The Repair Shop star Jay Blades opened up in a one-off documentary, as he took on the challenge of reading to daughter Zola before her 16th birthday.
In the moving BBC programme, Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51, the presenter and furniture restorer tackled reading lessons over Zoom via charity Read Easy.
Viewers saw him gradually progress over the six month period, with the ultimate goal of managing to read a bedtime story to Zola, who lives with her mum in Turkey.
By the end of the episode, Jay felt confident he was able to read the book and with the support of his fiancé Lisa, he made some last-minute preparations before jumping on a video call with Zola.
He told the cameras: ‘Today’s the day, I finally feel ready to read my daughter a bedtime story.’
The book he chose was titled Olivia, sharing: ‘I’ve always loved this book and I’ve always made up stories and I’ve never, ever read it.’
Zola replied: ‘Oh my gosh, I remember this so well! I used to love this one.’
Jay then proceeded to read the story as his daughter smiled away on the camera and clapped for him at the end.
Giving her verdict, the teen told him: ’Well done, that was so good. I can see the progress!’
‘With a bit more practice I think you’ll be feeling much more confident, I’m really proud of you,’ she added.
Those watching the poignant moment at home were left understandably emotional, with one sharing on Twitter: ‘Bawling my eyes out at Jay reading his letter from his daughter #jayblades #learningtoreadat51.’
A fan added: ‘Jay Blades reading the book Olivia to his daughter after only a few months. Heart opening! Fantastic. #jayblades #dyslexia #learningtoreadat51.’
‘#JayBlades This programme made me cry, keep going Jay,’ wrote another.
Someone else commented: ‘No YOU’RE crying at Jay Blades reading his daughter’s letter then reading to her Crying face #learningtoreadat51 #JayBlades.’
Reflecting on his achievement after the call, he told Lisa: ‘I should be proud, I am very very proud. It’s a milestone.
Lisa also highlighted the benefits of Jay’s progress too, sharing: ‘It’s helped our relationship because it’s helped find that middle ground between work Jay and home Jay.’
The TV star left school with no qualifications and was later diagnosed with dyslexia.
He spent time looking back on his difficult past in the documentary, as well as chatting about the lasting impact being in the ‘learner’ class at school had on him.
Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51 can be streamed on BBC iPlayer now.
Credit: Original article published here.