Jamie Oliver is not new to television and the world of Celebrity Chefs. He has been on television since 1999 with his show The Naked Chef. Despite his long standing popularity, fans are still curious about him. Some fans have been wondering if he can read since he is open about the trouble he had in school.
Jamie Oliver did have trouble reading when he was younger as he is dyslexic, but he can read now. Jamie Oliver has been honest about his struggle in school, saying most of his classes were ungraded due to his dyslexia. Though he had trouble growing up, he can now read and write novels.
Continue reading to find out more about dyslexia and how it affected Jamie Oliver’s life.
What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects people’s ability to read. It causes problems with identifying which letters make which sound.
Dyslexia only affects reading and in turn writing, so a person with dyslexia still has normal intelligence.
Dyslexia is commonly undiagnosed, it is estimated that 40 million people in the United States are dyslexic, but only 2 million people know it.
This is an issue because although there is no cure for dyslexia, early intervention can still make a big difference.
How Jamie Oliver Overcame Dyslexia
Jamie Oliver has not shied away from being public about his struggles with reading and writing. In 2013, he came out and said that year was the first time he ever finished a book.
At the time, he was 38 years old but says his dyslexia always held him back from being able to complete a story.
The first book that he ever finished was Suzanne Collin’s Catching Fire. Interestingly, this is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy, but Oliver never read the first.
Though many people are undiagnosed with dyslexia, Oliver and his parents knew he was dyslexic when he was in school.
Due to this, he says: “I came out of school with an A in Art and a C in Geology, and everything else was pretty much ungraded.”
Despite his struggle with reading and writing, Oliver has gone on to be very successful. He is not only a chef but a television show host, an author, and an entrepreneur with a restaurant chain.
The author-part of his identity may be surprising to some due to his dyslexia. People with dyslexia tend to struggle with writing because they have a hard time sounding out words to spell them.
Jamie Oliver is no different, he also had a hard time writing his books. He still has thirty-one published books, no small feat for a person without a reading disorder, but even more impressive for him.
That being said, he may have had help writing the books. It is not uncommon for celebrity chefs to hire a ghostwriter to help them write a book.
Other celebrity chefs like Rachael Ray, Mario Batali, and Gwyneth Paltrow are also said to have used ghostwriters for their books.
This does not mean that they did not write their books at all, though they may not have, it means that they did get help with writing.
Jamie Oliver has been open about that as he says he has a team to help him with his books. With thirty-one books in twenty years, this is not surprising.
He ultimately has the final say in what is included in his books though. In fact, his book 5 Ingredients, was designed for people with dyslexia.
Oliver said he designed the book to be “stripped back” to make the recipes have more clarity. He further says having a lot of white space on the pages is intentional to tell people, “you’re alright, you’re cool, you can do this. Embrace the white space, the simplicity.”
So, although Jamie Oliver is dyslexic, he can read and write.