Alan Sugar slams Katie Hopkins over Cilla Black tweet

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Sugar has hit out his former Apprentice candidate Katie Hopkins after she mocked celebrities paying their respects for Cilla Black on Twitter.

Twitter’s self dubbed “Queen of Controversy” sparked outrage yesterday when she posted a sarcastic tweet attacking stars who were in a “rush to gush”.

She tweeted: “If there are any celebrities who haven’t yet tweeted their sadness over Cilla, please report to Sincerity Services immediately #rushtogush.”

Alan Sugar slams Katie Hopkins over Cilla Black tweet

The comment was greeted with understandable outrage, leading Hopkins’ one-time potential employer to hit out at the former Celebrity Big Brother contestant.

Alongside a retweet of another of her posts – “understand people love Cilla. But the race to proclaim this on Twitter is a curious thing” – Lord Sugar replied: “Why don’t you shut up idiot!”

Clearly keen to stir the situation, Hopkins teased: “Calm down @Lord_Sugar, you know you love your favourite Apprentice really …”

To which Sugar – also known for his spats on social media – rebuked: “Enough with the controversy BS you need to know where to draw the line. This was too far.”

Alan Sugar slams Katie Hopkins over Cilla Black tweet

Hopkins made the comments after tributes poured in on Twitter following the news that TV personality and singer had passed away in Spain over the weekend.

Prime Minister David Cameron lead the tributes, calling Black a “huge talent”.

“Cilla Black was a huge talent who made a significant contribution to public life in Britain. My thoughts are with her family,” he tweeted.

TV host – and long time fried of Black – Paul O’Grady spoke about his deep connection with his Merseyside “sister”.

Paying tribute to Cilla, he told reporters: “We’’e been friends for nearly 20 years. She’s like my sister.

“We had a week together in Barbados at the beginning of the year and I saw her on my birthday.

“I thought she was well. I can’t believe it to tell you the truth… I kept telling her she’d outlive us all. She’s such a strong lady.”

Cilla – a long-time friend of other openly gay stars – had previously spoken of her iconic status within the gay community.

She said: “I don’t know why I’ve got so many gay friends. I just seem to attract gay men

“They call you a Fag Hag for that over here, don’t they. In America you’re a ‘Fruit Fly’ – I prefer that.”

The star’s cause of death has yet to be confirmed.