James Martin reveals the sad reason he actually failed cookery at school

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  • Cooking legend James Martin has made a surprising confession as he revealed he actually failed at cookery when he was at school.

    The TV presenter has built a very successful career for himself, from his decade-long stint on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, to several other shows like James Martin’s French Adventure and James Martin’s American Adventure.

    However, things weren’t always looking up for the chef as he was actually failed at cookery in school because he’s severely dyslexic.

    The condition makes it hard for him to read recipes and follow the autocue when he’s presenting a show. Back when he was at school, it also made it hard for him to pass exams.

    Speaking to his guests singer Lisa Stansfield and fellow chef Ainsley Harriott on his ITV show Saturday Morning with James Martin, he said: ‘I failed cookery at school.’

    When they thought he was kidding, James added: ‘I did! What are you laughing at?

    Credit: Getty Images


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    ‘The only exam I passed at school was art.’

    Explaining why, James continued: ‘I mainly failed it [cookery] because I’m severely dyslexic. A lot of this crew think I’m ignoring them.

    ‘I am most of the time but it’s mainly because I have trouble reading a script.’

    Ainsley added that the condition was not as recognised as it is today, but it helps people are more open about it to end the stigma around it.

    ‘I think there was a period in time when people didn’t recognise dyslexia’, the chef said.

    ‘And now we’re there and it’s people like you who are saying, “I was” and admitting it, gives them the confidence to say, “You know what? I can achieve things in life.”’

    James Martin shocked his fans when he announced that he would be leaving Saturday Kitchen in 2016, after ten years of presenting the show.

    He started his new show on ITV the following year, in September 2017.

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