THE Apprentice's Claude Littner has revealed that he is in hospital having back surgery – but reassured concerned fans that he will be back for tonight's show.
The 70-year-old business mogul took to his social media account to say that he will be having the procedure today.
Claude made the revelation as he replied to a troll, who shared a photo of the star smiling and wrote: "Poor @claudelittner looks in so much pain, cos that can’t possibly be a smile."
Lord Alan Sugar's right hand man replied: "Actually, I am in pain.
"My back is 'killing me'. As a matter of fact, I am having a back operation on Wednesday!"
His worried followers then inundated him with messages to check that he will be onscreen as usual tonight, with The Apprentice airing on BBC One at 9pm this evening.
One wrote: "You can't have a back op on Wednesday, you're on telly."
The programme is pre-recorded months in advance, and Claude cheekily replied: "My operation is tomorrow morning. The Apprentice is on at 9pm. What is the problem??"
Another asked: "Will 'operate on Claude' be one of the takss this series?" to which the star replied with an impassioned: "Nooooooo!"
A third enquired: "Will he be alright for the show tomorrow night?"
Claude joked: "The phone will ring, it is Lord Sugar’s office. I will have just 20 minutes to shower, shave, brush teeth, get dressed, pack my clothes for the hospital stay, review my emails, and run to the people carrier.
"After the op, I will dash to the boardroom arriving before deadline!"
Claude first joined the BBC show in 2015, replacing Nick Hewer as one of Lord Sugar's aides.
Karren Brady replaced Margaret Mountford, with the pair watching over the candidates while they complete the tasks to offer Sugar guidance on who to hire and fire.
Last month, Claude blasted this year's contestants after one of them mistook a rhino for an elephant in the first episode of the series.
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