Richard Osman: Limiting eye condition ‘is my strength’

Nystagmus is the repetitive and involuntary movement of the eyes.

“I can’t overcome it and there are lots of things I can’t do,” he said. “Driving is the one thing people pick on most.

“It’s just not being able to see stuff in life and people not understanding what it is you see.

“It’s incredibly limiting, but so many parents of kids that have been diagnosed write to me and say, ‘We don’t know what it means to our children because we don’t have it, but finding someone who has got this and got on with life is incredibly empowering’.

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“I am a TV presenter who can’t read an autocue, so traditionally that would be a problem. But I make up what I say all the time.

“I am forced to be different so that makes me a better presenter.

“Things that effected me, turn out to be a strength. I know that’s a cliche but there are many things that seeing the world in a different way bring to your life.

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“But there are challenges. I couldn’t see the blackboard at school, I can’t drive, I have never seen a bird in a tree. I am terrible at playing sports where there is any sort of movement.

“But people have greater problems that that. I am just grateful for the things I can see.

“I wouldn’t be the writer I am if I could see better because I listen and pick things up.

“I can’t see what people look like, but I do know my wife is beautiful because I can get up close to her. When I write, I write about the ‘feeling’ of people.”

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