Latest Richard Branson News

  • Insight - London stakes its claim as global bitcoin hub
    Insight - London stakes its claim as global bitcoin hub Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Jemima Kelly LONDON (Reuters) - London, centre of the $5-trillion-a-day (3.3 trillion pounds) global currency market, now wants to be home to a controversial upstart - bitcoin. British authorities have come out in support of digital currencies in the name of promoting financial innovation, while proposing that regulations should be drawn up to prevent their use in crime. Every Tuesday evening in a trendy cafe in London's Shoreditch neighbourhood, a group of digital currency enthusiasts gathers to discuss ideas, "vape" from e-cigarettes and exchange their pounds for bitcoins in a dedicated "ATM". With more than 2,200 members, CoinScrum, run by a former derivatives trader who left the world of traditional finance to work on a digital currency start-up, is the biggest bitcoin networking group in the world. More »

  • Election Countdown: The Musical Highlights Of #GE2015
    Election Countdown: The Musical Highlights Of #GE2015 Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    There's a while yet to go until the May 7 general election, and yet the vote has already taken on a distinctly musical slant. More »

  • This girl’s letter to a university is basically a master class in handling  …
    This girl’s letter to a university is basically a master class in handling  … Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    “I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal.” More »

  • The Tralee Burger King Facebook saga is getting weirder…
  • Frankie Boyle just dealt a third degree burn to Richard Branson on Twitter
  • Taylor Swift registers her porn domain names
    Taylor Swift registers her porn domain names Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    The Blank Space singer has bought her porn site domain names, to prevent anyone else from using them. More »

  • The 5 at 5: Saturday
    The 5 at 5: Saturday Sat, Mar 21, 2015

    5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock… More »

  • Branson says Virgin working on electric cars - Bloomberg TV
    Branson says Virgin working on electric cars - Bloomberg TV Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group may take on Tesla Motors Inc and other companies in developing electric cars, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Branson, whose empire ranges from airlines to music stores, mobile phones and spaceships, said electric cars may be next. "We have teams of people working on electric cars," Branson told Bloomberg TV in Miami where his Virgin Racing team competed in the all-electric Formula E race that involves battery-powered cars. More »

  • Kate Winslet reveals bikini birthday plans
    Kate Winslet reveals bikini birthday plans Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    The Oscar-winning actress is looking at a stripped-down affair for her milestone celebrations. More »

  • Winslet reveals bikini birthday
    Winslet reveals bikini birthday Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    Hollywood star Kate Winslet has revealed that she will be celebrating her 40th birthday in an unusual fashion - by spending the day in a bikini. More »

  • 'Formula E' electric car race creates a quiet buzz in Miami
    'Formula E' electric car race creates a quiet buzz in Miami Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - The streets snaking through downtown Miami's high rises will be buzzing this Saturday as commuters make way for dart-shaped racing cars zooming by at breakneck speeds - and little noise. The race drivers will be competing in the first Formula E race in the United States since the all-electric series was launched in Beijing in September 2014. Halfway through its inaugural season, Formula E has offered the same, albeit quieter, thrills as the popular Formula One events, with low-slung, opened-wheeled cars capable of speeds up to 136 miles per hour (220 kilometres per hour). "It's really something to see how racing has evolved to fully electric motors. More »

  • Indonesia Threatens Oz With A 'Human Tsunami'
    Indonesia Threatens Oz With A 'Human Tsunami' Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    A senior Indonesian minister has warned a "human tsunami" of asylum seekers will be unleashed on Australia if it keeps pursuing clemency for two drug smugglers. Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, are due to be executed by firing squad after being convicted of drug smuggling in Bali 10 years ago. But a growing campaign to save the Australians has angered Indonesia, with security minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno warning its neighbour over asylum seekers. More »

  • Richard Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates
    Richard Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    British businessman Richard Branson has joined calls for clemency for convicted foreigners on death row in Indonesia, as an Indonesian minister warned of a renewed influx of asylum seekers into Australia if it continues to push the issue. Virgin founder Branson said on 11 March he and fellow members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy had written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, calling the planned execution of up to 11 foreigners a barbaric and inhumane form of punishment. More »

  • Virgin's Branson calls for Indonesia death row clemency
    Virgin's Branson calls for Indonesia death row clemency Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Virgin chief Richard Branson Wednesday called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the lives of drug offenders due to be executed, saying the death penalty was a "failed deterrent" while offering to fly to Jakarta for talks. More »

