Claude Littner will return for the infamous interviews episode of The Apprentice later this month, it has been announced.
Littner was well enough to return for next week's penultimate episode, however, as the remaining candidates get grilled on their business proposals.
"Obviously, there's not a huge amount I can say without giving too much away but I just hope that when it airs next week, well I hope everyone thinks it was worth the wait," he said.
"The whole team went to so much trouble to have me back. I had written off this series, but it would seem Lord Sugar and the production company had other ideas!
"I've had so many messages on social media too from viewers saying they hope I'm coming back for the interviews and how much they miss my smiling (!) but obviously I've not been able to say anything until now.
"It was quite funny how it came about - Alan arrived at my house one day (although he phoned me almost daily!) and he just said, 'You will do the interviews, won't you?' and I replied, 'Yes, of course'.
"The moment it came out of my mouth I was thinking, how on earth am I actually going to do it? The truth is, by the time it came to filming I was feeling better but the team had been so kind and gone to so much trouble so I could be involved."
The Apprentice continues Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.