Lord Alan Sugar in quarantine, as stranded Aussies complain.

Billionaire Lord Alan Sugar is currently quarantining in Sydney, no doubt ahead of production on Celebrity Apprentice Australia, but is attracting headlines while expat Aussies are unable to get home.

Yesterday he tweeted:

He also confirmed he is in a “strict 14 day quarantine” although it isn’t revealed if he is in hotel quarantine.

Nine-owned newspapers report he secured one of the estimated 30 seats on an Emirates flight from London to Sydney this week. In August, Lord Sugar also used Twitter to seek help from British Airways in getting to Australia.

“I find it a bit rich that Emirates would fly Lord Sugar, a non-Australian, who hasn’t flown commercially for 25 years, so never with Emirates, when I am a Gold Member, have spent thousands of dollars to get that, and yet cannot get back from London,” said one stranded Aussie.

“What ‘essential business’ is Lord Sugar travelling on? A TV show appearance?”

Another returnee said, “The Australian government should be ashamed that it has abandoned its own citizens during a global pandemic, and welcomed elites with open arms.”

The federal government banned foreigners from entering the country in March but exemptions can be obtained by applying to the Border Force Commissioner. Carriers are offering only first or business class tickets to try to recover costs for each flight and some have stopped selling tickets to Australia altogether.

But Sugar is not the only visiting international welcomed as for screen production. Hulu drama Nine Perfect Strangers is filming in NSW with Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Manny Jacinto, ABC resumed production on Wakefield, and Tom Hanks is on the Gold Coast for Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis project. In July,  the government also announced a $400 million incentive to attract film and television productions to Australia.

The Celebrity Apprentice Australia is being produced by Warner Bros., who also make The Masked Singer, and The Bachelor franchise, amongst others.

28 Comments:

      • to TV or not to TV

        Oh same here, love the UK version!! Hilarious to watch the aspiring business leaders bumble their way through challenges making hare brained decisions for a losing result. And then for Lord Sugar, Karen and Claude to roast them in the boardroom! A simple pleasure I enjoy.

        Speaking of Karen and Claude, no news if they are joining him? I hope they do.

  1. It’s a delicate balance between finding safe ways to keep lucrative deals and to maintain safe boundaries. AFL, Tom Hanks, Lord Alan Sugar etc. seem very lucrative for television and employment opportunities. Bringing home stranded Australian citizens had been hampered by safety caps and lack of cooperation between state and federal governments but there seems to be more concerted effort now as it fulfills diplomatic obligations to assist or aid repatriation in these sort of circumstances as much as possible, even if the stranded Australians have to pay repatriation costs.

  2. People are blaming the Australian Government when it’s the airlines setting the expensive fares which they are entitled to do with only a limited number of passengers they can only hold on their planes and not toention the limited amount of flights. Alan Sugar would have paid top dollar just like anyone else wanting to come into the country. That’s the world we live in at the moment and u can’t change it. So if these stranded Australians are really desparate to come back theyll need to cough up the doe some how.

  3. Well, if he was able to afford the First Class flight that everyone keeps getting offered and declining when they’re booted out of Economy and/or Business then I don’t see the problem. It’s not like everyone is complaining that they can’t get into or back home to Australia in First Class. The problem is that many Australian’s can’t afford to pay the hefty ticket price!

  4. Well then, if people are offended by this, then this means we’d better not fly in any international cricket teams this summer! Like, seriously, come on people, if you don’t agree with this scenario, than don’t watch the show?

    People should of just come home when they were told, in March & April…

    • I’m based in London was due to fly to Sydney on 23 March from Oslo. The week before Norway closed its borders. The UAE then announced that beginning 25 March it would not accept any transit passengers. Etihad cancelled all its flights beginning 23 March to transit and Emirates very quickly followed. Qatar banned transit too. I was stranded. Then Qantas packed up shop. Then one-by-one over the next week everything stopped flying, and countries were in hard lockdown. I managed to get to London in total lockdown and every transit country for any flights still flying, closing to transit traffic. So how was I to travel when I was told in March or April as you say? There were no flights. As flights restarted, a capacity control of 30 people per aircraft was introduced. Estimates are there are 100,000 Aussies trapped overseas – so how long will it…

  5. No matter what you think of this man or his show, it is creating work for many Australians who may not have a job if he wasn’t here. As with the Baz Luhrmann film, and the others mentioned, without these few stars here, literally hundreds of Australians may be out of work.
    And he (well, Nine) would have paid top dollar to secure a flight, more than any other would-be passenger could afford. The Government states how many people are allowed in, but I’ll guarantee it’s the airline who determines who travels.

    • What a simple question. The answer not so. I had a house I was paying for and could not just leave, the lease is up at the end of September. I had a removals firm ready to pack up all my worldly good to be sent back home but was near impossible in lockdown as they have to do it. My home in Sydney was rented until the beginning of August and excuse me for being compassionate but I would not nor would I have been able to throw out the tenants. I have somewhere to stay here in the UK and am not suffering hardship and will one day be back home but its not as simple as people believe. Enjoy Celebrity Apprentice. Why didn’t I just fly back? Hmmm

    • Ok the simple answer to why these ‘stranded aussie’ did fly back in march/april was that initially Scott Morrison told any Australians who had work and accommodation overseas to stay there. Many Australian did that because they thought that there jobs was secure since then many people have then lost there jobs (similar to that in Australia) and as a result of that they need to go back to Australia because any visa they are on depends on having a jobs. This is just one of the many issues people have been bumped of flights, costs of flights have gone up. Australia is one of the only countries limiting their own citizens coming back. Ironically you can fly from Australia to the UK without having to quarantine or self-isolate…..

    • Those who were holidaying overseas returned months ago. Thousands of Australians who live overseas with stable permanent jobs stayed there as the pandemic started. Lots of them have since unexpectedly lost their jobs and can’t get another. They don’t want to come home to Australia and move into their parent’s spare bedroom but have no choice because they can’t get a job.

  6. Ok I will say this before anyone has a go at me I am a Australian overseas (whether i want to come back or not I will not say) I have no issue with this. He possible would have paid business class to go to Australia. He has flown in to support the Australian entertainment industry. The TV show he will be involved in will help employ people where it is needed. What makes his no difference to Tom Hanks, Jane Seymour, Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCartney, or even Felicity Ward who flew back from London to be in a show. All of these people are doing things to help the industry.

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