Jay hopes documentary can ‘inspire’ other adults (Picture: BBC/Ricochet Ltd/Cody Burridge)
The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades is to open up about his literacy problems in an upcoming BBC One documentary, in what will be his ‘toughest challenge’.
Jay, 51, is best-known as one of the stars of The Repair Shop through his work as a skilled furniture restorer.
However, a new BBC film will explore a side to the presenter that viewers may not be aware of, as he shares his struggles to read.
Until he was in his 30s, Jay kept the fact that he has the reading ability of a child a secret, always finding ways to avoid the written word throughout his life.
The documentary will delve into how his reading struggles have shaped him, having left school with no qualifications.
Jay will learn how to read with a charity that organises volunteer coaches to work one-on-one with readers, joining other people as they also learn to read and support one another.
The Repair Shop viewers love watching Jay at work (Picture: BBC/Wah Wah Lab)
He’ll also take a look back at key moments in his life when his literacy problems impacted him, including when he received an important letter from hospital that he had to ask a stranger on the street to read to him.
Jay will also highlight illiteracy statistics in the UK, as recent research has suggested that a quarter of all children in England level school unable to read further than the expected level.
Furthermore, nearly half of all prisoners either can’t read or struggle to do so, while more than eight million adults in the UK struggle with literacy, the BBC said.
‘Learning to read is going to be the toughest challenge for me,’ Jay said.
‘On this journey I’ll be meeting people who can’t read, for whatever reason, and hopefully helping them. I’d love this film to inspire the millions of other adults in the same situation as me.’
Dan Baldwin, executive producer of the documentary, says that ‘this is going to be a gargantuan task for Jay’.
‘He will have to work incredibly hard and this film will see Jay completely out of his comfort zone. This will be an inspiring, influential and important film for many people who struggle to read,’ Dan said.
Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, commended Jay on taking on the challenge, saying: ‘To achieve what he’s achieved with very limited literacy is amazing.’
‘I’d like to thank Jay for his bravery in sharing his story with BBC viewers and I hope his journey will provide support and encouragement to other non-readers,’ Jack said.
Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51 will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.