Matt Hancock discusses his dyslexia on I’m A Celebrity for first time

Matt Hancock Discusses His Dyslexia On I’m A Celebrity For First Time
Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball 2021 – Day One – O2 Arena – London, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

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

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


During Sunday’s episode, two weeks into the reality series, the MP for West Suffolk finally opened up about his experience of being diagnosed while at university.

Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg
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 (Jeff Overs/PA)

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”.

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

Walsh asked: “Are you talking about reading specifically?”

The former health secretary replied: “Yeah. And then the moment I was identified as dyslexic at university it was ‘Ahh 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.

“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.


G20 summit
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Leon Neal/PA)

They added that the MP will 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.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was among those who have spoken out about Hancock’s decision to enter the jungle, saying he felt it was not “noble” because he was failing to prioritise his “constituents and our country”.


Speaking to reporters travelling with him to the G20 summit in Bali, Mr Sunak said: “I think politics at its best can and should be actually quite noble.”

On Tuesday, campaigners flew a banner over the I’m A Celebrity campsite, reading: “Covid bereaved say get out of here!”

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