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Marcus Brigstocke: dyslexia helps my comedy

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Vaughan | 11:41 UK time, Thursday, 14 June 2012

Marcus Brigstocke

Stand-up comic and actor Marcus Brigstocke, a familiar face from TV series such as Argumental and I've Never Seen Star Wars, was a guest on Richard Bacon's 5 Live show on Tuesday afternoon. He was there to talk about his unusual role as one of the guest directors for this week's Cheltenham Science Festival, based on what he describes as his genuine "enthusiasm for science, without any real understanding of it".

As the conversation with stand-in host Phil Williams turned to how mental health problems seem to be more prevalent amongst comedians, Marcus revealed how dyslexia is also quite common. His belief, however, is that these disabilities don't need to be addressed as 'issues' because, in many cases, they help to provide the different way of looking at the world that's so necessary in comedy.

Marcus credits his own dyslexia with giving him "an interest in language and the deconstruction of words ... I spot puns and the capability to play with them very, very quickly. I maybe entirely wrong about this, but I think that's connected with dyslexia and seeing words broken down into their component parts. So it's not necessarily a bad thing."

You can hear the whole fascinating interview with Marcus Brigstocke - in which he also talks about being prescribed lithium as a teenager to overcome his weight problem - on BBC iPlayer, from about 27 minutes in. The programme is available until Tuesday 19 June.

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