BILLIONAIRE businessman Sir Richard Branson will reveal the tricks of his trade to Glasgow teenagers in bid to inspire them to become the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The Virgin magnate will join Glasgow comedian Kevin Bridges and best selling-singer songwriter Emeli Sande to mentor 7000 16-19-year-olds in the city next month as part of an all-star Academy organised by Big Weekend hosts Radio 1.
The famous faces have been recruited to the Academy to encourage local youngsters to aim high and it is hoped the programme will leave a legacy of success in the city.
The stars will run workshops and run masterclasses from May 10 to May 16 at Glasgow University's Queen Margaret Union.
Events include a Q&A session with Sir Richard Branson and Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro; a stand-up comedy workshop with Kevin Bridges; a TV acting workshop with cast members from Waterloo Road; a music and song-writing workshop with former Glasgow University student Emeli Sandé; and a masterclass panel with Radio 1 DJ Greg James and his team.
Sir Richard said: "It's a pleasure to have been invited to attend the Radio 1 Academy this year and I'm looking forward to meeting and hearing from some of the young people of Glasgow.
"It's a fantastic project and I hope people leave feeling inspired after the day's talks, workshops and events. It's the perfect place to share ideas, interests and hopefully pick up some advice along the way."
Singer Emeli Sande, who studied medicine at Glasgow before her music career took off, said: "I'm really excited to be part of the Radio 1 Academy and this is made even more special as it's in Glasgow, a city that's been a huge part of both my life and career.
I'm sure it will be a great day working with young music fans - I'm looking forward to helping them create something very special."
The Academy will run the week before the Big Weekend is held on Glasgow Green, on May 24 and 25.
As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Times, British rockers Coldplay will headline the main stage on the first night.
Drummer Will Champion yesterday spoke of his excitement at heading to the city and said: "Playing in Glasgow is always so much fun and Radio 1 have always been wonderful to us so it couldn't really be any better!"
Coldplay join the bill for the two-day music festival alongside Paisley's Paolo Nutini, Happy singer Pharrell Williams and Rita Ora.
Ora has also been recruited to the Academy as well as UK rapper Example, Glasgow electronic music producer Hudson Mohawke, singer Nina Nesbitt, actress Sharon Rooney from My Mad Fat Diary and cast members of BBC supernatural drama In The Flesh.
All Academy places are free and teenagers will be able to apply for places.
Radio 1 will broadcast live from the Academy across the week and the station's DJs, including Fearne Cotton, Scott Mills, Greg James, Huw Stephens and Ally McCrae, will be at Queen Margaret Union to shine a spotlight on the work of the young people attending.
Ally McCrae, who hosts BBC Introducing on Radio 1, championing new Scottish bands and acts, was himself inspired to get involved in radio by his idols.
Ally, 26, from Paisley, presents his show from Glasgow but spends time at Radio 1 HQ in London throughout the week.
He initially enrolled in a philosophy course at Stirling University before deciding to switch to study film and media.
But it was his active role in the university's student radio station which helped shape his career.
Before long Ally was presenting and producing shows and, after using his initiative to set up an online video blog and podcasts, his work and determination paid off when he was given his big break at Radio 1 when he impressed bosses with a demo.
So, inspiring local teens to follow their passion and have the courage to push themselves forward, is a cause close to his heart.
He told the Evening Times: "I know what it is like, especially in the West of Scotland, where you can be shot down for having 'ideas above your station', but if you feel really strongly about something you just have to go for it.
"The Academy takes place every year before the Big Weekend and I have been involved in hosting Q&As before but the line up of people taking part in the Glasgow event is the best yet.
"There is so much local talent, like Kevin Bridges, Biffy Clyro and singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt.
"I am so pleased that Nina is taking part because she is an example of how putting yourself out there really pays off."
I remember when I was at uni I got to go to the first Big Weekend in Scotland, it was Dundee, and see how it was put together and also meet DJ Colin Murray.
"I have never forgotten that and I am sure it helped inspire me to the position I am in today."
From May 10, Radio 1 will also be broadcasting many of its shows, including Dance Anthems with Danny Howard, Radio 1's Review Show with Edith Bowman, Dan and Phil and The Radio 1 Surgery with Aled and Dr Radha, live in front of an audience of students at Glasgow University .
Big Weekend celebrations will kick off on Friday May 23, with a night of live music in George Square.
Radio 1's urban music station 1Xtra will also be heading to Glasgow next month for a one-night dance and DJ event on May 17 at the Riverside Museum on the banks of the Clyde.