Nick Hewer to leave ‘The Apprentice’ after a decade as Sir Alan Sugar’s aide

Eyebrow-raising sidekick cites the demanding filming schedule as reason for his exit

Nick Hewer has announced that he is leaving The Apprentice.

The former PR consultant has served as one of Sir Alan Sugar’s aides for all ten series since the business reality show began in 2005. He was joined by Margaret Mountford until 2009, and then by Karren Brady from 2010 onwards.

Hewer, who also hosts Channel 4’s Countdown, stepped down after shooting this year’s final, which is set to air on BBC One this Sunday (December 21). The 70-year-old, who has worked with Sugar for over three decades, cited the show’s demanding filming schedule as the reason for his departure.

“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,” Hewer explained. “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 also shared news of his departure with his 208,000 Twitter followers. Hewer started his own PR company in 1966 and was hired to represent Alan Sugar’s Amstrad in 1983. He has hosted Countdown since 2012 and also presented two BBC One series alongside Margaret Mountford, The Town that Never Retired and We All Pay Your Benefits%3E.%3Cblockquote%20class%3D%22twitter-tweet%22%20lang%3D%22en”>

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

— Nick Hewer (@Nick_Hewer) December 18, 2014