The Apprentice's Lord Alan Sugar: "Gimmicks don't work for X Factor"

Published Wednesday, Oct 7 2015, 14:44 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Lord Alan Sugar has said the reason why The Apprentice is successful is because there are no "gimmicks".

At the series 11 press launch, Lord Sugar was asked his opinion on why The X Factor is struggling to match last year's ratings.

Lord Alan Sugar returns to the boardroom with his advisors Karren Brady and Claude Littner. 22 September 2015.


The Apprentice is back for its 11th series.

"I tell you what it is, it's very very simple, the BBC and the production company and myself are not interested in gimmicks and trying to change things: if it's not broke, don't try and fix it," said Lord Sugar. "It's the consistency of keeping things the same, with slight tweaks.

"In my opinion – and I say this respectively to X Factor – gimmicks don't seem to work. In fact, in my opinion also, it was the demise of what they call the civilian version of The Apprentice in the United States. They just started doing all silly things and in the end the audience saw through it."

Lord Sugar said not much has changed on his BBC One show over the years.

The X Factor judges - Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Simon Cowell - arena auditions. 6 September 2015.

© ITV / Supplied by WENN

This year's x Factor judges: Nick, Rita, Cheryl and Simon.

"What's good about The Apprentice and why we keep the ratings is very simple: I'm the same – getting a bit older, I suppose, looking back 11 years ago – but what's not the same is the candidates.

"It is those candidates which is the compelling viewing. It's the different candidates and the uncertainty of what they're going to say and do that makes it the great programme that it is."

When asked if Lord Sugar had any advice for X Factor boss Simon Cowell, he replied: "He wouldn't listen to me," before adding with a laugh: "Shave the beard off for a start."

The new series of The Apprentice returns to BBC One on Wednesday 14 October at 9pm and Thursday 15 October.

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