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The Apprentices Karren Brady addresses Claude Littner return

Karren Brady promotes weight loss brand Diet Chef in 2013

Baroness Karren Brady CBE has shared an exciting update on the upcoming series of The Apprentice which is currently being filmed.

While the businesswoman couldn’t confirm whether her co-star Claude Littner had returned to the BBC series, she did say he was doing well following his health battle.

Earlier this year, Claude was forced to pull out of the show due to his health and was replaced by the first winner of The Apprentice, Tim Campbell.

Speaking exclusively to about what fans can expect from the series, Karren teased: “I think what I can say is, I think we’ve got the most incredible set of candidates ever this year.

“We have got a doctor, we’ve got a dentist, we’ve got a pharmacist, we’ve got really highly qualified individuals. So I think perhaps it’s the most credible list of candidates we’ve ever had.”

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When discussing her co-star’s health, Karren went on: “[He’s] Really well, I have spoken to him.

“I speak to him regularly. He’s well, I don’t know what I’m allowed to say about whether he’s back or not. So I apologise.

“So I don’t know what they’re saying. But no, he’s in good spirits.”

When she is not busy filming for The Apprentice, Karren is also heavily involved in a campaign close to her heart.

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Karren has partnered withBusiness Boost to become its first-ever Small Business Ambassador.

Over the course of the year-long partnership, The Apprentice star has helped to raise the profile of small businesses across the UK. She is also part of the judging panel on this year’s Business Boost competition.

This means, Karren will help select one lucky entrepreneur, who will have the chance to win £25,000 to help start or grow their business.

Small business owners have until 11 October to enter the competition, which they can do here.

Speaking about whyBusiness Boost is so important, Karren stated: “They’re a real champion of small businesses and I don’t think we give enough credit to small business owners.

“When you’re running a small business, you’re everything from the marketing manager, the finance director, the sales manager, you’re chasing invoices, you’re sorting out suppliers, you’re building customers, and I don’t think we give them enough credit for the hard work that they do.”

She added: “It’s really important that they are recognised, they’re applauded, they’re encouraged and they’re championed.”

When asked what she was looking for when judging the candidates, the 54-year-old shared: “Well, obviously I have great empathy with the challenges that small business owners are facing, particularly as they try to secure investment and funding.

“And the last three years have been incredibly difficult for a multitude of reasons, you know, whether it’s withstanding the pressure from the pandemic recovery, the cost of living crisis and general economic uncertainty.

“So what I’m really looking for is a small business that needs to raise awareness, that may be struggling, that needs a lifeline and that can use the £25,000 to propel themselves forward or keep afloat.”

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