Claude's health battle as he's replaced on The Apprentice after one episode

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Claude
Claude's health battle as he's replaced on The Apprentice after one episode

Claude Littner has returned to The Apprentice for a reduced role in the upcoming series amid medical issues following the first episode.

The BBC business competition returns tonight with Lord Alan Sugar joined by his longtime advisors Karren Brady and Claude, as they jet off to Antigua for the first task.

However, The Apprentice: You’re Fired host Tom Allen has confirmed that Claude was replaced by former winner Tim Campbell in the subsequent episodes, due to ‘medical issues’.

The 73-year-old was forced to bow out of the previous series following a horror bike accident, which saw doctors consider amputating his leg after the fall.

Claude has since said the paramedics on the scene ‘saved his life’, as he described how an ambulance had been behind him after the fall and managed to assist him right away.

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Claude's health battle as he's replaced on The Apprentice after one episodeClaude Littner will feature in two episodes of the next series of The Apprentice (BBC)

He was replaced by former winner Tim Campbell, before a brief return for the interview stage of the competition, which he will repeat in the upcoming series as he again returns to grill the contestants in the eleventh episode.

Committed viewers of The Apprentice will remember Tim Campbell as the original Apprentice, beating Saira Khan back in 2005 to win the series' prize of a £100,000-a-year job with Alan Sugar.

Speaking to The Mirror and other press at The Apprentice launch this year, Lord Sugar explained his thought process in appointing Tim to step into Claude’s shoes.

He said: “Unfortunately, Claude suffered some medical issues and so I was asked to think of someone else and who better than somebody who's actually been through the process?

Claude's health battle as he's replaced on The Apprentice after one episodeThere is a new line-up on The Apprentice this year (BBC/Boundless/Ray Burmiston)

“It was a bit of a no-brainer really because when it comes to making the excuses that these candidates do, you've got Tim there, who's seen it and heard it all.

“That's why I warn the candidates that there is no pulling the wool over his eyes.”

Tim went on to note that Claude’s shoes were ‘massive to fill’, but said it was a huge privilege to be invited back as an aide for a second year.

Claude's health battle as he's replaced on The Apprentice after one episodeClaude is known for his intimidating business acumen on the BBC show (BBC/FremantleMedia Ltd)

He said: “The process has been going on for so long and was instrumental in my journey personally. So it's a great honour to be back and be experiencing that from the other side of the table.”

He continued: “We have a huge responsibility that we know – and particularly me having gone through the experience – how important the information that we feed back to Lord Sugar is as he makes his decision about who he's going to invest into.

“So it's a great honour, but it's one that we don't take lightly, because we know the impact it has on that final decision.”

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The Apprentice returns tonight at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer

Rebecca Cook

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