Lord Sugar hates his 'You're fired' catchphrase

Lord Sugar has said he hates delivering his trademark Apprentice line 'You're fired!'

The entrepreneur and TV star told the Daily Mirror he would rather let contestants down more gently, but his contract says he must stick to the catchphrase.

Lord Sugar, 66, said: "I don't like that bit. Regretfully, it's part of a written commitment. I would far prefer to say 'I'm sorry, you're at the end of the stage.'"

The Apprentice boss also told The Sun that there are plenty of famous businesspeople waiting in the wings to take over his job.

He said: "If I leave there will be a lot of people queuing up to take over. It's the most spoken-of thing among some of these so-called high-profile people.

"They say, 'Oh I was offered The Apprentice, but I turned it down'.

"Many attempts have been made to replicate The Apprentice and my position. John Caudwell, Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne. They've all tried it. Often copied, but never equalled.

"And some people say it may have something to do with me."

Lord Sugar, who recently won a tribunal against ex-Apprentice winner Stella English, said he doesn't plan to ever retire.

Asked whether he will work until the day he dies, he told The Sun: "I might. It depends if it's a Saturday or a Sunday. As long as I can take my Blackberry with me into my coffin, just in case I'm still alive. They can put an antennae on the headstone."


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.