Apprentice runner-up Jim Eastwood has revealed he is proud to have earned his “Jedi” nickname for his powers of manipulation.

The 32-year-old sales and marketing manager missed out on Lord Sugar’s investment, but was rewarded with a certificate for being the ‘The World’s Greatest Salesperson’ by the business mogul.

The Irish charmer was dubbed “Jedi Jim” by followers of the show after he used his silver tongue not only to land excellent business deals, but also to talk his way out of boardroom showdowns with Lord Sugar.

Jedi Knights first appeared in the blockbuster film Star Wars, harnessing “the force” as a mind control technique.

He said: “You know what, it’s a compliment. Star Wars is one of the biggest films in the world, with Jedis being synonymous with having special powers to be able to influence people.

“In business that’s one of the most important skills, influencing people, and I couldn’t have got a higher accolade for that. So I’m delighted actually.”

After pitching his team’s biscuit to Asda in week nine, Jim won the biggest sales order in Apprentice history of £1.6 million – and this was acknowledged by Lord Sugar.

Jim added: “He said I was the greatest salesperson he’s ever had and he gave me a certificate for The World’s Greatest Salesperson. He doesn’t give away compliments easily, so that was a major accolade.”

The salesman, from Northern Ireland, added: “It’s got pride of place in my house. It’s a busy time in the Eastwood household, my wife’s heavily pregnant and I’m in the middle of The Apprentice frenzy, so it’s a fantastic time and it’s been a remarkably positive experience.”

Jim talked his way out of the boardroom in week five, after his team lost the dog food task, partly due to his idea to brand it as Everydog, resulting in his friend Vincent Disneur being fired.

But Jim insisted they are still good friends, saying: “We’re still pedigree chums.”