Broadcaster Dermot O'Leary praised home town Colchester as he supports Covid catch-up reading scheme

  • Dermot O'Leary spoke to ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost about growing up in Colchester, writing children's books, and reading.

Children at a primary school in Essex have been treated to a special assembly as broadcaster and children's author Dermot O'Leary was invited to read to them.

He read his new book to a packed hall at his old school, St Thomas More's Primary in Colchester.

Mr O'Leary is known for previously hosting ITV's the X Factor and is now a regular presenter on ITV's This Morning.

But he was in Colchester to support a £1 million campaign to empower school pupils through reading.

The new scheme "The Essex Year of Reading" aims to help children catch-up after missing time in the classroom due to Covid, while inspiring a lifelong love of reading.

  • Watch a report about the school visit

"The most important thing is to just read, because the rest of it is going to come, just let every child come to books and read the books at their own speed.

As long as they are reading that is the important thing and that they have every opportunity to read."

During his visit he told ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost that he texted his mum to say thank you for choosing to live in Colchester and allowing him to grow up in the Essex town.

Mr O'Leary described his hometown as "a very special place".