The Repair Shops Jay Blades on finding out he had reading ability of an 11-year-old

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Jay Blades candidly opened up about his personal struggles as the presenter addressed his challenges with reading. The 51-year-old TV presenter is best known for presenting his emotionally charged BBC show The Repair Shop.

The upcycling extraordinaire has detailed the moment he found out his reading ability as an adult.

The small-screen star revealed that his ex-wife identified he had a problem and urged him to seek help.

It comes as the restorer recently released his memoir where he gives readers a personal insight into his journey to television success.

In his new book Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped Me Repair My Life, Jay revealed how he struggled to read after he gave up studying while in secondary school.

“At 31 when I went to university my ex-wife identified that I had a problem with reading,” Jay explained.

He went on: “She said, ‘Let’s find out if you’re dyslexic.’

“I did quite a big dyslexic test and I’ve got the reading ability of an 11-year-old.”

Jay added: “I stopped learning when I went to secondary school.”

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words, according to the NHS.

The restorer admitted he often doesn’t read his scripts on the BBC show as he shared how he copes with dyslexia.

Jay said: “I’ve still got dyslexia. I don’t read scripts for the shows that I do. The [producers] just want me to talk.

“They send me the emails of what I need to do.”


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He continued: “But they learn very quickly there is no point in sending Jay an email – he never reads them. Send him a voicenote and he’ll listen to that, but he’s never going to read them.”

The Repair Shop host’s comments come as the restoration expert released his autobiography last month.

The Making It memoir explores Jay’s life from his childhood and follows his journey to landing on-screen, but it wasn’t without trials and tribulations.

The Repair Shop host speaks openly about the bullying he endured, leaving school at 15 without any qualifications, to fatherhood.

Speaking about the book, Jay explained: “I’m in a position where people are looking at me and the articles written about me and so on and so forth, and I thought, ‘You know what, let me tell people exactly what’s happened to me and where I’ve got to where I’ve got to.’

“A lot of people just know me as Jay from The Repair Shop but no one knows the true me.”

He added: “And knowing the true me will inspire people to achieve things at the later times of their lives. Or just show people that no matter where you’re from you can actually achieve something.”

Jay Blades’ Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped Me Repair My Life is out now.

The Repair Shop airs tonight on BBC One at 8pm.


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