The Apprentice’s Reece breaks silence after unexpected departure from the series

The Apprentice series 17 candidate Reece Donnelly in a suit

The Apprentice said goodbye to not one but two contestants during Thursday (9 February) night’s episode after Reece Donnelly quietly departed the series before the task had even got underway.

Viewers saw the theatre school owner from Glasgow at the beginning of the episode when candidates were told by Lord Sugar that they would be jetting off to Dubai for this week’s task.

However, when the group arrived in Dubai, Reece was nowhere to be seen, with his apparent departure from the series going unacknowledged until the teams returned to the boardroom later in the episode.

Once there, Lord Sugar told them: “As you know, Reece wasn’t able to take part in the task, and subsequently has had to leave the process.”

Candidates on The Apprentice crowd around an iPad
Viewers of The Apprentice caught one last glimpse of Reece at the beginning of Thursday’s episode (BBC)

The mysterious nature of Reece’s departure has led to multiple tabloid reports about the real reason for the Scottish candidate’s exit, and now the businessman has spoken out to share his side of the story.

Posting to Instagram after the episode aired on BBC One, Reece wrote: “Sometimes you need to listen to your body. Well, it’s the end of the apprentice road for me.

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“Unfortunately I took unwell during filming last year and in the worlds of Lord Sugar “ I have left the process “. I want to thank the big man Lord Sugar , Karen, Tim & the team.”

The 25-year-old continued: “It wasn’t the ending I expected, as we all know I was there with one aim, to win. However, What an experience, I’ve met mates for life, I’ve learned new skills & more about myself.

“Ultimately it’s taught me that no one is going to change my life or business, but me.”

A spokesperson for the series told PinkNews: “Reece was unable to continue in the process, this was discussed and agreed between Reece and programme-makers.”

Reece had earlier told STV News: “I was presented with a choice, you know, and I had to listen to my body.”

“It was filmed last year, and I don’t want to ruin the TV-magic for anyone so I won’t say much about that – but sometimes you have to choose your health over wealth.”

The Apprentice continues next Thursday, 16 February at 9pm GMT on BBC One.

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