Karren Brady has insisted she will depart 'The Apprentice' when Lord Sugar does.

Karren Brady has insisted she will depart The Apprentice when Lord Sugar does

Karren Brady has insisted she will depart The Apprentice when Lord Sugar does

The 54-year-old businesswoman has squashed speculation that she could take over from the 76-year-old entrepreneur if he ever leaves the BBC One business show, because she only appears in the programme because she "genuinely believes in" her pal Lord Sugar.

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It's not a discussion him and I have ever had, but as long as he does it, I'll do it, and when he leaves, I'll leave, because I do it for him.

"I don't do it to be on the TV. There's nothing scarier than being 54 and seeing your face on a 50-inch television screen, I can assure you!

"I do it because I genuinely believe in him, I like him, I enjoy the show, and the team around it are fantastic."

But Karren - who, along with former 'Apprentice' winner Tim Campbell, acts as Lord Sugar's aide on the show - is confident the businessman and the show will carry on for "a long time" yet.

She added: "But I think the question of how long he'll go on for is a question for him.

"But a long time, I hope. I mean, there's no reason why he shouldn't."

Karren is gearing up for the 18th series of the show, and she has teased fans the upcoming candidates are the "most highly qualified" that have ever been on the series.

She said: "I think it's probably the most highly qualified set of candidates we've ever had. Pharmacist, dentist, some already successful business owners.

"I think from that point of view, the standard is really very high, but with high standard and high achievers comes high ego!"

'The Apprentice' returns on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Thursday 1 February at 9pm.