HBO announces new documentary about Richard Branson’s life

Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
7 November 2022

Ever wondered about Richard Branson’s life? HBO will air a major four-part documentary about the Virgin Group founder’s extraordinary adventures in business and life. BRANSON will debut on Thursday 1 December at 10pm ET. It will also be available to stream on HBO Max, with new episodes airing at the same time on subsequent Thursdays. 

Sky Documentaries will air BRANSON in the UK, debuting on Sunday 4 December. New episodes will air on subsequent Sundays. 

With BRANSON, acclaimed filmmaker Chris Smith takes viewers on an expansive and intimate 70-year journey through Richard’s life. It covers everything from his childhood as the son of a spirited, tough love mother, to his love of adventure and his daredevil pursuits that put the Virgin brand on the map.  

Richard’s friends, family members, and business associates all share their stories from over the years, with lots of rare archive footage and moving home videos. Among the interviewees, for the first time, is Richard’s wife Joan who shares what it’s like being married to the Virgin Group founder. BRANSON also includes excepts from conversations with his late mother Eve, whose presence in Richard’s life lives on. 

The documentary reveals Richard as a man who never stops pushing personal and professional boundaries, a relentless optimist, a hard-nosed businessman, a devoted family man, and an unfaltering risk-taker. 

The first episode, airing on 1 December, explores Richard’s early years as a dyslexic teenager who left school at the age of 15 to create Student magazine. This led to a mail-order record business, and eventually Virgin Records. 

Young Richard Branson

Later episodes explore the launch of Virgin Atlantic, and the infamous battle with British Airways over its Dirty Tricks campaign, as well as Richard’s world record-setting adventures.  

The final episode, which will air on 22 December, is a feature-length look at Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space line. It covers everything from the first idea, to test flights, and finally Richard’s history-making flight to space. 

Watch BRANSON on HBO or HBO Max from 1 December in the US, and Sky Documentaries from 4 December in the UK.