Nick Hewer quits The Apprentice “with relief, tinged with regret – my stamina’s not up to it”

He's not fired - but he is tired! Lord Sugar's aide admits that at 70 years of age the pace of the business show is becoming too much for him

Candidates come and candidates go but alongside Lord Sugar one man has been a constant during the ten years The Apprentice has been on our screens. Nick Hewer has occupied a chair at the grizzled one’s side for a decade now and, at 70 years of age, he’s finally decided he’s had enough of chasing overblown business hopefuls around the city streets.

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“I’ve been pondering my departure from The Apprentice for a while and have decided that year 10 is the appropriate time,” said Hewer.

“I’ve enjoyed being part of this wonderful television series for two reasons: firstly, because it’s been fun and has opened up many unexpected opportunities for me, but more importantly, because I think The Apprentice is a truly valuable programme, teaching young people the basics of business – not in a classroom setting, but in a wonderfully entertaining format.

“And the winners each year validate the value of the show – talented, creative and hardworking young people, all of whom are making a great success of their businesses.

“So I leave with relief, tinged with regret. Anyone can do what [fellow aide] Karren [Brady] and I have been doing, but it takes stamina to follow the candidates week after week, and my stamina is not up to those long weeks.

“I shall continue to enjoy the show from my armchair, marvelling at the candidates’ self-esteem, at the sky-high production values of the producers and at the extraordinary talent of my old friend Alan Sugar.”

Hewer made the announcement as he was filming Sunday’s series ten final, which will be his last show.

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For those who still need their fix of gentleman Nick, he continues to host Channel 4’s slightly more sedate series Countdown on weekday afternoons.