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'I was constantly embarrassed': Holly Willoughby praises English teacher who helped her come to grips with her dyslexia after she was diagnosed 'quite late'

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-11-22

Holly Willoughby has told how her secondary school English teacher helped her as she struggled with dyslexia as a teenager.

The TV presenter, 40, and her This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield, 59, discussed teachers who had inspired them on Monday's show after Adele was reunited with her year eight English teacher on her ITV special An Audience With Adele.

Holly revealed she was diagnosed with dyslexia 'quite late', although didn't specify how old she was, and said she dreaded having to read out passages in class.

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Mentor: Holly Willoughby has told how her secondary school English teacher helped her as she struggled with dyslexia as a teenager

She said: 'My favourite teacher who was incredible was called Mrs. Williamsoon, she was my English teacher. I didn't get my dyslexia diagnosis until my GCSEs which is relatively quite late.

'I hated reading out loud because I couldn't read well and would get the words mixed up and I was constantly embarrassed.

'She always took me aside and spent a lot of time with me. Even during break time she would be like "come on and read this essay in". She really took the time and never made me feel stupid so I loved her.'

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. It is estimated up to one in ten people in the UK have some form of dyslexia.

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Younger days: Holly revealed she was diagnosed with dyslexia 'quite late' and would dread having to read out passages in class (pictured in 1999)

Meanwhile, Phillip praised his former careers teacher for not mocking his ambition to work in TV and for helping him to get work experience at BBC Plymouth.

He said: 'Bruce Connor was the careers teacher. All my mates was the usual, farmer, policeman. I said I want to get into telly, to be on the TV and he didn't laugh.

'He said, "Right OK, I haven't had that one before." He found a friend who had a friend in the BBC in Plymouth and set the whole thing up and never once laughed at this crazy kid in Cornwall who wanted to be on the telly.'

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She said: 'I hated reading out loud because I couldn't read well and would get the words mixed up and was constantly embarrassed. She really took the time with me and was like "come on and read this essay"'

It comes after Adele became emotional as she was reunited with her English teacher on the TV special An Audience With Adele.

Fans at the London Palladium show saw actress Emma Thompson ask the superstar who had inspired her when she was young.

Adele opened up about the impact the year eight teacher had on her, after which Emma revealed that she was actually in the audience.

Adele said: 'Yeah I had a teacher at Chestnut Grove who taught me English. That was Miss McDonald. She left when I was in year eight. It was just one year, but she got me really into literature. I've always been obsessed with English and obviously now I write lyrics.

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Miss you: It comes after Adele broke down in tears as she was surprised by her old school teacher who taught her at Chestnut Grove School in Balham, while onstage

'She was so bloody cool. So engaging, she really made us care and we knew she cared about us.'

Emma then announced the star's teacher was in the audience, with Miss McDonald saying: 'Thank you for remembering me.'

Adele responded: 'Oh my God, you really changed my life.'

The singer said she felt 'emotional' to be back on stage in the UK for the first time in four years as she performed for the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Emma Watson, David Tennant, Naomi Campbell, Daniel Kaluuya and Catherine O'Hara.

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Can't believe it: Adele cried as her former teacher Miss McDonald came on stage

Her sports agent boyfriend Rich Paul also joined the crowd of A-listers and the singer's family and friends.

Dawn French, Stormzy, Gareth Southgate and Samuel L Jackson were among those to watch the Someone Like You star live.

Adele hasn't performed a concert in the UK since her Wembley Stadium shows in June 2017.

But, she is set to make a comeback next year, having recently announced live shows in London in 2022.

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Adele said: 'Oh my God, you really changed my life' as she reunited with her teacher

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