Branson loves Sydney, by Andrew Carswell - 1st
The Daily Telegraph)
He owns a stunning Caribbean island,
a gamut of luxury pads and resides in style in
if he could have his life over again, Sir Richard
Branson would be a born-and-bred Bondi boy with
a surfboard never far from reach.
town for, among other things, the launch of Virgin
Blue's international airline V Australia yesterday,
he spoke fondly of his time here.
I was born again I would be absolutely delighted
to be born in Sydney," he said.
is a fun city. I would've loved to have been brought
up as a kid surfing the beaches. I surfed today
and have been surfing Bondi every day since I've
can't think of any other place in the world that
I can get a greater welcome than Sydney."
his early Australian visits, after brashly bundling
into Sydney to launch Virgin Blue in 2000, Branson
has marked his sojourns with a number of headline-grabbing
has attended media conferences in space suits
and dressing gowns, water-skied on to Bondi Beach,
abseiled into announcements and plunged into Sydney
Harbour with socialite Bessie Bardot.
recent visits have been more low key, geared more
towards relaxation and fine dining.
have some fantastic restaurants. I love dropping
into Icebergs because of the food and the fantastic
views," he said.
people here in Sydney . . . are always smiling
always happy and incredibly welcoming.
has certainly changed. The wharves, the clubs
and the bars, restaurants. It has become a happening
place to be, a bit like London really . . . enormous
improvements to become 'the' big city to visit."
just where does an affable billionaire lay his
scruffy head while in Sydney?
generally stay at the Holiday Inn and I know that
doesn't sound salubrious but it is where our Virgin
Blue crew stay and they are always good for a
laugh at the bottom end of the evening."