My private islands ranked, by Sir Richard Branson

YOU’RE nobody on the billionaire scene if you’ve not got your own island. We all laugh at Elon Musk for not investing in an archipelago. Here are mine, from worst to best: 

Sixth: Gibraltar

Picked this up for next-to-nothing in 2008, after the financial crash. Worst decision I’ve ever made. It’s not even a proper island. What a rip off. I thought becasue it was full of British shops like M&S and Morrisons I could relaunch Virgin Megastores, but the red tape is unbelievable. I’ve only been once. It’s steep as f**k, windy as hell and covered in monkeys smoking fags. Avoid.

Fifth: Island Roy

In 1987 I became the first person to cross the Atlantic by balloon, which I don’t regret at all because it wasn’t a colossal waste of time. And when I was landing in Ireland I spotted a little place that, as a reward for myself, I decided to buy. Lesson learned: don’t impulse buy from 10,000ft. It’s tiny, flat, marshy and the locals hate me.

Fourth: Ship-Trap Island

The name might not sound familiar, but this is the island from The Most Dangerous Game where billionaires hunt humans for sport. And you know what? That is very much over-hyped. Mostly you find them shivering in the roots of a tree half-a-mile from where they were released and kill them with one shot. I’ve not used it since my millennium party.

Third: The Isle of Sodor

A hostile takeover netted me Sodor and its entire rail franchise in the mid-90s. The whole operation had fallen into ruin, with trains unable to make a simple journey without getting into endless scrapes and disasters while learning moral lessons. Virgin Trains rebuilt, modernised, and now an anytime return from Tidmouth to Vicarstown costs £122.80 off-peak. The original trains? Scrapped for parts.

Second: Necker Island

The original and, until recently, the best. Idyllic, sunkissed and set in the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean, it’s a perfect haven away from taxes for all my financial affairs. It hardly ever sets on fire and even when it did I used it as an opportunity to set my son up with Kate Winslet.

First: Heaton Park Boating Lake Island

But you know what? There’s no place like home, by which I mean Britain, and more specifically Manchester, and even more specifically the island on Heaton Park boating lake. I live here in a pit I dug myself, covered with a tarpaulin. At night I swim ashore, pick up a takeaway and a few cans and swim back. Heaven. And when they hold gigs here I hear the whole thing for free.

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Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

Roy Wood wishes it could be Christmas every day. Bet he does, come January 1st he’s making fuck all royalties.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

Remember, it goes: Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, died a bit later but still eventually died.

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

‘I regret ever getting that parrot,’ your parrot says, mournfully.

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

The postie knows when you’re getting sex toys delivered. Partly from the name of the parent company on the box, partly because you shout ‘Oh great! My vibrating anal beads have arrived!’

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

Whichever townie twat came up with the phrase ‘the cream of the crop’ managed to confuse two very different types of farming.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

What’s bigger, a shitload or a fuckload? Quick, it’s for a customs declaration.

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

Being a Libra is a real balancing act between being a massive fuckwit and being a stupid bastard. It’s in the stars, it must be true.

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 22nd

They shouldn’t call those plants succulents. They taste anything but.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

It’s no wonder people love the shipping forecast on Radio 4 so much. Have you heard the rest of Radio 4?

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

Whoever named that pig Babe should be on a register.

Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

You’re one of those people who believes in crystals. You don’t see the sense in not believing in them. They’re there, after all.

Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

The Strictly formula’s got boring. They should do what failing movie franchises do and set the next one in space.