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Charley Boorman is a world-famous motorcycle enthusiast who has made several travel documentaries with his friend and actor Ewan McGregor. As a TV personality, he has taken audiences around the world by motorcycle: from New York to London, from John o’Groats to Cape Town, and from County Wicklow Ireland to Sydney Australia.

And Boorman has dyslexia.

He was born in Ireland to a costume designer mother and film director father. He struggled in school from an early age, though it was his father who first recognised the signs of dyslexia. He had to fight throughout his primary and early secondary years to get his learning difficulties recognised by his teachers.

“I found I was being pushed to one side and I was being ear-marked as being thick, which is a very damaging thing to be told as a young kid. (They said) you’re thick and you’ll not amount to much.”

He laughs remembering it now, and describes how he used to play the class clown in order to cover for the embarrassment of not being able to read.

In his teenage years he left Ireland to attend a school in England where he could receive support for his educational needs. He always felt that his teachers were looking for his weaknesses so much that they missed his strengths.

He left school and spent a few years acting in some of his father’s films before moving on to television and travel after making a movie with Ewan MacGregor. Despite the fact that he still has reading problems, he’s written several books about his adventures.

Boorman has served as president of Dyslexia Action since 2009, where he frequently visits schools and acts as an advocate for everyone – children and adults – who is struggling to read. One of his passions is about making sure teachers receive the right training to be able to help dyslexics in their classrooms.

“While they’re being taught to be teachers, they need to be taught to identify dyslexia … so that that child can then be earmarked and say, ‘right, that kid needs a little bit of extra help’. That was the kind of battle I had. I knew what I had, but my teachers didn’t.”


Sarah Forrest has ridden a motorcycle once and that was quite enough. She is a System Coach for Easyread, an online phonics course that offers a revolutionary approach to resolving reading difficulties for kids with dyslexia, auditory processing disorders, highly visual learning styles and more.