Dyslexic lawyer hits back at Jeremy Clarkson after being mocked for his spelling in council meeting
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A dyslexic lawyer has hit back at Jeremy Clarkson after the broadcaster told him to 'learn how to spell'.
In the episode 'Council-ing', Clarkson comes up against barrister Charles Streeten; and after saying his piece, Clarkson took the opportunity to have a pop at the lawyer's spelling.
"You should learn to spell," Clarkson told Streeten as he returned to his seat.
The barrister has since penned an open letter criticising Clarkson and highlighting the struggles dyslexic people face - and Clarkson has responded by applauding him for sending 'such a well-spelt letter'.
“'Learn to spell.' Well, I've certainly tried," Streeten wrote.
"When you muttered those words to me you couldn't have known how many times I've heard them. But to a dyslexic, it's a familiar phrase.
"At school, I always failed spelling tests. No matter how hard I worked, or how often I stowed the list of words beneath my pillow, when the time came to be tested, I simply could not put the letters in order with certainty.
"My ears would burn and I would know I'd failed again. As the rest [of] my class graduated to Beryl rollerballs and fountain pens, I was limited to the indignity of a pencil; one with a rubber grip, to force me to hold it properly."
He continued: "The inability to arrange letters according to historical convention is, to this day, seen as the calling card of indolence or imbecility. Usually both.
"Dyslexia didn't forestall my career at the Bar. So far as I am aware, and despite the concern expressed by at least one member of my chambers during pupillage, not one judge, juror, or West Oxfordshire planning committee member has ever failed to understand me because I cannot spell. Whether a writer, a barrister, or a farmer, good spelling, it seems, is not essential."
In response to the letter, Clarkson said the remarks about his spelling would not have made the final cut of the show had he known about his dyslexia.
He told The Times: "It's great that Mr Streeten has overcome his dyslexia to such an extent that he's able to send such a well-spelt letter from Jamaica.
"It's just a shame he chose not to mention his learning difficulty when we met at the planning meeting more than a year ago. Because if he had, the exchange would not have been televised."
In an interview with LADbible, Clarkson said that while tuberculosis, bird flu and the like pose a serious threat to farmers, the 'government is the biggest disease of them all'.
"You just wouldn't believe how many things they tell you you can't do," he said.
"And if there are one or two things they've forgotten, they've got the council to tell you you can't do them."