Raef Bjayou believes The Apprentice turned him into a ‘great leader’, despite being axed from the show.

Likeable buffoon Raef, 27, said he was fired by Sir Alan Sugar because he was not “gritty” enough.

The ever-confident entrepreneur said he was dropped by the business tycoon because he was not as ‘in your face’ as his rivals.

He said: “I learnt a lot about myself on The Apprentice, about how I can improve myself as a businessman.

“I learnt that as a leader if you are put in charge of a group of people, to use the legal jargon, the burden of proof is on you to prove what other people’s skills are.

“It’s important when leading a team to draw out the skills of other people, even when they might not be so forthcoming with those skills.

“A good leader inspires confidence in him, but a great leader inspires others to have confidence with themselves. That’s what I did.

“Before going on The Apprentice I didn’t give people the time of day if I believed their first impressions.

“That didn’t bring out their skills. Now I try to prise those skills out of them.”

He added of becoming the latest candidate to leave the BBC One series: “I just think I didn’t come across as gritty enough. The others are more in your face, and that’s how Sir Alan got to where he is today.”