British entrepreneur Richard Branson remains hopeful his new reality show will boost his profile in America, despite its disappointing ratings.

THE REBEL BILLIONAIRE: BRANSON'S QUEST FOR THE BEST - in which contestants hoping to work within his empire carry out business tasks and engage in physical activities, such as walking a plank suspended in mid-air between hot-air balloons - debuted in America on 9 November (04).

And while it's been embraced by critics, audiences have yet to warm to the show - but Branson isn't backing down from his hopes that it will make him a household name in the US.

He says, "This programme could put myself and Virgin on the map in the States overnight.

"I hope the American audience will be on the edge of its seat. I've already indicated I'd be happy to do another season of shows if the public enjoys it."

Among Branson's US ventures is the new low-cost airline VIRGIN AMERICA, which will launch in San Francisco, California, next year (05).

16/11/2004 02:12