The Apprentice is AXED for 2020 as the BBC decide to postpone series

The Apprentice is AXED for 2020 as the BBC decide to postpone series after coronavirus lockdown makes it impossible to film

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The BBC have decided to cancel this year’s series of The Apprentice due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Sun, bosses made the decision to call off the show after deciding it would be too difficult to shoot challenges overseas or maintain social distancing.

A source told the publication: ‘The Apprentice is one of the BBC’s biggest and most popular shows so they were desperate not to have to axe it. But they could wait no longer and they’ve run of time.

Postponed: The BBC have decided to cancel this year’s series of The Apprentice due to the coronavirus pandemic

‘It does also beg the question what the knock-on effect to other shows could be. If the Apprentice can’t film, can Strictly and others?

‘It’s a stark warning to the industry that even the biggest shows are not immune from this crisis.’

This will be the first time fans of the show, which is fronted by Lord Alan Sugar, will have not been given a new series since The Apprentice debuted in 2005. 

The broadcaster will instead air a highlights show showing the best bits from the reality series from over the years.   

Not feasible: According to The Sun, bosses made the decision to call off the show after deciding it would be too difficult to shoot challenges overseas or maintain social distancing 

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson confirmed: ‘Sadly we have decided to postpone The Apprentice for 2020.

‘Production safety and the wellbeing of everyone involved in the show is our number one priority.

‘While this is understandably disappointing news, viewers will still be able to get their weekly fix of memorable tasks, favourite candidates and boardroom bust ups alongside brand new insights from Karren, Claude, Lord Sugar and many more from the past 15 years in a special highlights series airing on BBC1.’  

It was revealed in April the BBC had temporarily halted production on the new series, despite having a group of hopefuls ready to go. 

It comes after ITV were said to be in pre-production on a new business-themed reality series to rival The Apprentice.

A source said: ‘The Apprentice is one of the BBC’s biggest and most popular shows so they were desperate not to have to axe it. But they could wait no longer and they’ve run of time’

According to The Sun, the show has a working title of Easy Millions and has already started the casting process. 

A source said: ‘ITV has spotted a big gap in the telly market and is full steam ahead.

‘They want people to apply if they fancy themselves to be the sort of person who might have applied for The Apprentice and now haven’t got an outlet to show themselves off. 

‘All being well, they’ll have a decent line-up, get it filmed and be ready for the autumn or later in the year.’

A call out from ITV read: ‘In these extraordinary times, Britain needs its entrepreneurial spirit more than ever, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to run the next million-pound business, we want to hear from you.’

MailOnline has approached ITV for comment.

Confirmation: A BBC spokesperson confirmed: ‘Sadly we have decided to postpone The Apprentice for 2020’

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