Meet the Apprentices who will be hoping to impress Lord Alan Sugar

The Apprentice hopefuls line-up ahead of the new show which starts on October 4.
The Apprentice hopefuls line-up ahead of the new show which starts on October 4.
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Lord Alan Sugar has insisted he would find the money to keep popular shows on the BBC if he were to be made director general.

VIDEO: Sheffield student unveiled as new contestant in The Apprentice had 'steamy fling' with fellow hopeful​
The Apprentice star, 70, described the corporation as "great" but said politics gets in the way of spending money on programming.

He cited The Great British Bake Off as an example, which was acquired by Channel 4 last year when the broadcaster could no longer afford to keep its contract with show makers Love Productions.

Speaking at a Q&A event in the lead-up to the next run of the Apprentice, starting next week, the famed entrepreneur told reporters: "They (BBC) are a great organisation.

"We pay £140 a year, and when you compare the £12 a month to other things you pay, the value that you get is tremendous.

"The problem is too much politics goes on to suppress them in spending a bit of money ... what this leads to is them losing the ability to pay the going price for programmes like The Voice, for programmes like the Bake Off. I think that's wrong."

He continued: "If I was in charge of the BBC, I would find that money.

"The only way you find that money is to get rid of some of the money that is, what I would consider to be, wasted within the organisation.

"I do feel for them because you invent a programme and then someone else steals it from you, and you can't compete because your hands are tied because of policy."

He joked: "I wouldn't mind the job (of director general), but I very much doubt they'd give it to me."

Lord Sugar and advisers Karren Brady and Claude Littner will return to screens as they put a fresh batch of 18 contestants through their paces.

The Apprentice begins on BBC 1 at 9pm on October 4.

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VIDEO: Sheffield student unveiled as new contestant in The Apprentice had 'steamy fling' with fellow hopeful​