A TYCOON who has become one
of Britain's richest men
confessed to an amazing secret
yesterday - he has never been
able to READ.
Panayiotou, 45, cannot even fill
out a simple passport form. He
also has to concentrate to
decipher road signs when
The dad of five - worth
£400million and the UK's 200th
wealthiest person - admitted: "As
a child, I tried my best to read.
"The words would get scrambled
in my brain." After leaving school
at 14 with no GCSEs, he learned
to beat his dyslexia as he built a
property and hotel empire.
His trick was to memorise shapes
of key words rather than using
the letters forming them.
But the ex-boxer - born in
London to Greek Cypriots - said:
"When I get to surnames and
words I've never seen, it's nigh
"On the motorway I have to
concentrate to read the road
signs. It still induces feelings of
"Filling out forms for stuff like
passport control is also a no-go
area." Despite his handicap he
now owns three planes - one a
£40million Gulfstream jet - plus a
His lavish home in Epping Forest,
Essex, boasts 20 acres.
Mr Panayiotou, who spoke out to
help dyslexia sufferers, said: "I
hated reading as a kid.
"As an adult I've organised my
life to avoid it as much as