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Entries in Virgin (2)

Friday
Dec282012

Kate Winslet Receives Ticket to Space

MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Kate Winslet will blast off to space thanks to a $200,000 ticket gifted to the actress from Sir Richard Branson.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the actress, who recently married Branson’s nephew Ned RocknRoll, received the out-of-this-world ticket from Branson as a thank you for rescuing his mother from a fire last year.  Winslet, who became a household name after her character survived the Titanic, became a hero when she rescued Branson’s then-90-year-old mother from a 4 a.m. fire at the private residence the businessman owns on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

As a thank you, Winslet will head to outer space.

According to the Virgin website, Winslet can look forward to “a brief moment of quiet before a wave of unimaginable but controlled power surges” during her journey in the Virgin Galactic shuttle.  That’s before being “instantly pinned back into your seat, overwhelmed but enthralled by the howl of the rocket motor and the eye- watering acceleration which, as you watch the read-out, has you traveling in a matter of seconds, at almost 2500 mph, over 3 times the speed of sound.”

Winslet’s new husband is reportedly a part-time employee of Virgin Galactic, and it’s unclear if he’ll be joining her for the ride into space.  Virgin Galactic, which plans to start flights next year, has already sold 530 tickets for £124,000 each; such people as Russell Brand, Ashton Kutcher and science genius Stephen Hawking are slated to go into low earth orbit.
 
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug242011

Wild Parties, Nude Models on Richard Branson's Island Paradise

Don Arnold/WireImage(LONDON) -- Richard Branson's Necker Island may have looked like the set of Titanic: Revenge of the Land earlier this week, when lightning set his $70 million home on fire and Kate Winslet scored heroine status by swooping Branson's 90-year-old mother out of the blaze.

Normally, the scene on the billionaire's private paradise in the Atlantic looks more like Animal House. According to the UK's Daily Mail, Branson, 61, recently bid a female guest adieu by dropping his pants and baring his rear end as she zipped by in a speedboat. The billionaire Virgin chairman famously arrived at his 1989 Necker Island wedding clinging to the bottom of a helicopter.

Models reportedly frolic with pink flamingos and giant tortoises in the nude. Last call doesn't exist. When you run the island, there are no rules.

"It's a lot of fun and nonstop partying," Tami Watkins, who stayed at Necker Island 15 years ago, told ABC News. "Just about anything goes."

But along with the shenanigans, there's unparalleled style and service. Another guest who visited the island in the 1990s told ABC News that the $20,000-per-night price tag paid for "paradise." More than a dozen chefs on staff can cook anything guests desire, and they're briefed on visitors' likes and dislikes before they arrive. Balinese wood and white upholstery lend the place the feel of an Asian oasis. Sixty staff members ensure every need gets met.

Branson bought the uninhabited British Virgin island in 1978 for a reported 180,000 pounds. He commissioned the construction of the "Great House," whose roof burned down Monday, and guest cottages and opened the island as a resort in 1984. In total, 28 people can stay at a time (that's more than a two-to-one ratio of staff to guests), and Branson reportedly spends at least two of the summer months there. When he's not around, those who wish to buy out the place can do so for $56,000 a night.

Monday's fire put a stop to the perpetual party -- for now. On Tuesday, Branson told ABC's Good Morning America that he's determined to rebuild the island's main house in time for his daughter's December wedding.

"It's one of those stories that's ended up happily," he said. "We will rebuild the house and make it even better than it was before and we'll have many more wonderful memories of the future."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio