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Apprentice star Alan Sugar leaps to banks’ defence

THE Apprentice star Lord Sugar has defended banks from criticism that they are not doing enough to support entrepreneurs.

Lord Sugar, 64, who was the British Labour government's enterprise tsar, said that banks were being unfairly "chastised" for lending responsibly.

He told the Radio Times: "It's all b******s, that is! It's total rubbish, a big excuse, political garbage! Why should a bank give you some money?

"If I've got a great idea you're not going to give it to me, just like that are you?

"If you have a whim of an idea, you have to put your own money in it, or seed it from somewhere, or carry on working where you're working... until you've got enough money to fund it," he said.

"The banks were villains by acting irresponsibly, but now they're trying to act responsibly, they're getting chastised for not lending irresponsibly again... It is a total joke, a complete and utter political joke."

Lord Sugar, 64, who has amassed an estimated £730 million fortune, instead criticised over-generous parents for not instilling drive and ambition.

"In this day and age the kids have got Nike trainers, an iPod, PlayStations, all handed on a plate to them," he said.

"The parents have got themselves to blame. And then when the kids get to the age of 21 and they've done their gap year, and done all that usual s**t and it's 'Errrrr what are you going to do for a job?' 'I ain't got one.'"

The tycoon, who is guest editing the Radio Times, also complained that some young people had unrealistically high expectations.

Referring to Facebook co-creator Mark Zuckerberg, he said: "Too many young people think you have to be another Zuckerberg, or whatever his name is... it's either billions or nothing.

"That's not the case. He's a one-in-a-trillion example, and while it's worth aspiring to be him, the reality is that you are not going be able to do that.

"Forget it. Youngsters need to focus on more practical things... starting a business from scratch."

He said of the new BBC1 series of The Apprentice, which launches later this month: "We don't try to replicate the types of characters that you've seen before, as that is the mistake that some programmes make.

"They're a good bunch. Every single one of them is a different character."