11:05 23 July 2009
The BBC may be forced to reschedule The Apprentice because of Sir Alan Sugar's seat in the House of Lords.
The BBC Trust has said that the next series of the hit reality show cannot be aired until after the next general election which is expected in May 2010.
They believe that Sir Alan's slot as show boss poses a "greater than normal risk to the impartiality, integrity and independence of the BBC".
Conservative party members had complained that Sir Alan's role - and his new seat in the House of Lords - could be seen as giving unfair publicity to the Labour Party.
Sir Alan took up his seat in the House of Lords on Monday July 20 with Labour.
A BBC spokesman said: "The executive will of course bear the trust's view in mind when it considers when to transmit The Apprentice."
The Apprentice normally airs on the BBC from March until June. But this is likely to be delayed by months as the general election must be held by June 3.
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