Raef Bjayou

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Raef Bjayou
Raphael Bjayou.

(1980-06-08) 8 June 1980 (age 39)
OccupationEntrepreneur, TV Presenter, Public Speaker, Campaigner
Years active2006—Present

Raphael Bjayou (born 8 June 1980) is a British entrepreneur and television presenter who was fired in week 9 during series four of The Apprentice (UK).


Bjayou was educated at two independent schools in Hertfordshire: at Westbrook Hay School in Hemel Hempstead, where he was school captain, and then Haileybury and Imperial Service College in Hertford Heath (near Hertford). He later attended the University of Exeter,[1] where he studied History and Politics and was a committee member of the university's debating society.[citation needed]

Life and career[edit]

After graduating from University, Bjayou spent some time in Ethiopia engaged in work for the charity, The Addis Ababa Irrigation Project. He spent just over a year there before spending a further year in the British Virgin Islands, selling property. After returning to the UK, he immediately set to work establishing his own import and export company distributing, at first, magazines from the US and then furniture from the Far East. This quickly led to pharmaceutical distribution in Africa, namely the West African countries of Gambia and Senegal. The principal product in this distribution portfolio is a home HIV testing kit, which Raef hopes will one day be distributed throughout the continent.[2]

The Apprentice[edit]

Bjayou struggled in the first episode of the series, getting called back to the boardroom after misidentifying some fish, but he led his team to victory in the next task and soon became one of the favourites to win. He became popular for his distinctive dapper appearance, mannerisms, and sayings such as "The spoken word is my tool",[3] as well as his defence of Sara Dhada when other candidates in the house ganged up on her.[4] He also earned praise from Sir Alan Sugar as a "really nice chap", and Bjayou in turn claims to have an e-mail "rapport" with Sir Alan.[citation needed]


After being dismissed in Week 9 of the show, he suggested to the press that he would like to pursue a career in the media. To this end, he has appeared in an episode of the comedy panel show, 8 out of 10 Cats and was a reporter for the Richard & Judy show.[5] He was a contestant on the second series of The Underdog Show, but was eliminated in the fifth week and has also appeared on Ready Steady Cook, where he beat fellow Apprentice contestant Claire Young. Raef took part in Come Dine with Me, where his friend Ben Duncan (who later competed in Big Brother) cooked some of his food for him and the pair also took part in TV series Celebrity Coach Trip.[6] In 2011 he turned his hand to acting with a small role in an episode of the BBC children's show M.I. High. In 2012 Raef appeared in an episode of Celebrity Wedding Planner on Channel 5 where he planned a wedding for a young couple alongside fellow Apprentice star Stuart Baggs.

In 2014, Raef founded Zephyr:Media, a multi-platform PR, arts and media portal based in Mayfair, London.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Bjayou's interests include acting, lawn tennis and reading. He is a life member of the Exeter University debating society and claims to have "never lost an argument yet".[citation needed] Bjayou is half-Portuguese, he lives in Mayfair, London and prides himself on his appearance and speech. He also owns a property development company which controls a string of properties in London and additionally he inherited a £6.5 million Mayfair flat from his uncle.[8]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Apprentice Candidate
2008 8 out of 10 cats Panellist
2008 The Underdog Show Contestant
2008 Celebrity Come Dine With Me Contestant
2008 What's On in London, for British Airways In-Flight Entertainment Host
2008 The Lorraine Kelly Show Guest
2008 The Wright Stuff Guest
2008 Richard & Judy VoxPops Interviewer
2008 Tonight Guest Presenter
2008 Britain's Best Dish Guest
2008 The Alan Titchmarsh Show Guest
2008 Ready Steady Cook Guest Winner
2008 Daily Cooks' Challenge Celebrity Cook
2008 It Pays to Watch! Guest Golden Pig Winner
2009 Tonight Guest Presenter
2009 Fifth Gear Guest
2009 Celebrity Juice Guest
2009 Hell's Kitchen Dinner Guest
2009 BBC Breakfast Guest
2009 Newsnight Guest Interviewee
2009 Big Brother's Big Mouth Guest
2009 Tonightly Guest


  1. ^ "Haileybury Society - News". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Raef Bjayou, Knight Ayton".
  3. ^ "Apprentice 2008 Contestants - The Apprentice". BBC. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  4. ^ "The Apprentice - Raef Bjayou helped Sara Dhada cope". Archived from the original on 22 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Raef Signs Richard & Judy Deal - TV, actors, Big Brother, soaps, gossip, rumours, TV shows, reviews, pictures". MSN TV UK. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  6. ^ Alex Fletcher (16 September 2010). "Celebrity 'Coach Trip' lineup revealed". Digital Spy.
  7. ^ "Zephyr:Media, Raef Bjayou co-founder".
  8. ^ Paton, Maureen (14 March 2009). "Daily Mail interview with Raef Bjayou". London.