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  Sir Richard Branson: When I was 12
Updated 27 September 2004, 16.26
Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is one of Britain's most successful businessmen.

His newest scheme is to send people into space - but it doesn't come cheap at 100,000 a seat.

His empire also includes record stores, mobile phones and plane and train firms. He's also famous for his hot air balloon stunts.


What was your most embarrassing moment at school?
Sending off for a Beatles wig and looking very foolish when I tried it on. I think I took it off pretty quickly. I was so excited waiting for it to arrive, but I was red-faced when I got it.

How much pocket money did you get?
The equivalent of about 50p a week in today's money. Most of it went on sweets.

What did your school report say?
I had the worst school report ever. They thought I was a hopeless case because I'm dyslexic, although no-one had heard of it in those days. I was always bottom of the class and I left school at 15. If you have a problem like dyslexia, I think you try to be better at other things.

Sir Richard's famous for his ballooning feats
Sir Richard's famous for his ballooning feats

What was your favourite TV show?
I wasn't really allowed to watch TV, but I liked Thunderbirds. I really liked the character of Peter Pan, because he didn't grow up and I didn't want to grow up and because he could fly and I wanted to fly.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?
Not a school teacher - my scout master. He was extremely friendly. I liked getting as far away from school as possible and he would take us on wonderful adventure trips.

What made you cringe most?
Latin, I think. I couldn't see any point in learning it and I couldn't string two Latin words together.

Were you bullied?
A little bit. I think bullies are the worst people and I hope that I went to the rescue of people who were being bullied - I was quite tall for my age. I think bullying is unforgivable. Anyone who sees it happen should try to put a stop to it.

Who was your hero or heroine?
Film star Jane Fonda - I thought she was beautiful.

Did you have a nickname?
Branson pickle.

What was your favourite book?
Swallows and Amazons - a lovely kids' adventure book.


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