The Apprentice: Shama Amin breaks her silence about the ‘difficult decision’ to leave the show

Virgin Radio

21 Jan 2022, 13:03

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC

Shama Amin left the business competition earlier this week due to health reasons, and now she’s opening up for the first time about why leaving the show was the right choice for her. 

Ahead of the week 3 challenge being announced by Lord Sugar, Shama stopped the tycoon in his tracks when she announced: “Because of medical reasons, due to this process being so physically demanding, despite the efforts the whole team has made to support me, I’ve had to make a difficult decision to leave the process.”

Lord Sugar responded: "Well Shama, I’m really sad to hear that. I wish you and your family all the best for the future.”

After the episode aired, Shama, who has rheumatoid arthritis, told “It was such a difficult decision, but the bottom line is my health comes first. It was very much a heart v head scenario but first and foremost, I’m a mum and after all this I would be going home to my children. I couldn’t push my body beyond its capabilities and risk being bed-bound and not fulfil that role (as a mum).”

Shama made sure to praise the production team behind the competition, and called them ‘incredible and supportive’, but making the decision wasn’t without its hardships. 

She continued: “When the penny finally dropped, and I’d made the decision [to leave], I was overcome with emotion and just really upset. I cried my eyes out; this wasn’t how I wanted to leave. 

“When you’ve been through so much to get on the show and then you’re there in the moment and on a roll – I was just in my element and absolutely loving it. I’m just so gutted and disappointed but the team were so supportive – they really were fantastic and that’s why I can’t have any regrets.”

Despite getting lots of breaks while filming, Shama admitted it wasn’t enough to ensure she could get enough rest to be ready for the next challenge. Even after making the decision to leave, the nursery owner said she couldn’t fault the production team for helping her compete while dealing with her chronic illness. 

When asked about what she would say to future candidates with additional needs or disabilities, Shama explained: “To know that when people say it’s physically demanding, I really cannot stress how true that is! But there’s absolutely no discrimination. 

“The team do everything they possibly can, regardless of who you are. I’d been honest from the start about this condition, and they did everything they could to accommodate me and make me comfortable. It’s nature; this is a natural health condition and there is only so much that is within our human control.”

Could we see Shama back in the boardroom? According to her, she would be more than up for giving it another go. 

Shama revealed: “If I’m completely honest, with the way I’ve had to leave, I would absolutely take the opportunity again to prove I could get to the end – and win. 

“I really would love to do it again, but nothing changes the fact that I have this condition and ultimately, the same thing could happen again. I’d have to be realistic.”

Meanwhile, Shama also admitted the one person she bonded with the most was fellow candidate Navid, who was unfortunately sent home last night. 

When spoke to him after his departure, Navid only had good things to say about Shama. 

He said: “She's been nothing but inspirational. I wouldn't ever imagine me and Shama being in the boardroom where we have to go against each other because I couldn't do it personally, because I'm not a person to throw people under the bus just for money, you know what I mean? So I've got lots of respect for her and I hope obviously, she gets well really soon."

The Apprentice continues on BBC One on Thursday at 9pm.