  • Virgin's Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates
    Virgin's Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - British businessman Richard Branson has joined calls for clemency for convicted foreigners on death row in Indonesia, as an Indonesian minister warned of a renewed influx of asylum seekers into Australia if it continues to push the issue. Virgin founder Branson said on Wednesday he and fellow members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy had written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, calling the planned execution of up to 11 foreigners a barbaric and inhumane form of punishment. The planned executions by Indonesia of the death row inmates, most convicted on drug smuggling charges, have been condemned internationally. More »

  • Virgin Atlantic Posts First Profit Since 2011
    Virgin Atlantic Posts First Profit Since 2011 Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    Sir Richard Branson has applauded staff at Virgin Atlantic after the airline posted its first annual profit since 2011. Sir Richard, who founded the airline and remains its president, said: "I can't think of a better way to complete our 30th birthday year than with a return to profit. "The team at Virgin Atlantic has done a great job in turning around the airline and has the right strategy to take the business from strength to strength. Virgin group revenue was £2.9bn in 2014, with Virgin Holidays recording a profit for the year before tax and exceptional items of £5.7m, up £3m year on year. More »

  • Virgin Atlantic posts £14.4m profit
    Virgin Atlantic posts £14.4m profit Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    Virgin Atlantic has reported its first profit since 2011 and the airline's founder Sir Richard Branson said he was looking forward "to the next 30 years". More »

  • Stars join to inspire youngsters
    Stars join to inspire youngsters Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Renowned speakers and chart-topping musical artists joined together today to inspire young people to change the world. More »

  • Virgin Money more than doubles profit as mortgages rise
    Virgin Money more than doubles profit as mortgages rise Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc , an emerging challenger to Britain's big four banks, said its full-year profit more than doubled as margins improved and it sold more mortgages. Shares of Virgin Money, set to enter the FTSE-250 index this month, rose more than 7 percent on Thursday to their highest since the bank went public in November. Virgin Money, part-owned by billionaire entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Wilbur Ross, forecast its share of the gross mortgage lending market would remain in excess of 3 percent for years to come, despite increasing competition. Virgin Money is among a number of new banks looking to break the dominance of Lloyds Banking Group Plc , Royal Bank of Scotland , Barclays Plc and HSBC , which account for more than three quarters of lending in the UK. More »

  • Drug reform call as Mexican president visits London
    Drug reform call as Mexican president visits London Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    Business tycoon Richard Branson and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Wednesday called for drug law reform, highlighting failures in Mexico as President Enrique Pena Nieto visited Britain. More »

  • Here’s what you missed when people took drugs on Channel 4 last night
    Here’s what you missed when people took drugs on Channel 4 last night Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    The good, the bad and the ugly – it all came out in their ‘cannabis trial’ last night. More »

  • Drug reform no longer taboo: Clegg
    Drug reform no longer taboo: Clegg Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    The Liberal Democrat manifesto will commit the party to ending imprisonment for possession of drugs for personal use and ensure that those arrested with small amounts of illicit substances do not get a criminal record. More »

  • Honeywell, OneWeb partner to offer satellite internet to aircraft Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) - Honeywell International Inc said on Monday it has teamed up with satellite internet startup OneWeb Ltd to expand the high-speed data services it offers to aircraft. OneWeb, whose investors include Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Qualcomm Inc, plans to build a network of 648 low-orbit satellites capable of beaming fast internet around the world starting in 2019. Honeywell will use OneWeb's bandwidth to provide aircraft services such as streaming maintenance data from engines and other equipment to the ground, transmitting weather and navigation data to pilots and supplying fast internet connections to passengers. More »

  • TransferWise launches U.S. money transfer service, eyes more markets Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    By Jemima Kelly LONDON (Reuters) - British online money transfer business TransferWise launched its U.S. operation on Tuesday, the first step of an international expansion that will use $58 million in new backing to compete with the likes of Western Union and MoneyGram. TransferWise is among the biggest of a clutch of internet start-ups that have begun to challenge the dominance of the established companies and banks that provide money transfer services for ordinary consumers. Initially trading only sterling and euros, TransferWise now offers 292 currency routes, between major currencies such as the yen and U.S. dollar to emerging currencies such as the Indian rupee and the Philippine peso. "Expats in the U.S. will no longer have to pay extortionate and unfair bank fees for international money transfers." TransferWise, which has drawn backing from U.S. venture capital firm Andreesson Horowitz and British billionaire Richard Branson, said that it also plans to open new branches in Germany and Australia. More »

