Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis has slammed rival BBC show The Apprentice – saying it’s like another version of Big Brother.

The multi-millionaire, 48, who is worth an estimated £125 million, claimed that Sir Alan Sugar’s hit business series had begun to follow a similar format to the Channel 4 reality show.

Theo told the Radio Times: “I used to watch The Apprentice, but it’s become Big Brother.

“They all live in a house together and are given tasks – where do you recognise that? I don’t think it’s challenging any more.”

The tea boy turned millionaire added: “I like Alan Sugar. I think he’s fabulous. But the whole format and the things that the contestants do – it’s not a million miles away from what happens in Big Brother, which isn’t the most intellectually stimulating programme.”

The last series of The Apprentice attracted more than six million viewers for BBC1.

A record audience of almost nine million tuned into the final, when milkman’s son Lee McQueen won the £100,000-a-year job with Sir Alan.

Lee was chosen by Sir Alan even though he was caught lying on his CV.

The third episode of the current series of Dragons’ Den, which sees budding entrepreneurs pitch ideas to a panel of millionaires for possible investment, was watched by 3.4 million people on BBC Two.

Sunday night’s Big Brother highlights show attracted just 2.7 million viewers.