Nick Hewer announces 'The Apprentice' exit

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Nick Hewer has announced his exit from BBC1 show The Apprentice after a decade as Lord Sugar's aide.

The PR guru, 70, who has worked as an adviser for entrepreneur Lord Sugar on the popular business programme since its' first series in 2005 said he felt his exit comes at 'an appropriate time' as his stamina isn't quite what it used to be.

He added that his departure comes with 'relief tinged with regret'. As well as his role on the series, Hewer has worked closely with Sugar since 1983 when he began promoting the Amstrad brand.

His exit was announced as he filmed the final of this year's series which will air on Sunday night at 9pm. He said tonight, speaking about his exit: 'I've been pondering my departure from The Apprentice for a while and have decided that year 10 is the appropriate time.'

'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.'

'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.'

'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.'

As well as his work on The Apprentice, Hewer presents Channel 4 daytime quiz show Countdown with Rachel Riley.

Are you sad to see Nick leaving? Who can you see replacing him as Lord Sugar's right hand man?