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Tony Grist

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Trump V Branson [Oct. 23rd, 2004|10:25 am]
Tony Grist
Donald Trump is flying in the Trump helicopter towards the Trump tower. The music is a mixture of grandeur and high anxiety that sounds like an off-cut from Orff's Carmina Burana. Trump-world is the only place to be.

The last episode was twice the length. Bright-eyed Bill won out over laid-back Kwame. Bill's prize is to oversee the building of a new Trump tower in Chicago. It will set new standards in architecture.

They say there's going to be a British version of the show. I don't suppose it will feature Trump himself. He is too fabulous, too orange for us uptight little islanders. The British way of handling business success is to apologize for it.

The only British businessman with anything like Trump's degree of celebrity is Richard Branson. But the style couldn't be more different. Trump is the orange emperor, Branson is the world's best mate- a kind of plutocratic Jesus in beard and jeans. Trump has hair, Branson has teeth. The teeth are fixed in a perpetual grin. Please love me; please forgive me. Trump calls his empire Trump. Branson wriggles uncomfortably and calls his Virgin.

(It's a joke. I'm just playing at this, see. Such fun. And now come and watch me set a ballooning record.)

Whoever they get to front it, the British version will be a fascinating exercise in compare and contrast.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-10-23 10:52 am (UTC)
Just because Trump can afford to have cherubs on all his chandeliers doesn't mean he should.

And his Las Vegas empire is bankrupt.

And Bill: we don't hear another thing from him until he suddenly reappears in Series II sitting at Trump's right hand instead of George! In his apprentice days, he was pleasant and cheerful; now he gravely passes out judgement. Like Caroline, he is cold.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-23 12:59 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, am I that far behind the game?

But at least you've confirmed there is a series two. I'm looking forward to it.

I liked Heidi best. She had atitood!
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-10-23 06:07 pm (UTC)
Just because Trump can afford to have cherubs on all his chandeliers doesn't mean he should.

Thank you! Everyone goes on about how elegant his place is, and I can think of is how overblown and ugly it is. Not my taste at all.

I went to Hearst Castle in San Simeon with some European friends a few years ago, and about halfway through the tour, one of them said, "Oh, this is where my heritage went!"
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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2004-10-23 11:48 am (UTC)
richard branson is starring in a reality show on fox called the "rebel billionaire", in which contestants will (supposedly) compete to be president of all his various virgin enterprises. it's been hyped quite a bit here, so i assume it's premiering soon... i don't know about overseas
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-23 01:03 pm (UTC)
Rebel billionaire- good grief!

Branson is so ingratiating. I don't know what you guys make of him, but over here we hate him because his trains don't run on time- which is unfair because it's hardly his fault.

Actually, I'm a bit of a rebel too, because I rate Virgin trains. I was on one that ran late and they gave me a refund without me even having to ask.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-23 01:07 pm (UTC)
I knew a guy at Theological college who looked a lot like Branson. He had the same ingratiating smile and absolutely no sense of humour.

Also he smelt funny. Not bad- just funny.

Maybe this colours my view of the great man
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From: morrison_maiden
2004-10-23 05:25 pm (UTC)
I agree, it would be very interesting to compare the two. I also heard about the Rebel Billionairre program in the States. I don't know if I'd want to watch it though; I hate reality television. I think Branson seems more likable and interesting, but then, I don't really know much about him :\
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-23 05:37 pm (UTC)
Branson is a hippy. But a hippy who's into money in a big way (so slightly untypical.) He started off with a record shop- which turned into a record company- and now he owns an airline and a railway company and all sorts. The last I heard he was getting into space tourism. He's always had a reputation for being ahead of the field.

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From: morrison_maiden
2004-10-23 05:41 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's pretty ambitious. I remember when all I'd heard about the Virgin enterprise was the record label and the airline...
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-10-23 06:04 pm (UTC)

I forgot to mention!

I read last week that Steve Martin is doing a reality program called "The Scholar". Here's a blurb: http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/10/18/television.scholar.reut/index.html

This sounds so serious; I can't imagine him getting all the way through it without making fun of it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-23 06:35 pm (UTC)

Re: I forgot to mention!

It sounds almost too worthy and that a little light relief would be welcome.

I wonder if we'll get this over here. Our schools systems are rather different.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-10-23 08:46 pm (UTC)
I usually avoid the television. But one entry and I want nothing more than to curl up and watch these shows.
You are so good!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-23 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

The problem is I've too much time on my hands.

But tonight I've been good. I broke away from the TV- after watching an hour-long show on the history of stage magic- and got up on the ladder and painted a bit of the kitchen wall.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-10-23 09:17 pm (UTC)
I haven't been able to pry myself away from the computer all day. I wish it was because I was inspired. Nope. It's LiveJournal. I need to stop. But I don't want to.

Oh, my god! I'm such a junkie.
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