  • Virgin Media shakes up UK fixed-line market with expansion plan
    Virgin Media shakes up UK fixed-line market with expansion plan Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    By Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - Cable operator Virgin Media is building out its network to reach a further four million British homes, taking the fight to rivals BT and Sky with its biggest expansion in more than a decade. Owned by Europe's largest cable operator Liberty Global , Virgin Media said on Friday it would spend 3 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) expanding its network by a third, shaking up the relatively stable fixed-line industry It competes with BT, Sky and TalkTalk in offering pay-TV, fixed-line telephony and broadband, known as "triple play". Virgin Media also offers mobile, and will soon face competition from BT and Sky there too as the two groups add mobile to cover all bases for customers.Analysts said the Virgin Media expansion was a "lightning bolt" to BT, which has just agreed to pay 12.5 billion pounds to buy mobile operator EE. More »

  • Ride-sharing service Sidecar adds package deliveries
    Ride-sharing service Sidecar adds package deliveries Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    Ride-sharing service Sidecar as been experimenting with delivering flowers, groceries, hot food and other items in San Francisco More »

  • Virgin Active warms up to Johannesburg IPO - Sky News Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    (Reuters) - Virgin Active has hired South Africa-based Standard Bank Group Ltd to list the British health and fitness chain on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which may value the company at about 1.5 billion pounds, Sky News reported. Virgin Active, jointly owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and CVC Capital Partners, has also hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Group , Morgan Stanley and UBS to work on the planned initial public offering, Sky News said. ... More »

  • Virgin Active Gets Fit For Johannesburg IPO
    Virgin Active Gets Fit For Johannesburg IPO Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    Virgin Active has picked a quintet of banks to work on a flotation that will value one of Britain's biggest health and fitness chains at around £1.5bn. Sky News has learned that Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Standard Bank and UBS have been hired in recent days by Virgin Active's board to work on the public listing. The timing of a flotation has not yet been finalised, but the involvement of Standard Bank, which is headquartered in South Africa, effectively confirms expectations that it will take place on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, reflecting the fast-growing nature of its operations on the continent. Insiders said that BAML, Morgan Stanley and Standard Bank were expected to take the most senior roles in arranging the listing. More »

  • New Virgin Galactic plane on way
    New Virgin Galactic plane on way Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    Work has started on a new Virgin Galactic spaceship after the original craft broke up and crashed on a test flight in October, killing one of its pilots. More »

  • Richard Branson had to write Gay Byrne’s name on his hand to remember who he …
  • Pensioner, 78, Gets Tax Bill... For £4.7bn!
    Pensioner, 78, Gets Tax Bill... For £4.7bn! Mon, Feb 2, 2015

    A pensioner who received an unpaid bill of more than £4.7bn says the tax man must have mistaken him for tycoon Richard Branson. Doug Yeomans, 78, from Shardlow, Derbyshire, said the letter from HM Revenue & Customs ordered that a direct debit of almost £950m a month would be taken out of his account for the next five months to pay off the debt. The father-of-two told Sky News: "I was a bit shocked when I saw the amount, I'm used to hundreds, not billions. More »

  • Virgin Media wants Ofcom to pause Premier League TV rights auction
    Virgin Media wants Ofcom to pause Premier League TV rights auction Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Virgin Media has written to TV regulator Ofcom to request that the TV rights auction for live Premier League football is paused. The Sir Richard Branson backed business is "urging Ofcom to use its powers" to put a stop to the current bidding process for the broadcasting rights that will run from 2016 to 2019, as the watchdog has yet to conclude its investigation into the auction. Ofcom is set to finalise its investigation in March. More »

  • Brand among top influential people
    Brand among top influential people Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    The Prince of Wales, comedian Russell Brand and v logger-turned-author Zoella all feature on a list of the 500 most influential people in Britain today. More »

  • Howard Marks Diagnosed With Bowel Cancer
    Howard Marks Diagnosed With Bowel Cancer Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    Former drug smuggler and author Howard Marks says he has been diagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer. Marks, dubbed "the most sophisticated drugs baron of all time", grew up in Wales. More »

  • Electronica pioneer Froese of Tangerine Dream dead at 70
    Electronica pioneer Froese of Tangerine Dream dead at 70 Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    Edgar Froese, whose band Tangerine Dream crafted an ambient and futuristic sound that set the stage for generations of electronic artists, has died, his son said. He was 70. More »