These are tales from our turbo-capitalist age; stories of entrepreneurship and business filled with high drama and even higher stakes. In a new podcast on BBC Sounds, Good Bad Billionaire spotlights people who have obtained super wealth, retelling their stories. Episode 1 delves into the story of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, tracking his journey from starting Amazon, to becoming of the world’s richest and most famous people.
Other episodes include billionaires like pop superstar Rihanna, Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas and businesswoman and pop culture icon Kim Kardashian.
In each episode, Simon and Zing tell the story of a single billionaire in three chapters:
Chapter 1. Zero to a Million: We track our billionaire from their first job to their first million.
Chapter 2. A Million to a Billion: The story accelerates as our subject heads towards insane levels of wealth.
Chapter 3. The Good, The Bad, and the Wealthy: This is where Simon and Zing finish the story and judge the achievements of its central character, deciding if they’re good, bad or just wealthy.
Every episode, Simon and Zing cast their final judgement on each billionaire, rating them between 1-10 on categories including philanthropy, villainy, power and legacy.
Zing Tsjeng, Editor-in-chief at VICE says: “Researching these billionaires’ stories has been truly fascinating. The one-percenters we cover have been on some gripping journeys to personal fortune – some more, er, convoluted and tricky than others – and it’s been eyebrow-raising seeing the different choices they made when deciding how to amass and spend their wealth. I can’t wait to hear what the listeners think about the people we’ve featured and our judgement of them.”
Simon Jack, BBC Business Editor says: “Whether you are horrified or inspired by the mega-rich, their influence is hard to ignore. Tracing the path to super wealth of the likes of Jeff Bezos, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and others also tells us something about ourselves and the things we need, value or enjoy. Recording Good Bad Billionaire together with Zing has been fascinating and fun and I can’t wait to hear what the listeners think.”
New episodes of Good Bad Billionaire will be available weekly on BBC Sounds from 29 August.