New role for Claude Littner on The Apprentice; Straight-talking executive becomes Lord Sugar's new skidekick.
Byline: Agency Staff
Claude Littner has been announced as Lord Sugar's new sidekick on The Apprentice, the straight-talking executive famous for crushing candidates' egos during the interview rounds of the show.
The 65-year-old business executive, whose ruthless interviewing technique has won him many fans, is replacing PR guru Nick Hewer, who quit after a decade.
He will join Baroness Karren Brady as an adviser, following candidates in each task and reporting back to Lord Sugar in the boardroom, on their progress, successes and inevitable failures.
Littner has been part of the interview episode for 10 years and has become famous for his ruthless put-downs.
They include telling Solomon Akhtar in series 10 that he was not at all impressed with his business proposal.
"Frankly, it's a bloody disgrace. The 10 years I've done this, I've never seen something... two bloody pages with pictures on one page...what do you think you're coming here for?," he said.
"You can leave. Goodbye... There's nothing to argue, you've given me pictures of sailboats... What is that? What is that? You're taking the p**s... please leave... That's not the way out."
Announcing his new role, he warned: "If the candidates think I am soft and fluffy, they haven't been watching me on The Apprentice over the past decade.
"I will now be assessing their performance in the process, individually and within their teams. I will be reporting to Lord Sugar to play my part in ensuring that his personal investment of [pounds sterling]250,000 goes to the best candidate.
"I'm ready, and this won't be a walk in the park!"
Lord Sugar said: "I first worked with Claude in 1990 and trust his judgment completely. He will no doubt take a very different approach to Nick. It's great to have him on board."
"Littner chairs a number of Lord Sugar's companies and previously served as a director of Amstrad plc, Viglen and Tottenham Hotspur.
Countdown host Hewer announced his decision to step down in December last year, saying "my stamina is not up to those long weeks".
Margaret Mountford left in 2009 to be replaced by Baroness Brady.