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Lord Alan Sugar to get T3 'Outstanding Contribution Award'

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Lord Alan Sugar is to be celebrated for his 'outstanding contribution to technology' at this year's T3 Awards.

Before he became a household name on BBC One's The Apprentice, Sugar founded Amstrad (a contraction of Alan Michael Sugar Trading) in the 1960s.

Lord Sugar from 'The Apprentice'

© Talkback Thames

The Apprentice s08 e08: Lord Sugar

© BBC / Talkback Thames



Initially selling hi-fi equipment, the company boomed on the rise of personal computing in the 1980s and was at its peak worth £1.2 billion.

Amstrad's fortunes in computing declined in the 1990s, leading to a rather disastrous move into mobile technology via the E-m@iler device.

But the company gained more success in telecoms, including the development of the first satellite dish for Sky. In 2007, the pay-TV giant agreed a deal to buy Amstrad from Sugar for about £125 million.

From humble origins in London's East End, Sugar now has an estimated fortune of £770m, ranking him 89th in the Sunday Times Rich List in 2011.

Alongside The Apprentice, Sugar also found fame for his ten-year ownership of Tottenham Hotspur up to 2001. He was knighted for service to business in 2000, and appointed to the House of Lords in 2009 as the government's Enterprise Tsar.

Karen Brady, Lord Sugar and Nick Hewer from 'The Apprentice'
Lord Sugar is also currently the chairman of YouView, helping to guide the troubled Freeview set top box project to market this summer.

Discussing his T3 Award, Lord Sugar said in a statement: "I have been fortunate enough to receive a few honours and awards over the years, but this one is special and I am proud to accept it.

"When I look back at my career achievements since starting Amstrad in 1967 - from making hi-fi units, computers and the first Sky satellite dishes, to bringing YouView to market this year - the one thing that has kept me motivated is that I am a real tech geek at heart.

"Since I was a child, I've always wanted to crack something open, get my hands in there and understand how it works, be it a stereo, computer processor or a set top box. I'd like to thank T3 and the award judges for recognising the contribution I have made to the industry."

T3 editor Luke Peters added: "Lord Sugar is one of the great names in British technology. Courageous and entrepreneurial in everything he has ever done, we are honoured that he has accepted this award."

Lord Sugar will receive his 'Outstanding Contribution to Technology' award at a ceremony on October 8 hosted by Absolute Radio breakfast presenter Christian O'Connell at Old Billingsgate in London.

Previous recipients of this award include Sir David Attenborough and Jon Rubinstein, the American engineer who played an instrumental role in the development of Apple's iPod.

This year, Lord Sugar will be presented with his award by the co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse, Sir Charles Dunstone.

Often referred to as the 'Oscars of the gadget world', the T3 Gadget Awards will also honour the greatest gadgets, software and personalities who have "wowed the world" over the past 12 months.

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