I’m a Celeb: Matt Hancock finally discusses dyslexia after saying he would raise awareness in jungle

Former health secretary had vowed to use his ‘incredible platform’ to raise awareness of the learning difficulty

Isobel Lewis
Monday 21 November 2022 07:05 GMT
Banner protesting Matt Hancock's I’m a Celeb appearance flown over the jungle

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Louise Thomas

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Matt Hancock has discussed his dyslexia for the first time since entering theI’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!camp.

Ahead of joining the show, the former health secretary vowed he would use the “incredible platform” to raise awareness of the learning difficulty after facing criticism from politicians and the public.

Two weeks into the reality series on Sunday (20 November), the MP, who was stripped of the Tory whip for appearing on the reality show, finally opened up about his experience of being diagnosed while at university.

Chatting to comedians Babatunde Aleshe and Seann Walsh, Hancock was asked what he had struggled with during life, to which he replied: “I can’t dance, I can’t sing and I can’t read very well, very quickly.”

As the trio reflected on their experiences growing up, Aleshe joked that staying alive at his school in Tottenham was his “biggest achievement”.

Hancock said that he “desperately wanted to learn” and found he could with maths, but struggled with English.

“Are you talking about reading specifically?” Walsh asked, to which Hancock replied: “Yeah. And then the moment I was identified as dyslexic at university it was, ‘Ah, so actually I am okay with language, it’s just my brain works differently and I can work on that’.”

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly causes problems with reading, writing and spelling, according to the NHS website.

A spokesperson for Hancock previously said: “The second reading of Matt’s Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill is just days after I’m A Celebrity finishes.

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Hancock in the jungle
Hancock in the jungle (James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

“By going on the show, Matt hopes to raise the profile of his dyslexia campaign and will use the platform to talk about an issue he really cares about in front of millions of people. Matt is determined that no child should leave primary school not knowing if they have dyslexia.”

They added that the MP would be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk, and causes supporting dyslexia (including the British Dyslexia Association) off the back of his appearance.

But viewers had pointed out that, with just one week left in the jungle, Hancock was yet to mention dyslexia.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain last week, actor Les Dennis said that he was “bored” of all the attention Hancock was getting, adding: “And where’s the talk of dyslexia?”

GMB host Richard Madeley came to Hancock’s defense, saying that he may have mentioned the condition without it making the final edit.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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