Holly Willoughby opens up on being ‘constantly embarrassed’ by her dyslexia at school

As one of the most experienced presenters on TV, it’s hard to imagine Holly Willoughby ever being embarrassed or ashamed of herself. And yet, the This Morning presenter recently opened up on her experience growing up dyslexic and the hardship she faced at school because of it.

Holly Willoughby
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Inspired by singer Adele’s emotional reunion with her old school teacher on stage during the An Audience with Adele concert that aired on ITV last Sunday, Holly reflected on her own experience with an influential teacher.

Holly told co-host Philip Schofield on Monday’s (22 November) episode of This Morning: ‘My favourite teacher, who was incredible, was called Mrs Williamson. She was an English teacher and I did not get my dyslexia diagnosis until just before my GCSEs, which is late. So for a long time at school I hated reading out loud because I could not read very well, I would get mixed up and I was constantly embarrassed.’

Holly Willoughby

‘She always took me aside,’ Holly continued. ‘She spent a lot of time with me and really took the time. Even in break times. She would never make me feel stupid.’

Holly has previously spoken out about her struggles with dyslexia. Talking to Red Magazine in 2020, she admitted: ‘I’ve struggled with dyslexia since I was young and it used to hold me back.’

She continued: ‘At school, reading out loud absolutely terrified me because I’d get all the words wrong and I was convinced everybody thought I was stupid. It still happens now – most of the mistakes I make on This Morning are because of it, but it doesn’t do what it did to me back then because I don’t let it have power. I now know that it’s all about how you package it in your head.

Holly has also recently released a book titled Reflections, where she ‘explores what it means to live a beautiful life in the modern world,’ discussing emotional issues such as body image, burnout and control.