You’re fired! The rise of The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar

The rise of Lord Alan Sugar: the story of one of Britain’s most influential businessmen, from humble beginnings to The Apprentice.

Season 13 of The Apprentice is almost upon us, with a new selection of business hopefuls vying for investment and approval from Lord Alan Sugar. Through a series of tasks and trials their acumen and savvy will be tested while they are overseen by Sugar’s trusted advisors Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

Although Lord Sugar is best known for his long tenure as host of this hugely successful BBC show, his past is arguably more entertaining than watching him cut a room of snooty contestants down to size.

A self-made man with an innate sense of corporate strategy, Sugar rose from humble beginnings in a council flat to being appointed the UK’s Enterprise Tsar thanks to his tenacity, savvy and a tell-it-like-it-is attitude.

Specialist finance brokers ABC Finance Ltd have created this timeline of Lord Sugar’s life and it includes some interesting facts that not everyone will be aware of, such as;

  • He worked as a greengrocer during his school days
  • Established Amstrad at the tender age of 21
  • Was worth £600 million aged 40
  • Ranked the 15th wealthiest person in the UK in 1987
  • Began supplying Sky with set top boxes in 1989, helping to bring Sky into UK homes

His qualifications to sit across from hopeful candidates in the boardroom have been built up through years of diverse business experience from heading up an early computing giant (Amstrad) to more recently acquiring a lucrative property empire (Amsprop) which currently accounts for £800m of his £1.2bn net worth.

That isn’t to say that there weren’t hard times along the way. Amstrad’s dominance of the home computer space wasn’t to last forever but his ability to shrewdly pivot the direction of both his monetary and time investments have seen him emerge from every snag even more successful than before.

So, while you wait eagerly to find out what challenges the candidates of season 13 will face, why not learn a bit more about the man setting them. As we count down to the new series of The Apprentice on October 4th, this timeline offers some great insights into the story of one of Britain’s most influential businessmen.

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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