Richard Branson

Richard Branson - First Class All The Way - 10th August 2003
(Credit: Internet Travel News)

In real life: Richard Branson is the global head of a group of companies whose combined sales exceeded £1.5bn in 1995, and which includes the Megastore retail chain, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, V2 Records and Virgin Net.

As well as his business activities, Richard is a trustee of several charities, including the Healthcare Foundation which campaigns against tobacco advertising in sport through its offshoot, Parents Against Tobacco.

Adventures: Since 1985, Richard has been involved in breaking records. In 1986, his boat Virgin Atlantic Challenger 2 crossed the Atlantic in the fastest ever time. A year later, he crossed the Atlantic in the hot air balloon Virgin Atlantic Flyer with veteran balloonist Per Lindstrand, setting new records which stood until 1991, when the pair flew the Pacific Ocean in another "Flyer" balloon, setting a record distance of 6,761 miles. Since then, Richard has focused on the Global Challenge: this year marks his third attempt.

R & R: In his brief leisure hours, Richard plays tennis, ski-ing and chess, and occasional water sports in the warm blue seas around Necker Island.


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Richard Branson