Latest Richard Branson News

  • Winslet's children chose name Bear
    Winslet's children chose name Bear Wed, Mar 19, 2014

    Kate Winslet has explained the inspiration behind her baby son's unusual name Bear Blaze. More »

  • Public figures support Hacked Off
    Public figures support Hacked Off Tue, Mar 18, 2014

    Sir David Attenborough, Sir Richard Branson and Dame Maggie Smith are among 200 public figures urging newspaper bosses to accept a new press regulator underpinned by Royal Charter. More »

  • Vatican, Anglicans, Muslims unite to fight slavery
    Vatican, Anglicans, Muslims unite to fight slavery Mon, Mar 17, 2014

    Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims came together Monday to fight slavery with the launch of a global network to tackle human trafficking, forced prostitution and child labour. More »

  • Cressida Bonas's Step-Father Died of Drugs Overdose, Rules Coroner
    Cressida Bonas's Step-Father Died of Drugs Overdose, Rules Coroner Sun, Mar 16, 2014

    The 76-year-old stepfather of Prince Harry's girlfriend Cressida Bonas died after overdosing on prescription drugs, a toxicology report has revealed. Former merchant banker Christopher Shaw was the fourth husband of Cressida Bonas's mother, Lady Mary Gaye Curzon. An inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire, heard that he was found dead in the bedroom of his rented home in The Close, near Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, by housekeeper Nicola Smith. Last month 24-year-old dance graduate Cressida was pictured arm-in-arm with her half-brother Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe at Shaw's funeral at Hinton Ampner Church in Hampshire. More »

  • Virgin Mobile Middle East plans Saudi launch by June
    Virgin Mobile Middle East plans Saudi launch by June Sun, Mar 16, 2014

    By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) said it expected to launch telecommunications services in Saudi Arabia in the first half of 2014 after the industry regulator gave it a licence. The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced in June that VMMEA, part-owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, was one of the winning bidders for three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences in the kingdom. The virtual mobile operators do not own the networks they use but instead lease capacity from conventional operators, usually paying them a percentage of revenues as well as fees. More »

  • XCOR hoping to win the space race
    XCOR hoping to win the space race Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    Space enthusiasts keen to explore the skies but deterred by the hefty price tag will soon be able to board a rocket for just a fraction of the cost. More »

  • Richard Branson's Virgin Media Business Backs Tech that Could Change the …
    Richard Branson's Virgin Media Business Backs Tech that Could Change the … Thu, Mar 13, 2014

    These small businesses won the chance to meet with Sir Richard Branson to discuss their ambitions and benefit from a programme of mentoring as well as support and free business telecoms from Virgin Media Business. "When cutting edge technology meets imagination, the results can be spectacular," said Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business. The entries were judged earlier this month by a panel including technology commentator Monty Munford; More »

  • UK Announces Launch of 'Plato Mission' to Find ET
    UK Announces Launch of 'Plato Mission' to Find ET Sun, Mar 9, 2014

    Now science minister David Willetts has announced the UK government is to spend £25m on a space probe which will attempt to discover the truth about extra-terrestrial life. The "Plato Mission" – named after the ancient Greek philosopher – will attempt to discover tiny fluctuations in the light emanating from one million stars. These fluctuations may indicate the presence of exoplanets – planets orbiting suns other than our own. It has been estimated there could be up to 40 billion habitable exoplanets in our galaxy alone – and there are billions of galaxies in the universe. More »

  • Branson: phone-in sparked space bid
    Branson: phone-in sparked space bid Sat, Mar 8, 2014

    Sir Richard Branson has admitted he got the idea for his commercial space flight venture during a phone-in on a children's TV show. More »

  • After denial, Bitcoin creator identity still a mystery
    After denial, Bitcoin creator identity still a mystery Fri, Mar 7, 2014

    A man walks past the reported home of "Satoshi Nakamoto" in Temple City, east of Los Angeles, California on March 6, 2014 More »

  • Ryanair Boss Michael O'Leary Calls Virgin's Richard Branson 'Au …
    Ryanair Boss Michael O'Leary Calls Virgin's Richard Branson 'Au … Fri, Mar 7, 2014

    Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has let rip yet again by branding fellow aviation supremo Sir Richard Branson "autistic". He has even spoke of his desire to "stop unnecessarily p***ing people off," but obviously Virgin Airways boss Branson is not on O'Leary's good list. In an interview with the Evening Standard, O'Leary claimed Branson was incapable of looking people in the eye and then proceeded to speculate wildly on the possible medical reasons for it. O'Leary said: "He [Sir Richard] can't make eye contact. More »

