RETIRED vet John Hewer is in no doubt his son Nick is well placed to give tycoon Alan Sugar the very best advice on who should be fired on TV's The Apprentice.
Yesterday evening a huge audience was expected to tune in to the final of the BBC2 programme that was set to decide which of the two remaining contestants should become Sir Alan's apprentice and win a £100,000 a year job for 12 months.
Mr Hewer, 90, who lives in Old Town, Swindon, is proud of his son who grew up in Swindon before moving to London to become a PR consultant.
"I think he does very well on the programme," he said. "He is a sensible person and I think Sir Alan Sugar trusts him.
"I am a fan of the programme and I think he comes across very well. Some people around here realise he is related to me but not that many.
"Nick and his brothers went away to school so most of their friends were from outside of the area. He was born in Swindon but he hasn't lived here for a long time. He is in France most of the time now but I speak to him on the telephone quite a bit and give him my reaction to the programme. It seems to be very well received.
"But Nick isn't as stern and serious as he comes across."
The final last night was between telecoms consultant Michelle Dewberry, 26 and sales manager Ruth Badger, 27.
Last week Sir Alan fired salesman Paul Tulip, 25, even though Mr Hewer spoke up for him.
Nick Hewer, who was one of five children, started off in PR in the mid 60s and first came across Sir Alan when his company was chosen to represent Amstrad back in 1983.
Since then he and Sir Alan have become firm friends and stay in close contact.
Nick Hewer said: "Sir Alan is a very generous friend. The best thing about working for him was there was always something going on he has vibrancy about him." When Mr Hewer retired Sir Alan put on a dinner at the Dorchester for 100 guests.
Mr Hewer's role in Sir Alan's empire was to work with the media and press but he also became an integral part of Amstrad's company management.
He sold his PR agency in 1998 and now spends much of his time abroad.
Mr Hewer remembers having lunch with Sir Alan one day when the phone rang. "It was some bloke who had gone to a property auction for Sir Alan," said Mr Hewer. "He ended the phone call, turned to me and said, Got it lovely building in the middle of Liverpool. It's for the grandchildren'."
Mr Hewer remembers the time that Sir Alan sent a fax to a video-recorder manufacturer in China. "Brilliantly funny," he says. "They had the office rolling around. Dear Mr Ching Chang Chong, we received your video. It is shit.' All spelt out in bold. In capital letters.
"Every sentence a few words long. There was no fear of Mr Ching Chang Chong misunderstanding exactly what he was saying.
"His use of language is very explicit, but he has this real ability to communicate."
Mr Hewer's father has also done well in business after following his own dad's footsteps as a vet.
He was invited back to Drove Road Veterinary Surgery in December 2005 when an extension was added to the premises.
Mr Hewer had retired from the surgery in 1977. His own father had started work there as a vet in 1912.