October 13, 2010
Raleigh Addington steps down from The Apprentice.
LONDON, Wednesday 13th October 2010: Raleigh Addington, 23, today speaks out about the devastating events that forced his early exit from BBC One’s The Apprentice.
Shortly before candidates were briefed on their second task, Raleigh received the heartbreaking news that his older brother, army Captain Ed Addington, had been involved in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan leaving him severely injured and fighting for life. Raleigh made the immediate decision to step down from the show and go to his brother’s side, with the producer’s and Lord Sugar’s full support.
Raleigh, who turned heads with an inspired boardroom battle in week one said: “At the start of the second task, I was contacted by the producer of the programme who told me that my mother was on the emergency number and I immediately feared the worst. My mind was buzzing with all kinds of emotions, had Ed been killed or injured in Afghanistan.”
Ed Addington, 26, and his battalion were clearing a route to bring in food and ammunition when insurgents engaged with small arms fire and road side bombs. One of these bombs exploded underneath Ed’s seat and blew him up in the air with his unconscious body found 10 metres from the vehicle.
Four days after the attack, Ed was flown to Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham accompanied by five nurses and three doctors.
Raleigh added: “Ed had suffered a collapsed lung, a brain haemorrhage, multiple fractures to both legs and arm as well as other injuries. He was lucky to be alive. There was never any question of me staying in the show and I knew that I had to be with my parents and my two other brothers to support Ed. I walked out in a daze, not really being able to comprehend the gravity of the events. Lord Sugar gave me a call after I left to make sure my brother and family were ok – it was great to hear from him.”
Ed eventually regained consciousness and has since had sixteen operations. Despite losing much of the use in his legs and left arm, he still has all his limbs and remains mobile aided by a walking stick.
Ed said: “My Battalion was having a busy time in Afghanistan and we all knew the risks, everyone thinks it won’t happen to them but prepares for the worst. Raleigh was next to me as I woke up. When I saw that he was there I was annoyed with him because I thought he had been fired from the first task! He knows family comes first, but I truly believe that Lord Sugar lost his best Apprentice that day.”
Just 10 days after Ed was flown back to the UK, Raleigh took a job as the Operations Director of Tickets For Troops, a charity which works with organisations in the UK to supply tickets to events for British troops and their families.
Discussing the charity, Raleigh said: “It seems very fitting after what has happened to Ed and all the other members of the Armed Forces who have been severely injured or killed. The charity has been a massive success and attracted wonderful support from everyone including Karren Brady who has agreed to become a patron. I’m in charge of the day to day operations and trying to persuade all sorts of organisations to give us free tickets for top sporting events, music events and theatre performances.”
Lord Sugar said: “Raleigh’s decision to step down from the show proves that family should always come before business. We were in full support of his choice and I think his charitable work is particularly admirable. I wish him all the luck for the future.”
TalkbackThames said: “We 100% supported Raleigh’s decision to leave the show and ensured that both he and his brothers were able to reach Ed’s side as quickly as possible. It’s fantastic that Raleigh has gone on to achieve such success with Tickets For Troops and we wish both Raleigh, Ed and all of his family the very best.”
Age: 22 during filming, now 23 Occupation: Unemployed Graduate during filming, now Operations Director Lives: London
Born in Swindon, recent graduate Raleigh is the son of a farmer and a nurse and spent his gap year living in Shanghai, China. A professional tennis coach, Raleigh studied Economics and Politics at Exeter University and once elicited a donation of £1,000,000 when working in the university’s fund raising department. He refers to John Cadbury as a business inspiration and describes himself as “enthusiastic, friendly and ambitious.”
He says: “I’m ruthless, even in Monopoly.”
Raleigh will be appearing on ‘You’re Fired’ tonight at 10pm on BBC Two.