The Apprentice candidate Richard Woods has admitted that he kept quiet about his medical history to secure his place on this year’s show.
Woods, the 31-year-old director of a digital marketing agency, suffered three mini-strokes shortly before he applied to the BBC1 business contest. He also delayed a procedure to improve his vision so he could compete without wearing an eye patch.
“I was so passionate about succeeding I was willing to risk it all. I was very stupid,” London-based Woods told The Sun.
“I knew they wouldn’t put someone on who had strokes,” he added. “They are normally associated with stress and being fragile. I left it off the application, knowing what I was doing.”
Woods also revealed that his decision to delay his eye treatment had a detrimental effect on his sight, saying: “By the final week I literally can’t see out of my left eye. I was so concerned about showing weakness, I risked losing my left eye. I was also at risk of having a repeat stroke, which could have caused me to be paralysed or even die.”
However, a spokesperson for The Apprentice has dismissed suggestions that Woods’ safety was at risk during his time on the show. “All the arrangements required for Richard’s healthcare were facilitated. At no point did the show’s doctor feel Richard wasn’t well enough to take part in the process, as well as Richard himself saying that he was happy to continue,” the spokesperson said.
The Apprentice continues tonight (December 16) at 9pm on BBC One, with Woods one of five candidates still in contention to secure a £250,000 investment from Sir Alan Sugar.