  • Cressida And Harry Spotted At We Day Event
    Cressida And Harry Spotted At We Day Event Fri, Mar 7, 2014

    Prince Harry's girlfriend Cressida Bonas has been spotted at one of his official engagements, as he urged young people to help others. Speaking to 12,000 students from 400 schools at the We Day event at Wembley Arena in London, Prince Harry described voluntary work as the "coolest thing in the world". During his 10-minute speech, Prince Harry said: "The internet is now part of our everyday lives and social media has changed the way we communicate. Pop stars Ellie Goulding and Jennifer Lawrence both performed as part of the event, which was organised by the charity Free The Children. More »

  • Cryptocurrency News Round-Up: Bitcoin Recovers to Pre-MtGox High
    Cryptocurrency News Round-Up: Bitcoin Recovers to Pre-MtGox High Thu, Mar 6, 2014

    Bitcoin has recovered to where it stood before the collapse of Japanese exchange MtGox, as the cryptocurrency looks to once again shrug off doubts over its future. Up around 2% over the last 24 hours, bitcoin is now valued at $663 (£396) per coin and with a market cap of nearly $8.3 billion, as investors show resiliance, despite the problems endured by MtGox and other bitcoin exchanges, which have also been the target of significant thefts this week. Up 5%, litecoin re-took third place from auroracoin, as the latter's market cap plunged from $1bn at the start of the week to just $308 million at the time of publication, down 45% in just 24 hours. Litecoin's are worth $16.62 each and the currency has a market cap of $437m. More »

  • Winklevosses buy tickets to space with bitcoin
    Winklevosses buy tickets to space with bitcoin Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    Big bitcoin backers the Winklevoss brothers said Wednesday they had used the virtual currency to buy tickets into space on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic aircraft. More »

  • Winklevoss twins use bitcoins to book space trip
    Winklevoss twins use bitcoins to book space trip Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - You can't spend bitcoins at Amazon.com or to pay your mortgage but, as the Winklevoss twins showed on Wednesday, you can use the digital currency to book a trip into suborbital space. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who famously accused Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea, said they used bitcoins to buy tickets for a high-altitude voyage on billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflight venture. The brothers, Olympic rowers who earned MBA degrees from Oxford University, have become bitcoin evangelists and investors and are planning to launch a fund to make it easy to trade the digital currency on the stock market. In a blog post, Tyler Winklevoss compared Branson's space endeavour and bitcoin entrepreneurs to major historical figures who changed the way the world was perceived, like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Nicolaus Copernicus. More »

  • Virgin Money swings to profit, no current plans for IPO
    Virgin Money swings to profit, no current plans for IPO Tue, Mar 4, 2014

    By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - Virgin Money on Tuesday reported its first profit since acquiring failed lender Northern Rock in 2012, but its chief executive played down expectations that it would float on the stock market any time soon. Chief Executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia said the group, which made an underlying profit of 53.4 million pounds ($89.3 million) in 2013, will pursue an initial public offering (IPO) when market conditions are right and the business is ready. "We have no specific plans for an IPO at the moment. ... More »

  • Virgin Money Backs Doubling Of Bank Bonuses
    Virgin Money Backs Doubling Of Bank Bonuses Mon, Mar 3, 2014

    Sky News has learnt that Virgin Money is to reveal alongside its full-year results that its shareholders have approved a request from its board to award up to 200% of the salaries of top executives as bonuses. The disclosure, which goes beyond that required of the privately-owned Virgin Money, will come as the company says on Tuesday that it returned to profit for the first time since acquiring Northern Rock from the Government in 2011. The bonuses decision, which reflects a 100% bonus-to-pay ratio cap without shareholder approval, was more of a formality for Virgin Money than listed rivals, which must put the move to their annual meetings this year. People close to Virgin Money said that its results statement would provide detailed data akin to that of one of the major high street banks, each of which has announced its 2013 results during the last month. More »

  • Britain's 10 Richest People Revealed
    Britain's 10 Richest People Revealed Sun, Mar 2, 2014

    Among the new wealthy are Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian-British businessman who owns 15% of Arsenal Football Club, and Indonesian petrochemicals and textiles millionaire Sri Prakash Lohia, who spent an estimated £50 million restoring his London home. They appear alongside such established UK billionaires as Sir Philip Green, the retail tycoon, and property magnate the Duke of Westminster. Ukrainian-born American Blavatnik, 56, has made his £10.8 billion fortune through investments in oil, coal and property and is the owner of Parlophone Records and the Warner Music Group. He recently donated £75m to found the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. More »

