Former Countdown host Carol Vorderman and son Cameron joined Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on Wednesday’s This Morning and opened up for the first time about their struggles. While speaking about Cameron’s disabilities and the early years of his life, Carol touched on the amount of bullying he endured during his teenage years and its impact on both of them.
Speaking to Cameron about his education, Holly asked: “I think that the education system, the standard education system clearly for you at that point in your life, had written you off in a way.
“(They) had written you off your education, but it proves that with the right help with the right guidance, you can succeed.
“This story has an extremely happy ending, a lot of hard work, lot of dedication from you as the parent, but where are you now?”
“Where am I now?” Cameron began, “Well, I just finished my master’s degree in animation from Dundee, now I’ve got my first job, which I start next week and super excited to start that.”
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Holly continued: “Did you imagine that that was a possibility at times in your life?” to which Cameron quickly answered: “No, not really.
“Specifically, I never thought I would get this far as in I never thought about anything further than what the next thing would be when I finished my honours degree.
“When you’d ask me, ‘oh what do you want to do after this?’ I asked, ‘what is the next educational step?’ they said, ‘it’s a masters’, oh well I’ll do that one,” he joked.
Carol went on to speak about the bullying he had suffered as a child and gave viewers watching some advice if they were struggling with their child being bullied.
“He had a first-class honours degree and one thing, and I know we only have a limited amount of time, but the bullying when you were a teenager was awful,” Carol said.
Issuing a plea to parents, an emotional Carol continued: “One thing I would love to say to parents because I know there are a lot of parents listening are going through this, is it’s a long road, breathe.
“This is a long one because you wake up as a parent every day, and this little bundle of your world, your heart is there, and they’re unhappy, and there is nothing you can do.
“There was nothing I could do, I couldn’t give up telly and teach him, not because I wouldn’t give up telly, I didn’t know how to teach him.”
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Holly also asked Cameron: “Because you had a different way of learning, you had to find your own way through, it may not have been the standard way, but you had too had to find your own key, I guess, to unlock it.”
Cameron explained that he found his own way to learn and the specific strategies he picked up on to deal with his disabilities.
He said his dyslexia was the main issue when it came to describing things to people and said his strategies “allowed me to understand concepts better and makes it easier to describe stuff”.
An emotional Phil reminded them: “What’s important here is a massive positive flag to stick in it is you say it’s been difficult.
“The bullying was awful, but you have got a strength, and you carry that strength through and actually almost an advancement later on.”
Cameron explained: “I’ve been saying this for years if I had the opportunity to go back and change my school life, which up until I was 16, I don’t think there was a single day that was above neutral in terms of enjoyment because of bullying and stuff.
“But if I had the chance to go and change that, I wouldn’t because it just taught me so much about life and how to deal with all of it.”
Carol expressed how proud of her son she was for getting through the bullying and overcoming everything that was against him.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.