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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Tycoon Sugar heads reality show
Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan will offer the winner a job at one of his companies
Businessman Sir Alan Sugar is to test 14 apprentices in a new BBC TV series based on Donald Trump's successful US show The Apprentice.

The show, which will be broadcast next year, will see the electronics mogul test the apprentices' entrepreneurial and business skills.

The Apprentice was a US ratings hit, attracting 20 million viewers as 16 hopefuls were whittled down to one.

Sir Alan said he was "delighted" to take part in the show.

In the NBC original, property developer Mr Trump even coined his own catchphrase - "you're fired".

Prizes in the BBC version have yet to be confirmed, but in the US, winner Bill Rancic won a $250,000 (140,000) job working in one of the property magnate's businesses.

Sir Alan, 57, is the founder and chairman of computer firm Amstrad.

He said the programme sat "perfectly with my long held belief in the importance of promoting enterprise".

"My philosophy has always been to work hard, be honest, be frank, be credible and always learn from your mistakes.

'Naked ambition'

"My good news/bad news approach to business has earned me a reputation for being blunt but you've got to have what it takes to make it in business."

Producers are now seeking applicants over the age of 21 to take part in the show.

Co-producer, Peter Moore, said: "This is a series that tests entrepreneurial skills and rewards the winner with a fantastic job."

He said it also appeal to the "British sensibility towards naked ambition and the accumulation of wealth".

Meanwhile, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has unveiled plans for a US reality adventure show to find a potential tycoon for his company.

Sixteen candidates will take part in activities such as white water rafting and parachuting at exotic locations around the world in the series, to be broadcast by the Fox network.

Sir Richard is due to publicise the programme in New York on Thursday by jumping off the top floor of the Virgin Megastore wearing a jet pack.

Trump chooses winning Apprentice
16 Apr 04  |  TV and Radio


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