IT’S a good thing Lord Sugar is no stranger to hard graft – because he’s going to be working twice as hard next year.
I can reveal the boardroom grump is filming back-to-back series of The Apprentice.
The confirmation of his very lucrative double shift comes just after he wrapped the series postponed from last year.
A TV source said: “BBC bosses like what they’ve seen on the upcoming series and want two more.
“The Apprentice was a big miss in the schedules last year, which they think will be reflected in the ratings.
"So they want to strike while the iron’s hot and tie Lord Sugar down for two more series in quick succession, which they hope will have more of an international feel now lockdown restrictions are gradually lifting.”
Despite his questionable comments and gaffes on social media recently, some of which he’s been forced to apologise for, the BBC still hold the former Spurs chairman in high regard.
Indeed, in the context of The Apprentice, he’s box office and bosses want to keep him at the helm.
The recently wrapped 16th series, set to air early next year, was filmed entirely in the UK but they feel the show, and Lord Sugar, have lost none of their spark.
Last year’s series was eventually replaced in the schedules by a special compilation series of highlights from previous series.
Speaking in May, the software guru revealed he is determined to reach 20 series – but appreciates the BBC may decide to pull the plug earlier.
He explained: “I said last year that I wanted to do 20 years. We would have been doing series 16 this year and I was happy to do four more.
“But of course, it is the BBC who will decide if they wish to do it.
“I fully understand they are in charge but if they wanted to do it, I think 20 years is a nice round figure.”
By then he’ll be even grumpier.
ARG WILL SWAY TO THE BEAT
HE has lost 7st since his gastric band operation and now James "Arg" Argent hopes to be the next Patrick Swayze.
The former Towie star has signed up to new E4 series The Real Dirty Dancing, his first major gig since his spell in rehab for drug addiction.
He’ll be joining celebrities including singer Lee Ryan and Blue Peter’s Anthea Turner at a lakeside location reminiscent of the Kellerman’s Resort, where the cult 80s movie was set.
There they will learn the dance routines made famous by Patrick’s character Johnny Castle.
A source said: “This show is perfect for Arg as he’s a massive Dirty Dancing fan.
“It’s also great exercise too, which is vital for his recovery.”
The series will air in 2022 and will be hosted by Keith Lemon and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts.
He’ll have the time of his life.
FAMILIES BUZZING ON BEE-B
WE’VE had searches for best baker, sewing champions and numerous iterations looking for supreme singers.
But now the BBC are on the hunt for the best beekeepers.
New series Show Me The Honey follows wannabe beekeepers as they learn everything there is to know about caring for a hive.
With BAFTA-winning presenter and bee fan Maddie Moate at the helm, the CBBC series follows four families from across the UK on their beekeeping and honey-making adventure.
Maddie and expert Curtis Thompson will put them through their paces in Bee School, where they will learn about topics such as the worker bees’ ‘waggle dance’, insect vision and bee surveys.
HOLMES UNDER THE HAMMER
EAMONN HOLMES didn’t see the This Morning axe coming but says: “You can’t weep over it.”
The ITV regular and wife Ruth Langsford were replaced by Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond, but he said: “You just have to go and get more work.”
MASTER IS BACK IN GAME
DUST OFF your Sega Mega Drives and Super Nintendos – iconic show GamesMaster is making a comeback.
The series loved by all computer game fans in the Nineties – mainly because it revealed various cheat codes – is returning in a “social first” form on E4’s YouTube channel later this year before airing on the TV channel.
The late, great Sir Patrick Moore famously portrayed the all-knowing GamesMaster and it’s yet to be revealed if a new gaming hero will take over his role.
Likewise, there is no confirmation of who will be following in the footsteps of Dominik Diamond and Dexter Fletcher as host.
However, like the original – last screened 23 year ago – celebrities, gaming stars and super fans will take part in challenges, races and epic fights in a bid to claim the legendary Golden Joystick Trophy.
NADINE COYLE belting out Love Machine on a karaoke machine sounds like my kind of night in.
Here’s the Girls Aloud singer’s cameo in the ITV2 spin-off series Karaoke Club: Drag Edition.
Fellow pop favourite Sophie Ellis-Bextor, former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona and ex-Sugababe Mutya Buena will also be appearing throughout the season, which kicks off on September 26.
The new series will mainly feature drag stars taking the microphone, including Trinity The Tuck, The Vivienne, Danny Beard and Freida Slaves attempting to unleash their inner Lady Gaga.
Drag Edition is a follow up to Celebrity Karaoke Club which was screened in the summer.
In the celeb singing contest, TV presenter AJ Odudo was crowned champion, beating Big Brother legend Brian Dowling and X Factor star Amelia Lily in the final.
Weeks later, it was confirmed AJ would be taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Now that’s not a bad incentive to win for all the drag kings and queens.
Time for them to start rehearsing those karaoke classics . . .
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