Sir Alan Sugar has admitted he dislikes the way in which he is portrayed on television programme The Apprentice.

The Amstrad boss is repeatedly painted as the villain of the reality show, but has claimed audience views of him are inaccurate.

"Like it or not, and I don't like it that much, there's a perception of me just banging the table and shouting," the 60-year-old said.

Sir Alan returns to UK TV screens imminently as the fourth series of The Apprentice begins, but said he dislikes the portrait painted of him by the show's editing.

Talking to the Radio Times, Sugar said he has a "continual argument… with the production people" about the way in which he is depicted.

"The BBC has categorised me as Mr Nasty, so all the humour ends up on the cutting-room floor."

The new contestants on this year's series of The Apprentice include an ex-soldier, a woman who claims to be descended from royalty, trainee barristers, a property developer and a woman who successfully took on City law firm Allen & Overy in a 2003 sex and race discrimination case.

The 2007 series of the show was won by Cambridge graduate Simon Ambrose, who defeated Irish single mother Kristina Grimes to win a £100,000-a-year job with Sir Alan's company Amsprop.

Ambrose is now heading the development of a hotel and golf course near Stansted airport.

18/03/2008 12:14:23