Celebrities/famous people with dyspraxia
Jamie Lambert (from Collabro)
Florence Welch (Florence + the Machine)
The correct answer is…all of them! Well, this is according to the internet. While some of these celebrities themselves have spoken about their dyspraxia, others are just thought to have dyspraxia.
I thought I would write this blog post as it shows two things. Firstly, it shows that dyspraxia is hidden, as many of you may have been surprised to hear that these famous people have dyspraxia. Secondly, it shows that you don’t have to let dyspraxia hold you back. Now, I’m not saying that every single person with dyspraxia should or is going to become a celebrity, as that isn’t exactly very likely. What I am saying is that many people with dyspraxia can still have successful careers, so dyspraxia isn’t something that needs to be seen in a negative way.
Jamie Lambert from Collabro, the winners of Britain’s Got Talent 2014. I don’t know when Jamie first starting speaking about dyspraxia, but I do know that the first time I saw him mention it was in this tweet on twitter:
When I first saw this, I was surprised to hear that he has dyspraxia. Not because ‘he doesn’t look like he has it’, that would just be a stupid comment, but because it wasn’t mentioned at all on Britain’s Got Talent. I don’t believe there was any reason for it to be mentioned, but I was just surprised because Britain’s Got Talent always seem to do anything they can to create a ‘sob story’.
The next time I heard anything more about Jamie’s dyspraxia was where Collabro talked about their autobiography on Good Morning Britain:
Jamie Lambert also discussed his dyspraxia and body dysmorphia that he addresses i the book. At six foot tall, Jamie dropped to 10 stone.
It was literally a couple of weeks ago when I then heard that Jamie was the first Celebrity Patron for the Dyspraxia Foundation, which was great to hear.
Following this, Jamie’s mum wrote a blog post about his dyspraxia. I definitely recommend reading it, it’s a great blog post giving an insight into dyspraxia (https://yorkie007.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/pug-diaries-the-devil-is-in-the-detail-dumbing-down-dyspraxia/)
Here’s what Jamie then wrote on the Collabro Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CollabroGlobalOfficial?fref=ts):
Jamie here! 14 years ago I was diagnosed with a learning difficulty called Dyspraxia. Yesterday I became the patron of the Dyspraxia Foundation It hasn’t been an easy road and to celebrate, my beautiful Mum / blogger has written a piece about how it was to have a son with Dyspraxia, and I really would love you all to read it and share the wonderful story that has been my childhood and life so far, as there needs to be much more awareness of Dyspraxia. Love you all! J xxx
I completely agree with what he’s said about there needing to be much more awareness, and I’m sure by him posting that he’s already made many more people aware.
Cara Delevingne is another celebrity who has only recently spoken about her dyspraxia. While it wasn’t talked about in detail, it was mentioned in Vogue (http://www.vogue.com/13268025/cara-delevingne-actress-july-2015-cover/):
Now 22, Cara was a brooding little girl whose sisters excelled in school. She recalls spending an inordinate amount of time in the offices of mental health professionals whom, she admits, she tended to “screw with,” saying the same things again and again, trying to get them so frustrated they’d fire her as a patient. At nine, she was told she had the reading ability of a sixteen-year-old. (Later, at sixteen, she was told she had the reading ability of a nine-year-old.) She suffered from dyspraxia, a problem with coordinating her thoughts and movements. Writing was always hard, exams a nightmare. After her sixth-form year, the Delevingnes sent her to Bedales, a posh but arty boarding school. “Totally hippie-dippy,” she says. “If you had a Chanel bag there, you’d be bullied.”
Something that may be misleading about the way this is worded is that it talks about dyspraxia in the past tense, which is strange as it’s definitely not something you ‘grow out of’.
Cara was recently on the Graham Norton show wearing huge high heels. I was sat there thinking that either for her her dyspraxia doesn’t too badly affect her balance or she has had lots of practice. I then thought I’d find a photo of the heels I was talking about to include in this blog post. While searching for that, I came across this article with her comments about wearing high heels (http://archive.entertainmentwise.com/news/104949/cara-delevingne-says-she-loves-modelling-but-hates-high-heels):
But, while celebs are cramming their tootsies into sky-scraper heels left, right and centre, Cara admits that the shoes are a downside. “The worst part of being a model? I hate high heels, more than anything,” she said. “It’s the physical side of modelling that is bad, not sleeping, having to work 78 consecutive days.”
It may not come as a surprise that notorious tomboy Cara Delevingne struggled to grasp the art of walking in high heels.
But the supermodel has an interesting tip for anyone wanting to master a catwalk strut.
Speaking on W magazine’s ‘Screen Test’ the 22-year-old model says: ‘It took me so long to learn to walk in high heels it was a joke.
I found these articles quite interesting. While they don’t mention Cara’s dyspraxia the fact that she found it so difficult to walk in heels I would guess is most likely because of her dyspraxia. I’m impressed that she has learnt to walk in heels though, I can’t walk in heels at all!
