The contestant who dropped out of The Apprentice because he could not face being apart from his wife and young children for up to three months has said the decision to leave was the hardest one he has ever made.
Adam Freeman, 31, who lives in Chigwell, Essex, with his wife Joanna and their daughters, Sienna and Peyton, was due to be one of 16 candidates in the current series of the hit BBC1 reality TV show which began on Wednesday.
Despite living just a mile from Sir Alan Sugar, Mr Freeman does not know the businessman who, on Wednesday’s show referred to Mr Freeman’s departure as “bottling it”.
Mr Freeman said: “When you are going through the interviews beforehand, I don’t think you realise quite what you are letting yourself in for. You are contracted to be away for eight weeks and you can only speak to your family once a week.
“I really wanted to do it. It is something not everyone gets to experience. But I was in that hotel room at nine or 10 at night — this was back in September when The Apprentice is filmed.
“At the time, Sienna was just two-and-a-half and Peyton was just a few months old. I was thinking about not seeing them for eight weeks. I knew that being picked for the show was an amazing opportunity, but I also realised that I couldn’t see it being advantageous to my life in the future.
“I am content and really happy, and this wouldn’t make my life better. But it was the hardest decision I have had to make in my life.”
Mr Freeman, who is a member of South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue in Newbury Park, added: “It was the right decision.
“My wife would have never stopped me doing it because she is an amazing person but it would have been wrong for me to leave her to cope alone with two young children.”
Even without a boost from an appearance on The Apprentice, Mr Freeman’s may yet be a name to watch: the former Ilford County High pupil sold his mobile-phone content company, Phunky Phones, for £1.4million in 2003.
He is currently setting up a new company, Mr Lender, a website loan company based on a hugely successful US operation called Payday Loans.