His pal and co-star Claude Littner has admitted the mogul will be forced to quit the BBC series because of his age.
And he fears he will have to walk away too.
Claude said: “Alan still enjoys doing The Apprentice. He’s enthusiastic about it. And if his health is there then he’ll carry on. It’s the same for me.
“But we are getting older and I’m not sure how much longer we can carry on. Alan is 71 and I am 69 – we are getting old.
“When we finish filming a series I’m completely knackered. The first thing I think about doing is going on holiday and unwinding.”
Lord Sugar has already signed up to do next year’s series.
But when he does eventually quit, the BBC will lose one of its biggest stars.
He has been at the helm of The Apprentice since it launched in 2005.
Producers will face a nightmare task in finding a replacement.
Lord Sugar turns 72 within months.
And according to Claude he is already winding down his business commitments.
He said: “Alan is working differently nowadays. He’s in the fortunate position of having a team around him. He used to be the driving force of everything but now he’s a mentor.
“He’s found his way of coping with the fact he’s not young anymore. He likes going on holidays.”
Claude is also taking it easier these days. He added: “The things I’ve worked on in my career have been very stressful. And I’ve come to the conclusion I want to enjoy myself and only do the things that I want to do, rather than knock myself out for something that is irrelevant.
“As a result, I’m very happy and content with my life.”
Lord Sugar and Claude regularly socialise off screen alongside co-star Karren Brady.
Claude said: “When we do get together we have fun. But when we’re on holiday as a group we don’t talk about the show much. We talk about other things.”
The Apprentice is in its 14th series, making it one of TV’s longest-running reality shows.
The current run has pulled in big ratings.
Next weekend viewers will see Lord Sugar pick the latest winner who will secure a £250,000 investment from the tycoon.