Ed Balls talks about his stammer
In an interview with the Telegraph newspaper, Ed Balls MP has spoken for the first time in detail about having to deal with an interiorised stammer.
Childrens Secretary Ed Balls at the Downing St reception in honour of BSA last December. Photo: Zoe Norfolk
"People who stammer try to avoid certain situations," he says, "but in my job you can't." He memorises 15 speeches a week, as he cannot read words out from notes. If he appears to have forgotten his lines, his voice has simply frozen.
"The worst thing you can do is try to stop it. That's when you trip up. It happens to me on live TV. I'm never 100 per cent fluent, but it's OK. Hating it is the problem. You just have to relax and be yourself. I can't do perfectly crafted phrases or soundbite politics. It has to be conversational with me."
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Full interview in Telegraph (link to telegraph.co.uk), dated 23rd January.
Daily Mail article (link to dailymail.co.uk), with comments from readers.
GMTV interview with Ed Balls and Michael Palin, 2nd March (relating to new funding for Northern stammering centre)
January, 2010 (updated March)
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