Prince Philip’s bizarre disagreement with Alan Sugar detailed ‘He’s a bundle of fun…’

The Apprentice: Alan Sugar grills Tim Campbell in season one

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Lord Alan Sugar, 74, has recalled the time he butted heads with the late Prince Philip, in a baffling row about computers and printers. The Apprentice host explained that he had been invited for lunch with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh during the dawn of his career, when he was around 30-years-old.

He said, as reported by The Mirror: “When I first met [the Queen], I was a superstar and was the upcoming star of the city.

“They invited me for lunch, and I sat next to Prince Philip.

“He is a bundle of fun, ain’t he?”

Alan explained that Philip had asked what the business tycoon did for a living, to which he replied: “I make computers and all that stuff.”

Lord Sugar continued: “Prince Philip said, ‘Do you do printers?’ I said, ‘Printers are not really made in England. They are made by Americans and Japanese’. He said, ‘No, not at all. IBM make printers’.

“I said, ‘Yeah, they are an American company, and they don’t make them in England!’ He said, ‘Yes, they do!’”

Eventually, Alan conceded and was summoned to talk to the Queen.

The Amstrad founder said: “I thought, ‘What am I going to talk to her about? I have not got a clue!’ I was only about 30. We talked about nothing.”

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Alan did meet the royals again when he received his knighthood in 2000 for services to the Home Computer and Electronics Industry.

He has remained in the public eye ever since, thanks to his businesses and BBC hit The Apprentice.

The new series of the latter will return Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.

It was announced last year that Alan’s trusted adviser, Claude Littner, 72, would be taking a step back from the show after sustaining serious injuries when he fell off an electric bike.

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He will be replaced by the show’s series one winner, Tim Campbell, 44, who will sit alongside Alan and Baroness Karren Brady.

Tim said he was surprised when he received the call to return to The Apprentice after 16 years.

He told Radio Times he thought: “’Is this a prank?’ I thought people were going to burst in with cameras and say, ‘Got you!’

“I thought, ‘Why is he phoning?’ When he explained, I said, ‘Are you being serious?’ It was mad.”

After Tim won the show in 2005, he joined Amstrad on a £100,000 salary.

He left the company just two years later but has remained in Alan’s close circle of contacts.

Tim continued: “He was so fundamental to the change in my life.

“I’ve always respected what he did for me because he could have put me in a broom cupboard. But he invested in me.

“Lord Sugar is about the circle of people he trusts, so I was honoured that the relationship we had meant he could pick up his phone, tell me about the difficult circumstances that had arisen, and ask me to join the panel.”

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