Theo was born in Limassol, Cyprus in 1959. His father and grandparents worked for British bases in Cyprus enabling them to emigrate to England as a family when Theo was six years old.
Theo started his career at the age of 16 as a tea boy/filing clerk with Lloyds of London insurance brokers before making his first foray into retail at the age of 18. At the age of 20 he moved into finance - property and corporate, specialising in turnarounds, setting up his own company at the age of 23.
In the following years he purchased and turned around ailing companies like Movie Media Sports, Ryman the Stationer, Contessa and La Senza lingerie chains, and Partners the Stationer. He has turned these companies into successful, solid and profitable retail businesses.
During this time, he spent eight years as Chairman of Millwall FC, taking it out of administration, into the Championship and to the FA Cup Final. He was also a Director of the Football League and an FA Councillor. This has been followed by his appearance as a Dragon on the successful BBC Two TV series, Dragons' Den. His most recent significant acquisition is the experience company, Red Letter Days.
Theo lives in Surrey with his wife. He has five children and three grandchildren.
The next big thing?
Retail entrepreneur and "Dragon" Theo Paphitis gives unknown designers and producers the opportunity of a lifetime: to pitch directly to some of the UK's most prestigious stores in a bid to supply them with the next best-selling product.