Daniel Radcliffe is the first celebrity that I heard has dyspraxia. Out of all places to find this out, I found out on stardoll (a website I used to play on in year 7). It had groups on there and one of them was about dyspraxia, and it was there that I saw that Daniel Radcliffe has dyspraxia. This is one of the first articles in which he talked about it (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1046031/Harry-Potter-The-brain-disorder-means-I-8217-t-tie-shoelaces.html):
Daniel revealed he became an actor partly because his dyspraxia meant he was not successful at school.
Daniel’s spokeswoman said: ‘Yes, Dan Radcliffe does have dyspraxia. This is something he has never hidden. Thankfully his condition is very mild and at worst manifests itself in an inability to ties his shoe laces and bad handwriting.’
More recently, Daniel Radcliffe gave advice to someone with dyspraxia through a Q & A session he was doing (http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/10/28/21-random-questions-with-daniel-radcliffe/). The question asked was: “My 10 year old daughter has dyspraxia. Do you have any encouraging words for her?” Daniel’s response was:
Do not let it stop you. It has never held me back and some of the smartest people I know are people who have learning disabilities. The fact that some things are more of a struggle will only make you more determined, harder working and more imaginative in the solutions you find to problems.
I definitely agree with what he said, and I’m really glad he answered that question and hopefully helped the 10 year old girl as well as raising some more awareness.
Florence Welch was, I think, the second celebrity who I heard has dyspraxia. When looking for articles about her dyspraxia a couple of them seemed to contradict each other which was strange. The first article talked about Florence’s dyslexia and dyspraxia and how it made it difficult for her to write songs and get her ideas down (http://www.run-riot.com/articles/blogs/interview-florence-machine):
In her way Florence is a conundrum. There seems to be some dark stuff going on there. She’s dyslexic and dyspraxic and has to battle and collaborate to mine the songs out of her head. Ask her about her writing process and words like shame and fear get mentioned a lot. Yet somehow this all comes together in her songs and personality as a celebration. All the way through our talk she smiles and laughs and it’s fun to watch her roller coaster thought process curl her through the moments.
The second article I saw, again mentioned her dyspraxia and dyslexia (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/5443013/Florence-and-the-Machine-interview-sound-and-vision.html):
Her academic life was less idyllic. Labelled as dyslexic and dyspraxic, she was, she tells me, far more interested in what was going on outside school. ‘I was just quite absent, mentally as well as most of the time physically.’ Much to her parents’ despair, she could more often be found climbing the mulberry tree in the park near her house, or in the library, reading books on Jack the Ripper and Victorian Britain. But, in part, it was her way of dealing with the chaos unfolding at home.
However, the third article I saw made it seem as though she has dyslexia but not dyspraxia… (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/why-florence-is-a-star-not-a-machine/story-e6frewt9-1226353134120):
Her Wikipedia entry says she has “dyslexia, minor autism and dyspraxia”.
When I put this to her, she laughs. “Oh my god, that’s the first time anyone’s ever asked me that. I do have mild dyslexia but … well, it just shows people can write anything, doesn’t it.”
On the other hand, the next article is where she talks about her dyspraxia (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/dyspraxia-has-good-points-florence-1.532002):
Welch, chanteuse with Florence and Machine, said she was “very proud to be dyspraxic” and said the condition did not get as much attention as it should.
Welch said that she was diagnosed with the condition as a child and that it had not caused her too much trouble “so far”.
“The fact that I work in a creative industry probably helps. In fact I think in some ways it has helped. We dyspraxics think in a different way.”
I’ve listed these articles in date order though, so it’s not as though she didn’t want to talk about it at first and then she decided she would. Maybe one of the articles quoted her wrong as it would be strange for her to vary what she says.
When looking for articles about David Bailey and his dyspraxia I couldn’t really find anything apart from this. While he didn’t speak about his dyspraxia himself, his wife sort of did (http://www.key4learning.com/dyspraxia.htm):
People with dyspraxia are often creative this may include writing skills or poetry. When a person with dyspraxia decides to do something they are often very focussed and extremely hardworking. In our experience they may be perceptive, sensitive, extremely compassionate and kind.
“The children see what Bailey has done through his endeavour, and they realise their difficulties don’t really matter.”
Catherine Bailey speaking of her successful photographer husband David Bailey, in You magazine November 2000.
There are quite a few articles talking about Richard Branson’s dyslexia, but nothing is really mentioned about his dyspraxia. However, I thought I would include him as a lot of people have said that apparently he does have dyspraxia. So if anyone has seen any articles about it I’d love to hear about them.
Lastly, Einstein. Obviously we don’t know for definite whether he did have dyspraxia, but it is thought that he did.
I really do think that celebrities speaking about their dyspraxia is a great thing, and helps to raise much needed awareness. Hopefully you’ve found this interesting and if you have seen any other articles about celebrities with dyspraxia then I’d love to hear about them.