Jamie Oliver: children with dyslexia are “lucky”

The Naked Chef says his dyslexia played a role in his success

Jamie Oliver

As the head of a publishing, broadcasting and catering empire worth £150 million, Jamie Oliver hasn’t let his dyslexia hold him back – in fact, the TV chef believes it’s contributed to his success.

Advertisement

“I genuinely think that when someone says to you, ‘Johnny’s got dyslexia’, you should get down on your knees, shake the child’s hand and say, ‘well done, you lucky, lucky boy’,” says Jamie in the new issue of Radio Times.

The star, who has just released his 20th book, 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food, claims that the condition, which affects his ability to read, gives him a unique perspective when he embarks on projects.

“If I’m in a meeting I just see the problems differently and I obsess about things differently,” he says. “Some bits of work need to be sweated over and cried over and crafted. Because I’m dyslexic, sometimes, when it requires a load of stuff to be done, I just do it. It’s like I’m a massive ten-tonne boulder rolling down the hill.”

It’s not the first time he has spoken out about his dyslexia. He discussed being labelled “a thick kid” in school because of his learning disability with madebydyslexia.org. Check out the clip below.

But he doesn’t claim to have gotten everything right.

“I’ve made lots of business or financial mistakes. But painful as many of them can be there’s always been a massive amount of learning that I’ve taken on, so I’m quite philosophical about those things.”

Advertisement

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times, on sale in shops and via iTunes from Tuesday

Judi Dench Radio Times