As a financial journalist at the time I knew the show had very little relevance to the world of business.
But my real problem was with Sugar himself. Many years before I met him regularly while covering his Amstrad electronics company.
I wondered if Sugar was the right man for the programme. His business career was a mixture of hits and misses with the bulk of his fortune made in property.
Most of all I didn't approve of his "You're fired" antics.
True, there was a lot of the on-screen Sugar which I had seen close up.
He was grumpy, quick-tempered, and didn't suffer fools. But I also knew he wasn't the bully he liked to portray.
He recognised, for example, the value of his long-serving loyal staff - led by Nick Hewer who years later would become Sugar's right hand man on the The Apprentice.
His lordship was - and remains - a philanthropist and a happily married family man. So all in all I concluded the show was a bit of a sham.
But with nothing else attracting my attention, I watched last night's episode.
Yes, it was still a ridiculous take on business life but what I had failed to appreciate first time round that it was a classy reality show and first class entertainment.
Perhaps it's me but it seemed more care had been taken with the selection of candidates. Either way there's no one better placed than Sugar to present The Apprentice.