  • Branson's Virgin To Pilot New Cruises Venture
    Branson's Virgin To Pilot New Cruises Venture Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    Sir Richard Branson is drawing up plans for a secret assault on the international cruises sector which will involve raising hundreds of millions of pounds in funding from external investors. Sky News can reveal that Virgin Group has appointed the US-based corporate advisory firm Allen & Co to oversee the development of a cruise operation that would eventually aim to compete with industry giants including Carnival Corporation. Virgin has been working with Allen & Co on a range of potential opportunities across the wider leisure sector, including an investment in a four-star city centre concept called Virgin Hotels. The development of Virgin Cruises, which is expected to be the name of the new venture, is at an early stage, people close to the project cautioned on Friday. More »

  • 2014 date for Branson space flight
    2014 date for Branson space flight Sat, Feb 22, 2014

    Businessman Sir Richard Branson has reiterated his claim that the first Virgin Galactic flight into space will take place later this year. More »

  • Ukraine Crisis: Richard Branson Calls for End to Violence
    Ukraine Crisis: Richard Branson Calls for End to Violence Thu, Feb 20, 2014

    Sir Richard Branson has become the latest celebrity to speak out about the Ukraine conflict by urging world leaders to show the protesters their support. In a moving message posted on his blog, the Virgin boss expressed his sadness about the estimated 70 lives lost in the clashes between demonstrators and police. "The rest of the world should show solidarity with the demonstrators and urge the government's restraint." The 63-year-old entrepreneur went on to evoke the words of the Telegraph's Edward Lucas, who claimed that the Ukrainians standing against Yanukovych and his allies were "fighting and dying for the right to be European". More »

  • To stoke interest, LinkedIn opens 'Influencer' blogs to all members
    To stoke interest, LinkedIn opens 'Influencer' blogs to all members Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - LinkedIn Corp is attempting to become more like Facebook Inc by encouraging all members to generate a steady stream of shareable articles, a perk once available only to well-known business personalities. The move, which the company hopes will generate more interest in the site, comes two weeks after LinkedIn disclosed that page views slipped for the second consecutive quarter. By opening the program to everybody, LinkedIn hopes its users will generate a steady stream of shareable content, providing a white-collar twist on how Facebook supplies its users a continuous stream of pictures or links from their friends. LinkedIn disclosed during its quarterly earnings call on February 6 that, following several quarters of explosive growth, page views had in fact slipped for the second consecutive period, suggesting waning user interest in revisiting the site. More »

  • Branson sounds warning over Qantas intervention
    Branson sounds warning over Qantas intervention Sun, Feb 16, 2014

    Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, pictured in New York on September 23, 2013 More »

  • Bill Gates Admired More Than The Queen, Barack Obama and Pope Francis
    Bill Gates Admired More Than The Queen, Barack Obama and Pope Francis Thu, Feb 13, 2014

    Bill Gates is the most admired man in the world while Nigel Farage is Britain's most admired politician, according to a poll. More »

  • Luke Ming Flanagan contacts solicitors over RTÉ 2FM show
    Luke Ming Flanagan contacts solicitors over RTÉ 2FM show Tue, Feb 11, 2014

    The TD said that an ‘appalling’ accusation was made on air this morning. More »

  • Plea to Putin over peace in Syria
    Plea to Putin over peace in Syria Fri, Feb 7, 2014

    An international group of statesmen, diplomats, aid agencies and business leaders has issued a plea to Russian president Vladimir Putin to use the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi to take steps to bring peace to Syria. More »

  • Virgin Atlantic pulls out of Australia
    Virgin Atlantic pulls out of Australia Wed, Feb 5, 2014

    A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport in west London, on July 30, 2010 More »

  • Thousands of Australians Protest Against Shark Cull
    Thousands of Australians Protest Against Shark Cull Sat, Feb 1, 2014

    Mass demonstrations have taken place across Australia to protest against Western Australia state government's controversial new policy to trap and kill large sharks. The protests have the backing of several celebrities including Sir Richard Branson, Tom Daley and Ricky Gervais, and are being partly co-ordinated by the Conservation Council of Western Australia. In Perth, Western Australia (WA), up to 6,000 people gathered at Cottesloe Beach demanding an end to the cull, clutching toy sharks and chanting ""Rights, rights, rights for great whites." One 19-year-old activist chained herself to a fisheries boat as it was preparing to set out to monitor baited hooks, delaying its departure for several hours. The cull was introduced following several fatal attacks off WA in recent years. More »

  • Shark Cull Protesters Hit Australia's Beaches
    Shark Cull Protesters Hit Australia's Beaches Sat, Feb 1, 2014

