Tormented by teacher who called me 'thick' | Jack Dee reveals his childhood humiliation

Tormented by teacher who called me 'thick'

Jack Dee reveals his childhood humiliation

Jack Dee has revealed how he was plagued for years after a headteacher branded him ‘thick’ in front of his entire school.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today, the comic said it took him years to ‘shake off’ the humiliation inflicted at prep school.

‘I got into some trouble and the headmaster addressed me in school assembly - in front of the entire school - and said that “It’s very unlikely that he’s going to get into a public school because he’s too thick”.’

When presenter Kirsty Young appeared shocked, Dee said this were the exact words the head used: ‘It’s pretty precise what he said. You do of course absorb that because as a child you tend to believe what adults say to you.

‘I think that was something that I took a long time to shake off. I still fear that label. I still find that one of the most hurtful things that can be said of anyone. So its not a word I use, not lightly anyway.’

Dee did not name the prep school, although it is known he attended The Pilgrim’s prep school in Winchester. And it is thought the incident that prompted the public humiliation was accentally setting off a fire alarm.

He added: ‘A lot of teachers thought I was thick and went to great lengths to tell me I was thick.

‘I think that everyone has a specific kind of intelligence and a specific talent in their life. Some people have the talent of being able to absorb tex books and then reproduce them in an exam and that is a wonderful gift to have. But there are other people who can create amazing pieces of furniture. Who is the most intelligent? I wouldn’t like to put that to the test.’

His record choices included the theme tune to Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads?, Bob Newhart's stand-up routine Introducing Tobacco to Civilisation and John Hegley's Eddie Don't Like Furniture.

Desert Island Discs is on Radio 4 at 11.15am today.

Published: 11 May 2014

What do you think?

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.