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The Apprentice candidate
Raef Bjayou.jpg
Raef Bjayou
Version: UK Series
Series: Series 4
Fired: Week 9
Age: 27
Home Town: North West London
Profession: Entrepreneur
Qualifications: BA (Hons) Politics and History from the University of Exeter
Name Fired
Lee McQueen Winner
Claire Young Week 12
Helene Speight Week 12
Alex Wotherspoon Week 12
Lucinda Ledgerwood Week 11
Michael Sophocles Week 10
Raef Bjayou Week 9
Sara Dhada Week 8
Jennifer Maguire Week 7
Jenny Celerier Week 7
Kevin Shaw Week 6
Lindi Mngaza Week 5
Simon Smith Week 4
Ian Stringer Week 3
Shazia Wahab Week 2
Nicholas de Lacy-Brown Week 1

Raef Bjayou was a candidate on the fourth series of the UK edition of The Apprentice. Raef was fired in week nine.


Raef was brought up in North West London on 25th October 1972 where he remained for much of his youth. His father is half-Portuguese and his mother is English. Raef went to the University of Exeter where he achieved his BA (Hons) Politics and History. Raef is the second candidate from Exeter's University to enter The Apprentice, the first being series three's Katie Hopkins.

His grandmother gave him his first apartment four years prior to his Apprentice début, and now he owns a number of properties including one worth £600,000 in Hampstead, London as well as others in Dollis Hill, Fulham and Ealing.

Raef has spent one year abroad as an entrepreneur in America and also a year as a voluntary aid worker in Ethiopia. Raef also commented "I have stared death in the face many times."

According to The Apprentice: You're Fired!, Raef was part of the audience for the BBC series Question Time in a 2007 episode. He asked a question, but this was cut from the show.

The Apprentice[]

"The spoken word is my tool..."
——Raef's quote from week six.

In his first appearance, he was on the boys' team which was named Rennaisance, and the task was selling fish. Raef was on the losing team and was took back into the boardroom (for choosing poor locations to sell) by project manager Alex Wotherspoon along with fellow contestant Nicholas de-Lacy Brown. In the end, Nicholas was fired for labelling items wrong as well as seeming out of his depth to Lord Alan Sugar.

Raef was project manager in week two, and he won the task. After the apparent divide in the team throughout week one, it seemed everyone was once again working together. The task was doing laundry and pulling in the most profits.

For week three Raef was on the losing team but was not brought back into the boardroom. He was on the winning team for week four and was part of the team re-shuffle. He was moved from Renaissance to Alpha, which was originally the girls' team. He was once again on the losing team in week five, but was not brought back into the boardroom.

In week six Raef came up with the winning idea for a new occasion to create a greeting card for. His idea, "Singles' Day" was more popular than the idea created by Rennaisance which was an environmental day. For this task Raef and Michael Sophocles were confused over how "Singles'" should be written, and questioned where the apostrophe should be placed. They spent up to three hours, and contacted the The Daily Telegraph for help. Sir Alan criticized this when Nick Hewer reported this back. On Rennaisance, Kevin Shaw was fired, which was met by some criticism from his team mates who believed Sara Dhada should be fired. Upon returning to the house, Sara was questioned about what she actually did by Lee McQueen who began to raise his voice. Jenny Celerier also contributed to what came across bullying along with Alex. At this point Raef stepped in and told the group to stop firing questions at Sara, and that Sir Alan has made a decision which they should not question. Raef was praised for this on his appearance on You're Fired! as well as Sara's appearance.

During week seven, Raef managed to obtain the cowhide for the task of buying products as cheap as possible in Marrakkech. His team won the task. For week eight the task was choosing wedding dresses and cakes to sell. Raef made the risky decision of choosing the most expensive dresses, despite Claire Young recommending the cheaper ones. Lucinda Ledgerwood went with Raef's choice deeming that they could make more money. No dresses had sold, so Raef dressed as the dress company's mascot, a large teddy bear, in attempts to draw in customers. This was unsuccessful. Eventually sales came in, with a number of dresses selling. In the boardroom Sir Alan asked who had made this choice and Raef put his hands up to it. Sir Alan questioned if he knew what a risk it was and congratulated him on his choice when it was revealed they had won.

Week nine's task was creating an advert for a new brand of tissues. Raef was moved back to Rennaisance and despite Michael requesting he be project manager after being in the firing line the previous two weeks, Sir Alan chose Raef to be project manager. Michael revealed he had a background in acting as did Raef, and the two saw it as a creative opportunity. Raef asked Siân Lloyd to appear in their advert playing a mother which she did. Raef and Michael decided to remove shots of the tissue box close up because they felt it was ruining the advert. In the presentation room, Claire was chosen to do their speech. Alpha had made an advert that was deemed not visually appealing and Lee's speech was not very well spoken due to him forgetting lines. Back in the boardroom, Rennaisance were shocked to hear they had lost due to not showing the tissue box in the advert and not even mentioning tissues in Michael's voiceover. Raef brought Michael and Claire into the boardroom. Sir Alan criticized choosing Siân Lloyd to be in the advert as well as Claire's product design. Michael claimed everything that was good about it was down to him, and despite having been in the boardroom for what was now the third time, Sir Alan fired Raef calling him "a lot of hot air". Nick commented after that behind Raef's elegance there is little to him, which Sir Alan agreed with.

Raef returned in week twelve, the finalé of series four as part of Rennaisance which was lead by finalists Helene and Alex. He assisted them in designing their fragrance as well as their marketing event. Rennaisance lost to Alpha due to the design of it not having been researched in terms of cost.

After the Apprentice[]

Appearing on You're Fired! he was praised for his defence of Sara and the majority of the audience voted that he should have stayed.

During the course of the series airing, he gained a number of fans including Jonathan Ross which was revealed during his interview with Sir Alan on an episode of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Raef had a number of exit interviews (as did all other candidates) and made a guest appearance on the May 27th 2008 edition of The One Show hosted by Adrian Chiles who also hosts You're Fired!. He read a poem on pylons to a pylon enthusiast as part of the "unusual hobbies" section which had been running on the show. In the last episode of You're Fired! as well as You're Hired! Raef was part of the audience. When Chiles commented on Lucinda's argument with Helene in week four, Lucinda (whom was sitting close to Raef) asked Raef for back up over what Helene was actually doing due to him having been the only other team member present at the time of the argument. He declined getting involved despite Chiles encouraging him to talk out against a team mate after him not being angry with Michael.

Raef then went on to appear on the Channel 4 comedy panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats on a team with Vic Reeves.

In July 2008, it was announced Raef would become a regular presenter on Richard and Judy's new television series for the channel Living. This ties in with Raef's statement of wanting to pursue a career in media.

During the broadcast of series six it was revealed that Raef has a crush on Karren Brady.[1]


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