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James Martin health: ‘They started slagging me off’ TV chef opens up about secret battle


James Martin, 48, is the talented chef who has entertained audiences for years. The charismatic presenter comes across as extremely confident, however, many will be surprised to learn that he suffered with a disorder that made everyday tasks almost impossible for him.

Speaking to Woman and Home, the TV chef said: “I failed cookery in school because I was dyslexic, still am. Severely dyslexic.

“I’ve never read a book in my life.”

In more recent years, critics have commented on the fact his dyslexia impact his reading of autocue during his TV appearances.

He continued: “A couple of mean tweets, they started slagging me off about the way I read autocue.

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What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding), said the Mayo Clinic.

The health site continued: “Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.

“People with dyslexia have normal intelligence and usually have normal vision.

“Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.”

Some people with dyslexia can have other problems not directly connected to reading and writing.

These may include:

Difficulties with numbers (dyscalculia)

Poor short-term memory

Problems concentrating and a short attention span, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Poor organisation and time management

Physical coordination problems (developmental coordination disorder, also called DCD or dyspraxia)



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