‘It makes me so sad kids feel this way’: Cat Deeley tears up as Jamie Oliver tells


Cat Deeley teared up as Jamie Oliver told a heartbreaking story about dyslexic children being let down by the education system on Thursday’s This Morning.

The presenter, 47, became visibly emotional when chatting to the chef, 48, – who has lived with dyslexia all his life – about his new children’s book Billy and the Epic Escape. 

Jamie told on the show how the book features dyslexia friendly font and clear spacing to help those with the learning difficulty.

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected.

Jamie has worked in schools for years campaigning for healthier meals and was asked by Cat about one interaction he had with a child during his time at a primary school. 

Cat Deeley teared up as Jamie Oliver told a heartbreaking story about dyslexic children being let down by the education system on Thursday's This Morning

Cat Deeley teared up as Jamie Oliver told a heartbreaking story about dyslexic children being let down by the education system on Thursday’s This Morning

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn't affected

 Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected

She said to him: ‘One time you had a 10-year-old boy come up to you and ask ‘Do you ever feel like you’re worth nothing?’ And he had dyslexia didn’t he.’

Her voice then began to break as she added: ‘That really upset me…’

Jamie replied: ‘Me too, and with school dinner campaigns I’ve done I’ve been through 15 education secretaries in sort of 17/18 years and I think if you’ve got a child or you were that child and you didn’t fit into conventional learning…’

He then looked up at Cat and said: ‘And I can see you’re getting emotional…’.

Cat, teary-eyed, then responded saying: ‘Yeah it makes me so sad to feel that kids feel that!’

Billy and the Epic Escape is the second book Jamie has written that follows his first best-selling book Billy and the Giant Adventure.

He said on This Morning: ‘Last year when I promoted the first book I got emotional out of nowhere and as a nearly-50-year-old adult I’m like ‘What’s going on I didn’t expect this’.

‘But I think it’s about when you’re a kid you want to fit in and for me you want school to be where anyone can flourish and I think there’s a lot of work to be done to make every child feel that they can…’

The presenter, 47, became visibly emotional when chatting to the chef, 48, - who has lived with dyslexia all his life - about his new children's book Billy and the Epic Escape

The presenter, 47, became visibly emotional when chatting to the chef, 48, – who has lived with dyslexia all his life – about his new children’s book Billy and the Epic Escape

He told on the show how the book features dyslexia friendly font and clear spacing to help those with the learning difficulty

She said to him: 'One time you had a 10-year-old boy come up to you and ask 'Do you ever feel like you're worth nothing?' And he had dyslexia didn't he.'

She said to him: ‘One time you had a 10-year-old boy come up to you and ask ‘Do you ever feel like you’re worth nothing?’ And he had dyslexia didn’t he.’

He then looked up at Cat and said: 'And I can see you're getting emotional...'

He then looked up at Cat and said: ‘And I can see you’re getting emotional…’

Cat then said to her co-host Ben Shephard about the 10-year-old by they previously spoke about: ‘He also said (to the young boy) ‘Come back to me when you’re 16 and I’ll give you a job if you need one’. That’s what I loved. The end of the story.’

What is Dyslexia?

  • Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects accurate and fluent word reading and spelling  
  • It can result in poor or inconsistent spelling and writing – along with potential struggles following directions or being organised
  • Children and adults of all intellectual abilities can be affected by dyslexia
  • People with dyslexia often have good skills in other areas, including creative thinking and problem solving

 Info from NHS.org

Amid his struggles at school and dyslexia Jamie said that ‘food saved him’ and that the boy from his story ‘hadn’t found his thing yet’. 

He said: ‘Of course many of us don’t find that thing until later in life!’

Last year when promoting his first book Jamie shared the touching reason he wrote it. 

The celebrity chef told Australia’s The Project that his dyslexia left him struggling to read to his kids, and so he made up stories for them instead. 

‘It just happened. It was a secret little project. And one which just came about me putting my kids to bed at night. I’m dyslexic, so I was never very good at reading’ the star explained. 

‘At a certain age, they sort of say, “Dad, don’t read. Just make something up from your head.” And I just started recording them, so I could remember who the characters were’.

Jamie said that he has always struggled to get his thoughts down and used a dictaphone to plot his cookbooks.

‘For me, as a dyslexic kid, words were the enemy, right? They were the thing that sort of frightened me. I could never get my ideas down on paper’ he said. 

The chef, who has written 35 cookbooks, has five children - Poppy Honey, 20, Daisy Boo, 19, Petal Blossom, 13, Buddy Bear, 11 and River Rocket, five. Pictured with his children and wife Jools

The chef, who has written 35 cookbooks, has five children – Poppy Honey, 20, Daisy Boo, 19, Petal Blossom, 13, Buddy Bear, 11 and River Rocket, five. Pictured with his children and wife Jools

Billy and the Epic Escape is the second book Jamie has written that follows his first best-selling book Billy and the Giant Adventure

Billy and the Epic Escape is the second book Jamie has written that follows his first best-selling book Billy and the Giant Adventure 

Amid his struggles at school and dyslexia Jamie said that 'food saved him' and that the boy from his story 'hadn't found his thing yet'

Amid his struggles at school and dyslexia Jamie said that ‘food saved him’ and that the boy from his story ‘hadn’t found his thing yet’ 

‘So you just find other ways. I mean, even in my cookbooks, I’ve never written or typed them. I’ve always used dictaphones’.

The chef, who has written 35 cookbooks, has five children – Poppy Honey, 20, Daisy Boo, 19, Petal Blossom, 13, Buddy Bear, 11 and River Rocket, five.

He has been open about his dyslexia and previously revealed he had ‘never got through a book’ before reading Catching Fire in 2013 at the age of 38.  

The 391-page sci-fi novel is the sequel to Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.



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