Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Apprentice delayed until summer

Lord Sugar
Lord Sugar decides who is fired and hired on the show

The 2010 series of The Apprentice is being delayed until the summer to avoid a clash with the general election, the BBC has confirmed.

It follows a ruling by the BBC Trust that there would be an increased "risk to impartiality" after Lord Sugar's appointment as Labour's business tsar.

The move will allow the show to run without a break after 3 June, the last possible date for the election.

Series six was originally due to run for three months from March.

The programme's offshoot, Junior Apprentice, will also be delayed until the summer.

The change in scheduling may mean that the entrepreneurial contest will be pitted against the final series of Big Brother on Channel 4, which is expected to start at the end of May.

The BBC Trust said in July there was no breach of editorial guidelines with Lord Sugar's dual roles on The Apprentice and as a government adviser, but admitted that extra care would have to be taken with the programme's timing.

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