I would rather eat my own eyeballs than do Strictly

Publication Date15 January 2022
Publication titleBirmingham Mail (England)
After nearly 12 years as an assistant to Lord Alan Sugar on the show, her commitment to it is still strong

But it's clear that Karren, 52, missed the presence of close friend and fellow aide Claude Littner.

He couldn't take part in this series due to a serious cycling accident in April, which almost resulted in him losing a leg.

"We were desperately disappointed that he wasn't there," says the former managing director of Birmingham City FC.

That said, she is positively gushing about new recruit Tim Campbell, who won the first show back in 2005, describing him as "wonderful". Alongside her role as a businesswoman,

Karren is firmly focused on her family - it's obvious that her husband of 26 years, the former footballer Paul Peschisolido, and their two children, Sophia, 25, and Paolo, 23, mean everything to her.

Here, Karren opens up about the new series… What was it like filming this series without Claude?

Obviously, we were so desperately disappointed that he wasn't there, but we were much more concerned about how he was.

He had this terrible cycling accident, which has seen him have a number of operations.

The good news is that Claude is on the mend. He's had a difficult time, but he's almost back to his best. But it was impossible for him - as much as he would've loved it - to take part in the series. So Alan turned to Tim.

What does Tim bring to the show? A completely new perspective. As

Tim says, he's been there, done that and got the T-shirt.

He sees everything from the eyes of the contestants - he knows who's hiding, he knows who's putting themselves forward, he knows who can't get their point across and how the dynamics work.

He brings a real insight to that, so it was great having him. He's such a wonderful man to work with.

But, of course, we missed Claude! You, Lord Sugar and Claude are very close, aren't you?

Yes. We spend a lot of time together, we've been on holiday together, we talk a lot, and we're close family friends with our partners and children. We love working together, we respect each other, we have each other's backs and we understand the demands of the show.

It's a very demanding show, The Apprentice. It's very long hours, lots of travelling and you have to be on top of everything at all times.

So we rely on each other to help one another through it, and that respect we have for one another and that friendship is genuine.

It makes filming the show so much more pleasurable. It must have been so hard for Claude not to be part of it...

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