Tycoon Donald Trump has poked fun at fellow billionaire SIR Richard Branson after his new reality show THE REBEL BILLIONAIRE was a flop on its opening night (09NOV04).

Branson's television contest to find someone to run his VIRGIN empire has been touted as a rival to Trump's The Apprentice, but the New Yorker is laughing at the claims.

Speaking to TV news show EXTRA!, Trump boasts, "Branson's ratings were terrible, down the tubes... The Apprentice is the hottest show there is. Richard Branson, your ratings speak very loudly, and you just got fired!'

"It would seem hard to believe they could keep him on the air. It's a big failure.

"I don't believe he's a billionaire. I don't see how a person can be a billionaire when they own their own airline. I would imagine most of his money is going into his airline to keep it afloat.

"I wish him a lot of luck in the businesses. But, I can tell you, on television, he's a total failure."

11/11/2004 02:33