Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I'm Not Academic, but I Am a Clever Person, Clever in My Own Ways ; If Your Idea of a Nightmare Is Sitting Exams, Pity Reality Star Joey Essex Who Is Taking a GCSE for ITV's Re-Educating Joey Essex: GCSE Special. Essex, Who Left School with a C, D and U Tells KEELEY BOLGER about Pressure, Being Underestimated, and Dating in the Public Eye

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I'm Not Academic, but I Am a Clever Person, Clever in My Own Ways ; If Your Idea of a Nightmare Is Sitting Exams, Pity Reality Star Joey Essex Who Is Taking a GCSE for ITV's Re-Educating Joey Essex: GCSE Special. Essex, Who Left School with a C, D and U Tells KEELEY BOLGER about Pressure, Being Underestimated, and Dating in the Public Eye

Article excerpt

How do you feel about finding out your exam results in front of the camera? I DON'T care. I don't care what you think of me, that's why I'm here today. At school, I accepted that I wasn't clever. I remember sitting there as a kid, thinking, 'I can't do this, man'.

I genuinely was in a position where I knew I could not concentrate on my school work. I couldn't do it. But I didn't give up. I really tried hard throughout school. I did another year at school because I wasn't happy with my exams and I felt like I wanted to try harder and I tried even harder. I was the only person in my year to actually go back and do another year of school. I did even worse, which wasn't the nicest of situations because I felt like I really tried hard, but I wasn't academically clever, so it didn't work out for me.

You say you don't see yourself as clever. Do you really feel that way given all you've done? PEOPLE go, 'He can't be that thick'. I'm just not academically clever. I am a clever person, I am clever in my own ways. I don't want to sound big-headed, but I've got businesses so I suppose in that part of the world, I'm clever. But sitting down and doing GCSEs... maths. I don't need to work it out in my head. There's a calculator there!

It's like time. People go, 'You can't seriously not tell the time? I'm being serious, I can't tell the time. I just pull out my phone and check the time.

Do you think GCSEs matter? I THINK GCSEs matter. For me at school, I really tried hard. All the teachers liked me. I was a nice kid, that's why I never got suspended or expelled, but I just genuinely couldn't work.

People go, 'Look at Joey Essex, he didn't try hard and look where he is today', but I tried really hard. After school, I had all sorts of jobs. I worked in a fish market for eight months, didn't like it, got sacked.

Next day, I had another job, then I worked as a trader. I worked on building sites. I was always trying hard.

It's important for kids to try hard in school because if they don't try their best in school, you're going to come out and you're not really going to try hard out of school. It's always important to give something a go. …

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