Before the BBC documentary, Jay Blades of The Repair Shop admits that accepting vulnerability is “frightening.”


Before the BBC documentary, Jay Blades of The Repair Shop admits that it’s “scary accepting vulnerability.”

Jay Blades, host of THE REPAIR SHOP, discusses the “shame” of having to learn to read in his 50s after being diagnosed with dyslexia.

Fans of The Repair Shop know Jay Blades, 51, as a carefree, fun-loving character.

But, in his new BBC One documentary, Learning To Read At 51, the creator is about to bravely allow the world to see him at his most vulnerable.

Accepting your vulnerability can be a frightening experience.

Blades, Jay.

He spoke candidly about how he’s had to overcome feelings of “shame” about learning to read while in his fifties in a recent interview ahead of the insightful programme’s launch, which sees him join forces with other people learning to read with the help of a charity.

Using a system that began in prisons, the charity organizes volunteer coaches who help readers one-on-one.

Jay was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 31 years old, while studying criminology at Buckinghamshire New University.

The presenter, who had previously struggled with literacy, was taken aback when he discovered he had the reading age of an 11-year-old child.

The TV star describes how it has affected his life to the point where he had to have a stranger read an important letter from the hospital to him in the film.

Jay, who lives in Wolverhampton and has a PA who reads emails from TV producers to him, described learning to read phonetically as “going back to nursery.”

“I do feel shame,” he told The Sunday Times.

“It’s frightening to admit your vulnerability.

“However, I feel like a child at Christmas every time I get a word right.”

When he was diagnosed with dyslexia as a mature student, he began using an exam scribe instead of physically reading copy.

He prefers to send voice notes or dictated texts when it comes to messages.

He also revealed that he never read the written summaries of The Repair Shop interviewees that each host is given before filming for the first three years.

“The beauty of dyslexia, and 20 years of community service, is that it gives you the emotional intelligence to tell a story,” he explained, adding that he uses this to his advantage when presenting.

“I’m in charge of that.”

His, to be precise.

“News from the Brinkwire.”

It’s scary to accept your vulnerability

Jay Blades


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