The Apprentice star Claude Littner was forced to bow out of the next series of the hit show as he recovers from multiple surgeries following a serious accident.
Former Apprentice winner and entrepreneur Tim Campbell will step into the role temporarily.
Mr Littner, 72, injured his right leg when he fell off his electric bike and will now have to learn to walk again after an accident which happened a mile away from his home in Mill Hill London two months ago.
Initially doctors thought they were going to have to amputate the star’s leg.
He said: “I was just pottering along, I must have been doing no more than 10 kilometres an hour on this sort of two-track road. The next thing I knew, I was on the left hand side of the street, my bike was in the middle of the road and I didn’t know what happened.
“I suspect I hit a pothole or something like that, but I must have blanked out at the moment of impact, because the next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground.”
Mr Littner said he thought he would “just get up” and retrieve his bike but quickly realised he was seriously injured as a bone was sticking out of his leg.
He was rushed to the trauma unit at St Mary’s Hospital in an ambulance and he recalled waking up to “some surgeons looking at me and talking but I didn’t really know what they were saying”.
Following multiple surgeries he has returned home for three weeks before undergoing another operation on July 19.
The businessman said he has lost two stone since the accident but he said he is “untouchable mentally” and has “absolute determination” to recover.
Praising the team at St Mary’s as his “saving grace”, Mr Littner said his recovery has been aided by the fact that the doctors have “kept me informed, and they’ve been superb at their job”.
Having been on The Apprentice since 2015, and known for his tough interviews with candidates on the series, fans will definitely miss him.
However, Mr Littner was determined to tell fans he would be back with the words: “There’s no ifs and buts about it.”
Lord Sugar said: “Claude has been part of the series since the beginning and is leaving an important boardroom chair to temporarily fill. I’ve been speaking to him regularly about his recovery, and of course hope we see him back in the boardroom very soon.”
Campbell, who won the first series of The Apprentice in 2005, said he is excited to be looking after Claude’s boardroom chair while he recuperates.
“I was saddened by the circumstances which led to getting the call from Lord Sugar, but having been on the show myself, I know the hard work that goes into it – so I didn’t take the decision lightly. I wish Claude the very best as he recovers,” he added.