HE is one of Britain's wealthiest and most successful men.

His York home is on the market for a record £4 million and his property business is building Europe's highest residential tower.

But multi-millionaire Kevin Linfoot has revealed that his achievements have come despite being barely able to read or write.

The 48-year-old businessman, whose Bishopthorpe home may be the most expensive private property ever to come on the market in York, suffers from a severe form of dyslexia.

He has to write phonetically, and keeps much of his business in his head, while his personal assistant reads documents out to him.

"It's all in my head," he said. "My memory is incredible and that's what I rely on. I can't read, but I am very aware of what is happening. I put all my efforts into other things.

"Until I was about 35, I could have a conversation and then be able to remember every word that was said."

He said he no longer felt embarrassed about his condition, and just forgot about it, although he had visited a number of dyslexia specialists without success.

He said he hoped his achievements could be an inspiration to other young people with dyslexia, making them realise that they too could make a success of life despite their condition.

He spent his childhood on a pig farm at Hessay, west of York, and failed at school. "I never really did any exams," he said.

But then he received £1,800 compensation after a motorbike accident when he was 17, and used the money to buy a half-share of a joinery business, which he sold 12 months later for £22,000.

He then started buying, renovating and selling houses and building up the business K W Linfoot, which today has 4,000 properties on the drawing board or under construction, and is building the twin tower, 700-flat Lumiere scheme in Leeds city centre - Europe's highest such building.

He lives with his partner, Francesca Foster, and 18-month-old son, William, at Bishopthorpe Garth, a Grade II listed building on the outskirts of Bishopthorpe with 25 acres of grounds featuring a tennis court, fish pond, walled gardens. There is a 3,500sq ft garage where he keeps a line of cars, including a McLaren and a Rolls Royce, along with a 1920s Austin Chummy. Features inside the house include four reception rooms and a home cinema.

He is selling up because he has bought a country estate elsewhere in the region.

Tim Blenkin, of agents Blenkin and Co, who are handling the sale of Bishopthorpe Garth, said he was not aware of another York house being offered for such a price before now.

"We have sold a house in Poppleton for £2 million, and several in the city centre at over £1 million - but this is altogether a different ball game!" he said.