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Sir Alan Sugar on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

Sir Alan tells Jonathan about The Apprentice and fame

Tonight Sir Alan Sugar – whose lethal catchphrase "you're fired" continues to ring in the ears of contestants in BBC One's The Apprentice – makes a welcome return to the Ross sofa.


Sir Alan, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, talks on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross about what makes The Apprentice so popular.


He says: "There's an air of excitement about watching people outside their comfort zone – and there's the conflict."


How does he rate some of the current contenders?


"Katie's been a tough cookie. There are loads of people like that in business, you don't have to love people, that's what the harsh commercial world is like and you have to put up with it," he says.


And how does he see ex-Apprentice winner Tim Campbell's future?


"I started three years ago with the general desire to find someone to go on and flourish. Tim was very seriously underrated by the press because he didn't go out and seek publicity, he's on his own now, I say watch this space."


Sir Alan says his new-found TV fame hasn't changed him: "I haven't changed at all, all my mates I've known since we were kids."


But it has affected the public's reaction to him: "You get people coming up in restaurants saying 'you're fired!', they think they're so funny, and their wives get so embarrassed ... when I go to the loo I get followed and people talk to me ... I get my son-in-law to protect me!"


He also reveals he's a fan of BBC Two's Dragons' Den: "I love it, I leap out of my chair, especially when someone brings on something electronic, I'm screaming 'don't invest!'"


Friday Night With Jonathan Ross 
Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton


Jonathan also welcomes to the show This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton.


Phillip, an ex-Joseph himself, says he's an avid fan of BBC One's Any Dream Will Do.


"It's very camp, terrific, but the coats aren't very good. I've still got mine ... I nicked it," he says.


And on his own experience of the role: "I did an audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber which was awful. I couldn't remember the ending of Any Dream Will Do. I thought 'that's never going to happen' ... I've never in my life been more terrified."


Fern reveals that when they began their This Morning stint "that first week we sat on the dressing-room floor drinking whisky telling each other our life stories ... one day we were thrown out of the studio for laughing too much."


Phillip says it was Fern who finally persuaded him to stop dying his hair: "I came out of the grey closet and went back in when someone called out 'oi, you look like a badger', but Fern finally encouraged me to say forget it."


This week's line-up also includes chat and music from singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright performing Going To A Town and there's more music from The Kaiser Chiefs performing live in the studio.


Friday Night With Jonathan Ross is a HotsauceTV/Open Mike production for BBC One.


Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, 10.35pm, Friday 11 May 2007, BBC One






Category: TV Entertainment; BBC One
Date: 11.05.2007
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