Tim Campbell, 45, won the first series of The Apprentice back in 2005, and in this year’s show, he was back on the BBC competition as Claude Littner’s replacement. The TV star was given the opportunity to step into Lord Sugar’s aide’s shoes after Claude suffered an injury.
Tim, who is currently campaigning around the importance of considering T-levels as an educational pathway, explained how his own experience as a contestant helped him understand other “enthusiastic” people like him.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Tim said: “What we saw at The Apprentice is a process where lots of hungry, enthusiastic people are all determined to get one opportunity at the end of that process.
“The thing with T-levels is we’ve got as many eager young people wanting to get into the world of work but there is no cut off point for who can be successful.
“And we want more people to apply rather than few, because with a T-level, having been accredited by industry and recognised by businesses and universities, this educational pathway is a potential route into other things for young people.”
Speaking on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch earlier this year, Tim revealed details about what goes on behind the scenes as he insisted Lord Sugar has “every right” to put contestants “through the wringer”.
Discussing the current series of The Apprentice, presenter Steph McGovern asked Tim: “So what’s it really like in the boardroom then?
“Have you got any kind of stuff we don’t see on camera that you can tell us?”
“Listen, it’s intense,” the businessman replied. “You see about 10/15 minutes on the screen, but some of those conversations go on for hours.”
“So some of these tasks go on for days! And he is so focused on the detail, that’s the thing I love about having worked with him for a couple of years, he puts them through the wringer.”
The entrepreneur added: “And lots of them come in with the bravado, with their hair all done, and their makeup done.
“And he just sees all the way through that and asks those poignant questions.
“Which is actually, ‘did you make any money?’ and, ‘how did you mess up?’ and, ‘who’s to blame if it didn’t go well?'”
Meanwhile, Tim stepped in for Claude, who has been a part of the show since the first series and has helped Lord Sugar reach his decisions since 2015.
Speaking about his recovery, Claude said in a statement: “I’m hugely grateful to all the surgeons and nursing staff at St Mary’s Hospital for their incredible care and getting me on the road to recovery.
“Whilst I’m disappointed that I won’t be out and about covering the tasks or in the boardroom for this upcoming series, I’ll most definitely be glued to the action from my sofa.”
As his replacement Tim oversaw the teams in the current series in 2022 and reported back to Lord Sugar.