Lord Sugar has boasted he is ‘far superior’ to reality show rival Simon Cowell.

The Apprentice star branded The X Factor ‘old fashioned’ and said: “We are completely different. We are a business programme, which is also quite entertaining.”

The straight-talking businessman also hit out at some of the new wannabe business tycoons and said that some of the contenders from Junior Apprentice could give them ‘a run for their money’.

Lord Sugar, who is starring in the sixth series of the show starting next week, said too many of the new contestants did not realise it was also a team game in its early stages.

He said: “They don’t understand the word ‘team’, there is too much jockeying for position, seniority, or wanting to show who is clever or who is not clever.”

And he said it was impossible to try and pick a winner from the first few shows.

He said: “Some of them, you feel in the very early stages are as bright as a button and shine, and they get different types of tasks and just fall away.”

There are a few differences to this year’s show, with the unlucky contenders who get the boot having to face comic Dara O’Briain in the BBC Two fan show You’re Fired!

Another change sees West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady step up to take the place of long-time Sugar sidekick Margaret Mountford.

Karren said: “Nick and I are very conscious to keep our distance really. We’re not their friends, we’re not their mentors, we’re not their advisor.

“Our job is purely to observe and watch what they do so we can give an accurate report. We don’t fraternise.”

CLICK here for our photo gallery of the 16 Apprentice hopefuls