    Thousands of people have gathered on beaches across Australia to demand the end of a new policy which allows sharks to be caught and killed. Baited hooks are being placed on drum lines off popular beaches in and around Perth to kill white, bull and tiger sharks. The Western Australia state government policy says smaller sharks are to be released, but an undersized tiger shark was found dead on a hook on Saturday morning. Another tiger shark - believed to be about 2.3m long - was also snagged on Saturday, but it was released offshore. More »

  • Shark Cull: Sir Richard Branson Slams Policy
    Shark Cull: Sir Richard Branson Slams Policy Fri, Jan 31, 2014

    Sir Richard Branson has criticised Western Australia's shark cull on the same day as bait was being laid for the first time off Perth beaches. Speaking on Fairfax radio in Australia, he said: "I'm sure one of the reasons he (Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett) did it was because he was thinking it would encourage tourism. "You're advertising a problem that doesn't exist in a major way and you're deterring people from wanting to come to Perth and your beautiful countryside around it. "Last year, Australia was praised all over the world for creating the biggest marine reserves," he added. More »

  • Branson Targets Take-Off For US Airline Float
    Branson Targets Take-Off For US Airline Float Tue, Jan 28, 2014

    Sir Richard Branson has opened talks with banks about a flotation of Virgin America, his domestic US airline that moved into the black for the first time last year. Sky News has learnt that Virgin America is preparing to appoint banks to oversee an initial public offering (IPO) that would involve the company listing on a US stock exchange within months. Sir Richard's Virgin Group has a 49% economic stake in Virgin America, but only a 25% voting stake, consistent with regulations governing the ownership of US carriers. The remainder of Virgin America, which launched its maiden flight in 2007, is owned by Cyrus Capital, an investment fund, and senior executives. More »

  • Virgin Money Spears New Director Before Float
    Virgin Money Spears New Director Before Float Mon, Jan 27, 2014

    Sir Richard Branson's banking arm is appointing a former Deutsche Bank executive as part of a move to strengthen its board ahead of a medium-term stock market listing. Sky News understands that Virgin Money will this week name Marilyn Spearing as a non-executive director, joining a board populated by heavyweight City figures such as Sir David Clementi, the bank's chairman. Ms Spearing, who will attend her first board meeting this week, has also worked for Barclays and HSBC, principally in areas such as payments and cash management. Her arrival will come as Virgin Money prepares to mount an assault on the UK current account market against a backdrop of growing political hostility to the dominance of the country's five major high street lenders. More »

  • Chinese Banned from Virgin Galactic Space Flights over Tech Theft Fears [VI …
    Chinese Banned from Virgin Galactic Space Flights over Tech Theft Fears [VI … Sun, Jan 26, 2014

    Wealthy entrepreneurs in China have been barred from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space flights over fears they might steal the technology. Virgin's craft has a rocket engine that could be classified as potential military technology by the US's International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The regulations, introduced in the Cold War, stipulate that people from countries including China, Iran and North Korea are forbidden to have  access to weapons technology. The ruling will close off the potentially huge market in China, where tycoons are willing to pay the $250,000 ticket price for a space flight, the first of which is due to blast off later this year. More »

  • New racing series to sell electric cars to sceptics
    New racing series to sell electric cars to sceptics Fri, Jan 17, 2014

    By Keith Weir and Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - There's a new kid on the block in motor racing this year, a quieter cousin to the brash Formula One, and it has the lofty aim of helping to get consumers to embrace electric cars. Featuring teams backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Formula E will stage its first race in Beijing in September. Chief Executive Alejandro Agag says Formula E wants to help kickstart an underwhelming market for electric vehicles and win over customers put off by the cost of cars and the limited distances they can drive. Agag says Formula E, which has the blessing of motor racing's governing body, the Paris-based FIA, can help electric cars to shed their image problem and play a part in perfecting the driving technologies of the future. More »

  • Kate Moss Launches Biography to Mark 40th Birthday and Celebrates with Celebrity …
    Kate Moss Launches Biography to Mark 40th Birthday and Celebrates with Celebrity … Thu, Jan 16, 2014

    Kate Moss marked her 40th birthday with the launch of an illustrated biography charting the life and career of the fashion icon. Compiled by biographer Chris Roberts, the book chronicles the highs and lows of Moss's glamorous and sometimes turbulent life, including her high profile love affairs with actor Johnny Depp and Pete Docherty, her much publicised cocaine scandal and the little known truth of her break up from Jefferson Hack, the father of her daughter, Lila Grace. More »