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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
The Apprentice moves to BBC One
Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan Sugar has become known for his 'You're fired' catchphrase
Hit TV show The Apprentice is to move to BBC One when it returns for a third series in the New Year.

The show, starring tycoon Sir Alan Sugar, has been a ratings winner for BBC Two, with 5.7m people tuning in to watch the final of the second series.

Michelle Dewberry beat "gutted" rival Ruth Badger to earn a 100,000-a-year job working for Sir Alan.

The Apprentice: You're Fired - presented by Adrian Chiles - will also move to BBC Two from BBC Three.

It's made an unlikely but utterly watchable star out of Sir Alan Sugar.
Peter Fincham, BBC One controller

The Apprentice follows shows like Have I Got News for You, What Not to Wear and Who Do You Think You Are?, which all made the jump to BBC One, which attracts a larger, more mainstream audience.

BBC Two controller Roly Keating said the move was a "natural evolution" for the show.

"This move reinforces BBC Two's reputation as the home of great hits.

"We've been proud to help build The Apprentice into one of the most talked-about and successful series of recent years.

"We look forward to continuing to be part of The Apprentice experience with You're Fired and to nurturing other powerful business entertainment formats such as Dragons' Den."

Michelle Dewberry
Michelle Dewberry won the second series in May

Peter Fincham, controller of BBC One, said: "I'm delighted that The Apprentice is coming to BBC One.

"It's a strikingly modern and highly compelling series which audiences love, and it's made an unlikely but utterly watchable star out of Sir Alan Sugar.

"It'll be a real treat for BBC One viewers."

The BBC's director of television Jana Bennett said: "With creativity and flair, BBC Two has successfully grown The Apprentice into a show with mass reach and appeal.

"I now believe that it is time for it to fully flourish on the main stage of BBC One."

The first series of The Apprentice, broadcast in early 2005, drew an average audience of 2.5m and a 11% share of the available audience, peaking at 3.8m and a 17% share for the final programme.

Series two gained an average audience of 4.4m and a 19% share.




SEE ALSO
Apprentice star hired by hospice
25 Jun 06 |  West Midlands
Apprentice banks record ratings
11 May 06 |  Entertainment
Ex-cashier wins TV's Apprentice
10 May 06 |  Entertainment
Apprentice duo do battle in final
10 May 06 |  Entertainment
The Apprentice's growing success
10 May 06 |  Entertainment

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