Lord Alan Sugar. The Man Outside the Board Room.


The Apprentice has hit the screens with a boom this October, giving real life opportunities to young and ambitious entrepreneurs. The real star of the show however is the man who decides who stays and who is fired each episode, leading to a single winner at the end of the series. Previously ‘Sir ‘and now ‘Lord’, Alan Sugar has become the new darling of many Apprentice lovers alike. Although Sugar acts the character of an uncompromising Lord on the show, he himself admitted on the BBC Breakfast show on the 6th October that he is a ‘teddy bear’ in real life. Sugar is no clown and when he talks of the producers he says that his strict and harsh manner in the board room is simply ‘the way they portray me’.


A few days before the show began this month, Lord sugar also appeared on ITV1 with a well renounced face; Piers Morgan in ‘When Piers Met Sugar’. Morgan set out to spend time with Lord Sugar, discover his lifestyle and bring forward the softer, emotional and more relatable side to this otherwise candid boss. After meeting with Sugar’s wife, Piers discovered she wasn’t too happy with the negative image of her man prevailing through The Apprentice.

What is very interesting to find is that Sugar, like many other ambitious working class youth in his time, has struggled to reach the success he has. Lord Sugar proudly notes how his poor background was once the reason for his in-laws to reject him marrying their daughter.

It must also mention the surprisingly sporty element to this tycoon’s lifestyle. It was not only enchanting but also very funny to see this once ‘chunky’ elderly man, making fruit juice and then cycling away on a bicycle. It was even more entertaining to watch the much younger Piers Morgan flailing behind the Gallant ‘Grandpa’.  If you want to witness the wit, sarcasm and humour from the man himself, I highly recommend looking up the show online.

Moving finally to what lies beneath his hard exterior, it was somewhat comforting to hear Sugar, who has made many of the contestants on his show shed tears, admit that he himself cries and in fact cried on the first day of school when his mother left him alone. Sugar openly declares his guilt for not being around his mother when she was alone. This unknown depth to Sugar is fascinating to watch. Although both he and his wife agreed that he finds it difficult to show emotions, he is not afraid to let the world know he has a heart. He simply explains that ‘I am not a huggy-huggy, emotional, kissy kissy person’.

The British public now waits to see the story of The Apprentice unfold each week, and contestants fate unfold as they falter to the finish line. I on the other hand, will be keeping an eye on how much of the real Lord Sugar we see, and whether he is tempted to show his true character inside the board room. As you watch and perhaps converse with your friends about what you feel for this multi-millionaire and his lavish houses, flashy cars and private jets, think also about where he comes from, and what lies beneath the concrete that is the real hard work of a normal man.


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