Actor Jude Monk McGowan is interviewing celebrities who have been successful in their careers despite having dyslexia. Jude, who fans of Channel 4’s soap Hollyoaks will recognise as gangster Liam Donovan, is recording Words Fail Me, a series of podcasts for the Dyslexia Foundation. The actor, who has had a successful career in television, film
Actor Jude Monk McGowan is interviewing celebrities who have been successful in their careers despite having dyslexia.
Jude, who fans of Channel 4’s soap Hollyoaks will recognise as gangster Liam Donovan, is recording Words Fail Me, a series of podcasts for the Dyslexia Foundation.
The actor, who has had a successful career in television, film and the theatre, despite having dyslexia himself, talks to big names in the world of business, the arts and sport who have excelled in spite of and at times because of their challenges with dyslexia.
“Words Fail Me is a podcast about thriving with dyslexia,” said Jude who grew up in Bond Road, Surbiton. “The podcast is to support the incredible work of the Dyslexia Foundation. Their mission is to unlock the full potential of children and adults with dyslexia so they can succeed and contribute fully to society.”
Jude’s first interviewee is businessman and formidable former Dragons Den’ entrepreneur Theo Paphitis who discusses leaving school with no qualifications, and developing what he calls ‘work arounds’ to problem solve as a dyslexic.
“I wanted to speak to Theo because he left school without any qualifications whatsoever but his drive to become a success, to make something of himself in business was all consuming,” explained the former Hollyfield School pupil. “It is an incredibly inspiring story of someone who prevailed throughout discrimination but who also didn’t allow his dyslexia to slow him down. He knew it was going to be a problem but he developed what he calls ‘work arounds’, ways in which he can work around his dyslexia and still be a success.
“I really enjoyed speaking to Theo. He is incredibly articulate, he’s very, very sharp, and he talks about his dyslexia and his relationship to dyslexia incredibly concisely and in great detail. For anyone listening, whatever age, it is a really inspiring listen.”
Other podcasts currently in the pipeline are with multi-award winning children’s author Sally Gardner and former England rugby union captain and Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw.
The Dyslexia Foundation, of which Jude is a trustee, supports people with dyslexia and others who have learning disabilities. The charity tests for dyslexia and teaches both children and adults to read.
It employs professionally qualified staff, including tutors, advisers and psychologists.
The ethos of the organisation is on ability rather than the disability, empowering those with dyslexia to look positively to the future.