Alan Sugar has said he thinks he will "max out" on starring in The Apprentice after 20 years and admits at that stage "enough is enough".

The 72-year-old entrepreneur, who will mark his 15th year on the show when it returns on Wednesday, believes it will have run its course after two decades.

"I've often had thoughts of when am I going to give it up, next season will be the 16th," he told PA.

"First of all it's not my decision - let's get that right, the decision lies with the BBC, whether they want to continue to do it - but if they did, I think I would max out at 20 years, a 20-year ceremony."

He added: "I think enough is enough then. I would be 77, I might not be compos mentis by then, you never know."

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The new series will see 16 new aspiring entrepreneurs whisked to South Africa for the first challenge.

In a bumper first episode the hopefuls will be transported to Cape Town where they will be tasked with creating and running bespoke safari and vineyard tours.

Sugar said he believes the show could continue without him if he departs but the BBC would struggle to find someone who is the "all-rounder" he is.

 "One, I've got an exceptionally good memory, two, I've done all this.

"I started with a little mini van and I've seen anything, done everything, had disappointments, know what selling is all about, know what not to do."

"I've sat in boardrooms in banks and negotiated big deals with banks at hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds, but (when) I started off my first sale was most probably #5 with five car aerials.

"I've loaded lorries, sat on the production line, produced more good on the production line than any of these people have ever done, done my own marketing, my own advertising, buying components, getting prices right, designing products - I've done it all, so I think they would find it very hard.

"If you look at some of the other business programmes that are on TV, I'm not sure there is such an all-rounder there."

The Apprentice is on BBC One on Wednesdays at 9pm. 

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