Reece Donnelly has said leaving The Apprentice due to “health issues” was the “one of the hardest choices” he ever had to make.
The 25-year-old, who owns a theatre school in Glasgow, was hoping to become the first Scottish candidate to hear the words “you’re hired” from Lord Alan Sugar and get the £250,000 business investment before he was revealed to have left the process on Thursday.
Donnelly was featured in the opening of the latest episode before the contestants headed to Dubai to provide luxury work away days in the latest task.
However, he was missing from the rest of the show and did not compete with his teammates.
In the boardroom, Lord Sugar later told the candidates: “As you know Reece wasn’t able to take part in the task and has subsequently left the process.”
Following the episode, Reece told BBC Scotland’s The Edit on Saturday: “Unfortunately I had to leave the process due to health issues.
“I know there is a million and one media speculation and stories running around and I just want to make that clear.”
Donnelly added: “Sometimes you just need to listen to your body is all I have got to say on it, and the show is tough.
“For me, who is such a go-getter, it was one of the hardest choices I have ever had to make but it is a choice that I stand by now.
“Nine months later, I’m all good and I’m here.”
He also said: “Me being me and me being Scottish I am giving it welly every episode, every task, and I feel like if I was to do it again I would have stood back and let other people run.”
Donnelly did not take part in the aftershow, The Apprentice: You’re Fired, hosted by comedian, Tom Allen on Thursday.
Worcestershire-based Joseph Phillips, who studied zoology and became a safari guide in South Africa, was fired by Lord Sugar and did appear in the episode.
A spokesperson for The Apprentice said: “Reece was unable to continue in the process, this was discussed and agreed between Reece and programme-makers.”
Donnelly’s full interview is on BBC Scotland on 7.15pm on Saturday.