British entrepreneur Richard Branson is following in the footsteps of property tycoon Donald Trump, by searching for a new employee on a reality show.

Taking the lead from Trump's The Apprentice, American TV network Fox has signed a deal with the VIRGIN GROUP founder for a new series tentatively called BRANSON'S BIG ADVENTURE.

The new show featuring Branson, who once tried to circle the world alone in a balloon, will debut later this year (04).

Fox says Branson will take "a select group of America's best and brightest" around the world, reliving his experiences and dealing with business dilemmas. Each week, one contestant will be left behind while the others continue to globetrot. But Fox is quick to distance itself from Trump's series, which has charged its players with projects like running a lemonade stand and representing an artist at a gallery show.

The network's top reality executive MIKE DARNELL says in a statement, "This isn't about selling a glass of lemonade. In six weeks, these people will experience challenges and adventures beyond their wildest imagination."

02/04/2004 08:54