‘I almost had to quit The Apprentice’

Tre had almost quit The Apprentice. (BBC)
Tre had almost quit The Apprentice. (BBC) (BBC/Naked)
  • The Apprentice's Tre Lowe admitted his family were close to calling him out of the process after his mum nearly died while he was filming but his wife took really good care of her in his absence.

  • Having made the final five before being fired, Lowe spoke candidly to Yahoo about his experiences on The Apprentice and how he plans to keep in touch with Lord Alan Sugar.

My mum and dad both have Parkinson’s and I’m their primary carer.

I had so much going on while I was on The Apprentice. I was also planning a wedding because I was getting married that year. It probably wouldn't have been the best time to go on The Apprentice but I thought, ‘You're getting married, next year you're probably going to be a father. When is the best time?’ The best time is now.

I found out afterwards when I came home that my mum nearly died while I was on The Apprentice. My mum went downhill real quick and I was shocked by that. At one point, my family were thinking of calling me out of the process. Luckily, my now wife really took care of my mum and she was literally feeding her pills daily. I had all that stuff going on as well as the challenges being in there.

I came into The Apprentice process pretty last minute. My wife encouraged me to do it. I had to wrestle with this sense of ‘I don’t really want to be on TV’ and that was quite hard for me. People would expect I would want to be on the TV but that’s the opposite of the truth. I’m from a band Architechs where me and my brother Ashley made music where the genre is all about being in the background. We’re producer songwriters. Even when we made Body Groove, my brother refused to be on the video because he didn’t want his face on it and I said no too because we weren’t into that. That was one of my biggest hurdles to get over.

Sat on the sofa before filming, part of me was thinking: ‘I could actually leg it’. Seriously. That went through my head. But then I thought, ‘No this is a challenge.’ Anytime you are faced with a challenge, you grow and thank god I stayed for it.

The Apprentice's Tre, Paul M, Rachel, Phil and Flo made the final five. (BBC)
The Apprentice's Tre, Paul M, Rachel, Phil and Flo made the final five. (BBC) (FreemantleMedia Ltd)

Ashley was a big part of why I was in The Apprentice process because he died as far as we know from Covid. But I think he also died because he was a single older man. Single older men are so vulnerable, the amount of men that I've known that have passed away because men are so stubborn. They don't seek help when they should. I want to kill that notion of toxic masculinity that we shouldn't cry or we shouldn't share when we're going through stuff. I think had my brother shared a bit more he might be alive. He waited six days before he tried to go to A&E and he didn't make it.

So it's such an important reason why I'm creating this whole wellness brand, Lifetime Fusion, and it's not just for men. The first product would have been for men and following on from that it would be for all different demographics. Initially I wanted to open up the subject around men and the vulnerability of what a lot of men go through. As painful as it is, I'm a big believer in when someone passes that you honour them by living the biggest version of life you could be. Which is why I would never have left that sofa and not gone on The Apprentice.

Mike surprises Tre with a sample of his product
Mike Soutar surprised Tre with a sample of his product. (BBC) ((BBC))

I was very aware in the time constraint I had. I didn’t really have time to go through the finer details of my business plan. It could have been different if I had more time to go and speak with my partners in Scotland, The Drinks Lab. But under the circumstances, I am so proud of what I achieved.

I was 48 at the time, but 49 now. If someone had given the description of me: He's from UK Garage. He's 48/49 from a music background. He did that song Body Groove. Come on in the music world, great, legendary even! But in the business world, they're thinking: 'That guy's gonna last two seconds. Lord Sugar's not gonna get on with him. He's gonna be gone.'

Here I am in the final five and not just the final five. The level of love I've been shown, specifically by Lord Sugar. I don't think he's ever spoken about one candidate the way he did in that interview, speaking about me. And he admitted, 'I wasn't sure about Tre at first but he really grew on me.' He's a hero of mine. I absolutely love the man to bits.

Tre impressed Lord Alan Sugar during The Apprentice process
Tre impressed Lord Alan Sugar during The Apprentice process. (BBC) ((BBC))

I'm the biggest fan of Lord Sugar because I'm old enough to remember Amstrad. Just the pride of seeing someone that also grew up working class, to see this guy with his East London accent killing it in the business world. My heroes were always Lord Sugar and Richard Branson. In our age group, we didn't have Elon Musk and Zuckerberg.

So to be on The Apprentice is almost surreal in some ways but it's the best thing I've ever done in my life. I would easily say it's the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life and at the same time it's the most rewarding thing I've ever done. It's crazy!

My hero gave me the biggest endorsement you can have. That door will be open when he says keep in touch because he means that. I'm 100% keeping in touch. I'm too competitive as you've seen but I've always been the world's biggest dreamer and I'm from a family of dreamers. I'm someone that will never give up, never until my dying breath.

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This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/the-apprentice-tre-lowe-almost-quit-140737109.html