Nick Hewer quits The Apprentice

Nick Hewer has announced he is leaving 'The Apprentice' after 10 years but admits his decision is "tinged with regret"

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Nick Hewer

Nick Hewer

Nick Hewer has quit 'The Apprentice'.

The 70-year-old PR expert is leaving his position as Lord Alan Sugar's trusted right-hand man after 10 years on the BBC business reality show.

In a statement, Nick - who appears on the programme with Baroness Karren Brady - said: "I've been pondering my departure from 'The Apprentice' for a while and have decided that year 10 is the appropriate time. So I leave with relief, tinged with regret. Anyone can do what Karren 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."

Nick also revealed he is very proud at what he and Lord Sugar have achieved on the series over the last decade.

He added: "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 hard-working young people, all of whom are making a great success of their businesses."

Nick - who hosts Channel quiz show 'Countdown' - also posted a goodbye to his fans on Twitter, tweeting: "So farewell Apprentice - it's been 10 yrs of fun working on a worthwhile show but now it's time to file the notebook and throttle back. Bye (sic)"

Lord Sugar paid tribute to his friend on the social networking site, writing: "It's with a heavy heart I have to say farewell to my good friend Nick Hewer from the apprentice. I thank him sincerely for the past 10 years (sic)"

Nick has been on 'The Apprentice' since it began in 2005. He originally judged the candidates with advisor Margaret Mountford, before Margaret left in 2009 to be replaced by Karren.

He began his career with Lord Sugar in 1983 when he was responsible with promoting the businessman's Amstrad electronics brand.

The final of this year's 'Apprentice' airs on BBC One on Sunday (21.12.14) and will see Bianca Miller and Mark Wright battle it out for a £250,000 investment for their business from Lord Sugar.

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