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14 April 2020, 11:11
Has the latest series of The Apprentice been cancelled and when will it be back on BBC? Lord Sugar reveals all...
Lord Alan Sugar has confirmed that The Apprentice 2020 has been cancelled this year due to coronavirus.
The 73-year-old has been questioned by concerned fans of the BBC show on Twitter over the past few weeks.
And replying to one follower over the weekend, Lord Sugar confirmed that filming will not be taking place for the new series.
A fan asked: "Is The Apprentice cancelled this year, Lord? Sorry if you have already answered that?"
To which the businessman replied: "Yes I guess so. Could be back in Spring 2021 or skip a whole year and back in October 2021."
The BBC has a selection of candidates ready to go from the last recruitment process in March. They will be called on once we have the green sign to start filming @bbcapprentice https://t.co/RjshicXa6s— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) April 12, 2020
Another fan then asked whether the applicants from this year will get a chance to compete in the show when it returns, to which he explained: "The BBC has a selection of candidates ready to go from the last recruitment process in March. They will be called on once we have the green sign to start filming @bbcapprentice"
Filming on this year's series - which usually airs at the end of November - was due to begin in the next few weeks but has been suspended due to rules around social distancing.
A BBC spokesperson told us at Heart.co.uk: "In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, Boundless the producers of The Apprentice, have postponed filming in consultation with and supported by the BBC.
"We will continue to review all productions on a case by case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation and Public Health England."
A show insider has since added to The Sun: "Filming has been scrapped for the foreseeable future so this year's series may not air at all because of the coronavirus.
"There were trips abroad planned which can't be filmed now, on top of the rest of the show - so everyone is expecting it to be cancelled altogether as there's no knowing how long lockdown will go on for.
"It's a real shame as it is massively popular and brings in millions of viewers but we can't see how it's going to be possible to get it out on time."
Carina Lepore won The Apprentice in 2019 after impressing Lord Sugar, Karen Brady and Claude Litner with her artisan bakery business.
Meanwhile, the BBC has also had to halt production of shows such as EastEnders, Casualty and Line Of Duty, while Coronation Street and Emmerdale have also stopped filming for the foreseeable future.