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Sugar's words sweetened up

Sir Alan Sugar has been dispensing business wisdom for the past 12 weeks on TV. But it appears he has learned a lesson himself.

Readers may remember Sir Alan's Ratner moment when, like the boss of the defunct jewellery firm, he slagged off his customers.

"This isn't some college of further education, you know, where dummkopfs come to learn to make mistakes," he snapped at contestants in The Apprentice.

The Association of Colleges pounced on his words, not least because Sir Alan's computer firm Viglen boasts of being a supplierto FE.

So FErret couldn't help raising a furry eyebrow when a remarkably similar sentence appeared in the final show's round-up. "This isn't some holiday camp where dummkopfs come to learn to make mistakes," Sir Alan complained.

A Talkback TV spokeswoman insists that it is a mere coincidence that his gaffe was lost, the result of two comments being spliced together to save time. It was in no way a breach of the BBC's editorial guidelines on accuracy, oh no.

"It was nothing to do with that at all," she said, adding that Sir Alan was happy for his words to have been changed. Who hasn't wanted to take their foot out of their mouth from time to time?

The AoC will be patting itself on the back, all the same. And perhaps the choice of former Hull college business student Michelle Dewberry could be taken as an apology.

But will Sir Alan now come under attack from Butlins? FErret can only hope.

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