s series of The Apprentice?