Claude Ritenour misses next series after accident

Karen Brady, Sir Sugar, Claude Ritenour

Lee Ritenour with Karen Brady and Sir Sugar (right)

Claude Ritenour will be absent from the next series of Apprentices while recovering from a cycling accident.

A businessman had an accident in April when he injured his right leg while riding an electric bicycle, so doctors considered disconnecting.

He has had nine surgeries so far and will have another on July 19th.

Former apprentice winner Tim Campbell will join Sir Alan Sugar and Baroness Karren Brady when the series returns to BBC One in early 2022.

Rittner had previously seen interviews with show candidates and replaced Nick Huwer in the program in 2015.

Sir Sugar said he had been talking to his longtime friends and colleagues on a regular basis and wanted to return to the meeting room “immediately”.

When the accident happened, Ritenour, 72, said he was “pottering” near his home in northern London.

“I suspect I’ve hit a pothole or something like that,” he said. “The next thing I knew was that I was lying on the ground.”

An ambulance took him to the trauma unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where the surgeon succeeded in saving his leg.

Rittner said he had lost two stones (12.7 kg) because he had an “absolute determination” to recover from the accident.

He said he was equally determined to return to Apprentice as soon as possible, adding:

“While disappointed with the tasks in this next series and not being able to attend the conference room, I’m definitely stuck in action from the couch.”

Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell takes on the role of Ritenour while recovering

Campbell, who won the first series of Apprentice in 2005, said he was “sad” and “excited” to fill his chair when he heard Ritenour’s accident.

“I didn’t downplay the decision because I was attending the show myself and I knew the hard work it would take,” he added. “I hope Claude is the best to recover.”

The apprentice sees up-and-coming candidates competing in a series of tasks, which one will eventually be selected as Sir Sugar’s new business partner.

Karren Brady joined the panel in 2009 after Margaret Mountford left.

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