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Jamie Oliver (MBE) is probably Britain’s most famous celebrity chefs. Over his career which spans nearly two decades though he is only 37 years old, he has hosted 24 international television shows, 17 books, and a variety of charitable ventures geared towards improving nutrition in school-aged children both in the UK and across the Atlantic.

And he is dyslexic.

“It was with great regret that I didn’t do better at school. People just thought I was thick. It was a struggle. I never really understood dyslexia and who could bring out my strengths.”

From a young age Jamie struggled with reading and writing. He preferred highly visual or kinaesthetic activities like art and geology. His parents owned a pub and he spent a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen as a child. By the age of 16 he was committed to his dream career as a chef, which combined both the visual and kinaesthetic, along with capitalizing on his natural creativity.

Jamie speaks publicly about his dyslexia and is passionate about helping children who struggled in school like he did to explore food science as a career. He confesses that he has never read a whole book in his life, but education is his biggest area of interest.

“Reading bores me to death as I’m dyslexic; I’ve honestly never read a book from cover to cover in my life. At school textbooks did my head in.”

Ironically, although Jamie won’t pick up a book on his own, he has sold more than £100 million pounds worth of his own cookbooks!

Jamie says that as an adult, he has good days and bad days with his dyslexia, but that he wouldn’t necessarily change it if he could.

“The people who I admire and love who get me going, Richard Branson, Paul Smith, they’re all dyslexic.”

You’re in good company, Jamie!


Sarah Forrest is a System Coach for Easyread, an online phonics course designed for struggling readers with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing disorders, and more.