Tim Campbell, the winner of the first series of BBC show The Apprentice, has revealed that he was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The 36-year-old entrepreneur, who was crowned Alan Sugar's protégé back in 2005, received the devastating news on the eve of Movember, when men grow moustaches in November to raise awareness about men's health.

While many of his male friends started sprouting facial hair to raise money for charity, he started battling the disease in private.

"Two of our directors grew moustaches last year and, seeing how ridiculous they looked, I thought I'd do the same this year to raise money for charity," the father-of-two told the Evening Standard.

"The day before Movember started, on October 31, I got the call. It was confirmation that I had testicular cancer. I'd gone to see my doctor thinking it was just a normal ache and pain.

Campbell says that telling his family that doctors would have to operate to remove the tumour was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do.

"There is a fear of the word," he said. "My wife was distraught as her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and my mum was devastated.

"I am a great believer in being positive. But I wouldn't have been able to get through it without the strength and support of my family."

He underwent surgery at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital just over a fortnight after his diagnosis. He has since been given the all-clear.

"The medical staff were fantastic," he said. "I know us guys don't like to talk about it, but I'm exactly the same as I was. Thankfully, all my bodily functions are normal."

Campbell , who is the head of client services for recruitment company Alexander Mann Solutions, as well as Boris Johnson's ambassador for training and enterprise, hopes his story will inspire more men to get tested and think harder about their health.

"Cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. Testicular cancer has a 95 per cent success rate if caught in time," he said.