Jay Blades, presenter of The Repair Shop, has decided it’s finally time to learn to read. Until he was in his 30s, Jay concealed a big secret: he has the reading ability of a child. Throughout his life he has found ways of avoiding the written word and this film will dig deep into how this has shaped him.
Jay will learn to read with a charity that organises volunteer coaches to work one to one with readers, using a system which was started in prisons. Blades will join forces with other people also learning to read and together they will support, cajole and encourage one another to get over their fear of the printed word.
Along the way, he’ll revisit key moments in his life shaped by not being able to read: from the ‘Learner’ class at school, to receiving an important letter from hospital and having to find a stranger on the street to read it to him. And he will discover the human stories behind the nation’s shocking illiteracy statistics.
Jay Blades says: “Learning to read is going to be the toughest challenge for me. On this journey I’ll be meeting people who can’t read, for whatever reason, and hopefully helping them. I’d love this film to inspire the millions of other adults in the same situation as me.”
Executive Producer Dan Baldwin says: “This is going to be a gargantuan task for Jay. He will have to work incredibly hard and this film will see Jay completely out of his comfort zone. This will be an inspiring, influential and important film for many people who struggle to read.”