The Four Billion-Dollar Virgin
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The Four Billion-Dollar Virgin

2007_03_13Branson.jpgOn any given weekday, around 5 p.m., you can expect to find a bit of a mob gathered around the corner of Queen and John. That’s when MuchMusic’s Much on Demand airs live and excitable teens like to gather to catch a glimpse of a celebrity—any celebrity. And since it’s March Break this week, you can expect double the crowds as guests like Christian rock band Relient K and High School Musical‘s Jordan Pruitt drop by to plug their products.
Today, however, brings a guest your mom has heard of—British billionaire Sir Richard Branson. Chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies and founder of space tourism company Virgin Galactic, Branson is in town to talk up the 2007 Virgin Festival in September (as you remember, last year’s event featured Gnarls Barkley, the Flaming Lips and the Raconteurs, but headliners Massive Attack couldn’t get across the border). As far as billionaires go, Branson seems pretty cool—he uses his dough to do things that we all dream of (ballooning around the world! Setting up a concert with your favourite bands!) and he donates truckloads of cash to causes like the environment.
Which is why we prefer to think that Branson is really in Toronto here to help celebrate wireless number portability (WNP) Day. As founder of Virgin Mobile Canada, Branson’s company is one of the few that’s actually promoting the event. This past weekend, Virgin had folks dressed as convicts handing out fliers to lure customers over the V side. If only they promised free space trips or a balloon ride, we’d be so there.
Photo courtesy MuchMusic.