Sugar sidekick sets off to help farmers

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HE IS more commonly known as the dry and sarcastic sidekick of Lord Sugar on BBC television’s The Apprentice.

However Nick Hewer is to return to our screens for a programme in which he attempts to help struggling farmers to turn around their businesses.

Starting on BBC Two next month, The Farm Fixer will see Mr Hewer share his expertise with five family farms experiencing problems.

The Countdown host will also work as a troubleshooter, helping them to find new ways of making money.

“The small family farm is the backbone of the UK countryside,” said Mr Hewer.

“I wanted to use everything I had learnt, over the past 40 years of business, to help them come through this difficult time.”

The week-long teatime series will see Mr Hewer help farmers to develop new products, create brands and find customers.

Farmers have been encouraged now for several years to diversify into developing new revenue streams and this is an area the show will keenly explore.

Among Mr Hewer’s business ideas are harvesting seaweed, brewing beer, producing flavoured pet water and even entertaining cruise ship groups.

The show starts on July 9 in rural Northern Ireland where, much like many parts of Yorkshire, many small farms have been passed down through generations.

Mr Hewer said he would stick to the business mantra “Doing nothing is not an option”.

Best known for his appearances on The Apprentice, he replaced Jeff Stelling on Countdown at the start of the year.

A public relations man by background, he started his own PR company in 1966 and spent 21 years in the Amstrad management group – where his association with Lord Sugar was formed.

His PR company was hired by Amstrad to represent them in 1983.

He sold the company in 1998.