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петак, 16. април 2010.

Welcome to my world! Richard Branson shows off his new 'underwater plane' as he gives a guided tour of Necker Island paradise

Sir Richard Branson showed off his tropical lifestyle and new 'underwater plane' as he welcomed cameras to his finished private island home for the first time.

The billionaire entrepreneur, recently ranked the world's 212th richest man, gave the Oprah Winfrey Show unprecedented access to Necker, his 74-acre Caribbean island.

He gave presenter Nate Berkus a tour of his home, which he has recently finished building, his cliff top guest house and his extravagant toys.

Sir Richard Branson

Big boy's toy: Sir Richard Branson took a reporter from the Oprah Winfrey Show for a ride around his Caribbean island on his 'underwater plane'

Sir Richard Branson

Captain Branson: The Necker Nymph is an aero submarine with an open cockpit

Asked about the purchase of the British Virgin Islands property, for a mere $200,000 in the late 1970s, he referred to his pursuit of wife Joan.

He said: 'I was about 26-years-old, I was chasing this beautiful lady, trying to persuade her to come live with me and we discovered this beautiful islands.

'I somehow managed to get the island, get the lady and get the mother of my children.'

Prized possession: The toy will be lent out to guests of his  island

Prized possession: The toy will be lent out to guests of his island

He added: 'I appreciate every moment of my life. I was born under a lucky star.'


'I appreciate every moment of my life. I was born under a lucky star'

Branson started off the tour with the main home, boasting a stunning moon-shaped infinity pool next to a luxurious bar, a master bedroom with virtually no walls, an open kitchen and an outdoor bathroom - all with amazing views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

Asked if the design reflects his personality, he replied: 'I hope so. I would like to think I'm quite an open person and this is open.'

The 59-year-old ended the home tour with his office - where he does business from his white hammock.

Sir Richard Branson

Welcome to my humble abode: The Virgin boss took presenter Nate Berkus on a tour of his Necker Island property

Sir Richard Branson

Al fresco: The cliff top guesthouse boasts an outdoor bathroom all in stone

Sir Richard Branson

On his throne: Branson joked around with his guest

Next stop was his cliff top guesthouse, boasting another outdoor bathroom all in stone.

And Branson showed his sense of humour - and ego - as he sat down on the toilet.

'This is my throne and, being a knight of the realm...' he said, before whipping out a crown and putting it on his head with a big smile.

Then it was time for the jewel in his crown - the Necker Nymph, an aero submarine with an open cockpit owned by nobody else in the world.

Sir Richard Branson

Lap of luxury: Branson purchased the island for just $200,000 in the late 1970s

Sir Richard Branson

King of the world: Branson on Necker Belle, his $30m luxury catamaran

Branson announced the purchase earlier this year and the toy will be lent out to guests of his island, which is available for rent as part of his Virgin Limited Edition luxury line.

The submarine uses its wings to create downward lift underwater and is fitted with scuba gear for its pilot and two passengers.

'It's like an airplane that flies underwater, a little fighter plane,' Branson said.

And he allowed cameras to shoot as he went for his first ride on the Nymph, describing the experience as 'brilliant' through microphones fitted on his scuba gear.

Sir Richard Branson

Fun for all the family: Branson's children Holly and Sam enjoy the surrounds

Sir Richard Branson

Tough day at the office: Branson does business from his white hammock

Branson then showed off the Necker Belle, his $30m luxury catamaran, featuring a lift on the main mast that gives panoramic 360 degrees views of the sea.

There he was joined by his children Holly and Sam.

Sam said the best advice he ever gave him was 'probably to be yourself... he never put pressure to conform in any sort of form.'

At the end of the show, Branson signed up to Oprah's No Phone Zone drive to outlaw talking on mobiles and texting while driving in the US.

Necker Island

Touch of paradise: The 74-acre island was uninhabited when Branson first purchased it

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