The Apprentice’s Claude Littner almost ditched Lord Sugar and joined rival show

Claude Littner has revealed he almost ditched The Apprentice and took a spot on Dragons' Den.

The businessman, 73, became a pop culture hit with his savage takedowns of candidates on the BBC show – later replacing Nick Hewer as one of Lord Sugar's advisors alongside Karen Brady.

Last year's show saw Claude make a triumphant return to the semi-finals after sitting out as an advisor due to injuries from a cycling accident.

READ MORE:The Apprentice 2023 line-up 'revealed' including ex-Waterloo Road actor and TikTok star

He will sit out as an advisor once again this year, with Tim Campbell filling in for him.

Speaking recently, Claude revealed he almost exited The Apprentice more than a decade ago.

The TV star has claimed he was invited to join the Dragons' Den panel and was "very keen" to take up show bosses up on the opportunity.

Claude added that he was later turned down after producers changed their minds and said they wanted a woman to join the line-up.

The role eventually went to Hilary Devey, who died earlier this year at the age 65 after suffering complications from a severe lung infection.

Of the BBC investment show, Claude recently told Radio Times: "Some years ago they invited me to join the panel.

"I was very keen but they phoned me up and said they'd had a change of heart.

"They wanted a woman instead. I said: 'That's OK! I can put on a wig! That shouldn't inhibit me from being on the show!'

"But they chose Hilary Devey."

Hilary joined Dragon's Den in 2011, departing the panel just one year later.

The Apprentice will return to screens next week, with the 2023 line-up of candidates already "confirmed" to include a former Waterloo Road actor and a TikTok star.

A show insider previously teased the new run will be "bigger and better" than ever.

The last series of The Apprentice was won by dessert entrepreneur Harpreet Kaur.

The Apprentice will return at 9pm on Thursday, January 5 on BBC One.

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