We love Raef Bjayou

He looked 12, sounded posh and, worst of all, he’s a barrister with a name that sounded like a Wiltshire village. With hindsight, poor Nicholas de Lacy-Brown didn’t stand much of a chance in episode one of The Apprentice. To make a bad gig worse, poor Nick wasn’t too great at pricing wet fish; and if there’s one thing we know about Sir Alan Sugar, it’s that he likes a man that can price, and shift, stuff.

As usual in the first test, Sir Alan sent his apprentices off to do a basic selling job. Last year, it was fruit; this time, it was fish in Islington market. You can’t help thinking that this first task favours the girls who, let’s face it, are more likely to wangle a few late pennies from London shopkeepers by flashing their eyelashes. (Cue angry emails.) Sure enough, the ladies pipped the lads in a distinctly inauspicious performance by both sides.

Personally, I’m most cheered by the cult following that “entrepreneur” Raef Bjayou already seems to be garnering. Looking strangely reminiscent of seventies soap icon Kate O’Mara, our entrepreneurial friend got the biggest cheer of the night in Adrian Childs’ follow-on programme on BBC2, The Apprentice – You’re Fired. With his extraordinarily loooooooong, drawn-out phrasing, quite frankly mad hair, and deliciously snooty references to other “mere mortals”, I think we may have a star entrepreneur on our hands.

Overall, a pretty good start to the latest series. Sir Alan looks as if he’s up for this one. “This is a business bootcamp”, he announced to the poor would-be apprentices. And we’ll be in the front row.

Related storiesSir Alan Sugar: “they call me a wanker and then they lose ?1bn”Alan Sugar’s new entrepreneur apprenticeSir Alan Sugar: women employers are more ruthless than menRaef Bjayou, The Apprentice and the blogs

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