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Viewers in tears as Chris Kamara shows just how bad his speech problem has become

Viewers have been left in tears as Chris Kamara shows just how bad his speech problem has become in a new documentary on ITV.

‘Chris Kamara: Lost for Words’ will see the much loved TV presenter embark on a very personal journey as he hopes to discover a deeper insight into his recent diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech (AOS).

Kammy, who is is well loved and revered for his unique and iconic football punditry, will give viewers unprecedented access into life with AOS, a speech condition in which a person has trouble pronouncing words correctly and consistently, and his hard-fought battle to accept his diagnosis.

His distinctive tones and presenting style have made him one of the country’s best loved presenters and, although his recent diagnosis hasn’t slowed him down, the Ninja Warrior host has admitted to finding it difficult to watch himself on TV and is now wondering whether or not he should continue doing what he loves.

From his initial denials through to his diagnosis and now to the disciplined way he manages his therapy, the program will follow Kammy as he seeks advice from experts and meet others with AOS who are also navigating their way through this rare condition, all whilst shining a light and starting a conversation about a condition doctors know very little about.

Chris Kamara: “This documentary is a very personal one for me. I am really keen to raise awareness about Apraxia of Speech/Dyspraxia. Little is known about it which makes the diagnosis so much harder to navigate. Hopefully by sharing my story it will raise awareness and also help people who may also be living with this condition by showing them that there are ways to manage it and to still live a fulfilling life.”

Triple Brew Media’s Ben Shephard added: “This is an important story to tell. As a close friend and colleague of Kammy’s, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges that he’s been dealing with since his diagnosis. Kammy has always been a huge role model to so many people and with this programme we hope to shine a light on AOS, to bring more awareness but also provide hope to those who may also be living with Apraxia. I’m honoured that Kammy has trusted Triple Brew Media to follow his personal journey of living with Apraxia of Speech (AOS).”

Paula Thomas Gallie, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, ITV said: “We are privileged to have Chris share his own personal experience after his recent diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech. A relatively unknown condition, he will bravely open up about the difficulties he has faced and what the future holds for him in the hope to help others who have dealt with similar experiences.”

@chris_kammy tweeted on the short clip from the documentary: “My main objective in this documentary is to help raise awareness of all speech conditions in children who are born with problems, & adults who have acquired speech problems or had a stroke or been in an accident. If you watch on @ITV Wednesday 9pm I hope it comes over in that way.”

He also speaks of his attempts to find a cure as he takes vitamins, does coordination exercises and undergoes hyperbaric oxygen therapy – in an attempt to force his body to absorb more oxygen.

Kamara also wears a device on his leg – which he calls his ASBO – that sends out micro-currents, and he hopes these will reach his brain and “repair it.”

He joked: “I tell people it’s my ASBO and I’ve been tagged for unruly behaviour!

“Every day, I wake up and the first thing I think is: ‘Am I going to be able to talk today?’

“Sometimes I think, it’s fine today, no problem. Then I go downstairs and talk to Anne and the message from the brain to the mouth won’t come out right. So it would be another day of anguish, thinking what should I do? Should I go to work today, or should I not?”

Kammy also admits that his condition has caused physical issues as well as problems with his speech.

“Everybody talks about the speech side of it, but there’s also other factors to go with it. I can’t carry shopping,” he said.

Kamara’s wife, Anne, added: “He’s not happy with how he sounds – it’s a complete difference to what he was.”

Speaking to Dragons Den entrepreneur Steven Bartlett on his Diary of a CEO podcast, Kammy admitted that he feels “strange” now having stepped back from live sports broadcasting.

“It feels like someone has taken over my voice box,” Kamara told The Diary of a CEO.. “The voice that used to come out would come out at 300 miles an hour, you’ve seen me on the results and Soccer Saturday, motormouth, talking and not even waiting for a breath, just keep going and going.

“Now when I hear myself or see myself on TV it’s someone else. It’s really strange.

“Some days the message from the brain to the mouth is really slow and makes it difficult, or some days the words come out different than what you’re trying to say and that’s even weirder. So that’s been hard to accept, and [is] still hard to accept.”

Kamara said he believed the time was right to leave Sky Sports after “a great innings”. However, with the apraxia of speech impacting his other work – including giving him anxiety about delivering lines on broadcasts when not feeling like his old self – he considered walking away from TV altogether.

“I have to say, I was going to quit everything – literally every single bit of TV – at the end of last season,” he said.It was an acceptance, really, because what I said to my wife is if I wasn’t a broadcaster it wouldn’t matter, would it. She said ‘yeah’, so I said now’s the time. I’ve had a great time.

“I spoke to my agent Simon, said I’m getting out of all this and he said ‘yeah, you can, I’ll leave it up to you’. So I thought ‘that’s it, I’ve done my time’. I’d like to thank all the people who have been persistent and said a 25% Kammy is still better than some people.”

As mentioned, viewers were left in tears as Chris Kamara shows just how bad his speech problem has become, here’s what some had to say…

@strijbe: Kammy, you’re a genuine gem! We’ll love ya whatever you sound like, because you’re funny, honest and a decent man! Don’t give up, but also accept yourself for who you are – a legend <3

@edthomas1975: Go on @chris_kammy you’re a proper down to earth fella and you’ll beat this. I’ll be watching the documentary

@durden_louise: Oh my goodness, I had no idea. I’m gutted for him and his family. Such a funny and lovely man, always a joy to watch on TV. I hope he continues with his TV career if he can. Sending love and prayers to him.

@DarkShellcode: Kammy you are and always will be a tv legend. Keep your head up people still want to see you on the telly now so get yourself back on and keep going 💪🏻. 💚

@medforthmessi: What a guy Kammy 👏👏👏🤍💛💙

@rob_reddy27: What a brave, inspiration man @chris_kammy

@DeaneKnighton: This man 👏, such a kind genuine human, you’re not a fraud kammy, you are an incredible determined human

@johnwxxiv: Definitely not a fraud …. Given great joy and entertainment to so many people. Keep going mate… all the best

@jit_singh99: One of the good guys. So tough how these things happen. Hope his courage and positivity leads to a positive outcome eventually 🙏🏽. Will def watch


@RayCassar1: @chris_kammy chris_kamara is loved, not just his past antics on the pitch and TV but because he is an amazing human being. This will be an emotional watch. I’m sure, and I truly hope he has a successful recovery 🙏

@theboygosling: @chris_kammy you will universal love and support from the footballing community. I’m not affiliated to any club you’ve been connected with, but still hold massive respect for you. Good luck on your journey. You’re a top bloke and have given me great entertainment over the years

@MattEagles: Kammy you are an absolute star I’ve lived with Parkinson’s for 50 years and I had Laryngical Dystonia meaning I sounded like I had permanent laryngitis – it’s soooo frustrating not being able to communicate verbally – thanks so much for sharing your story

@SimonCunniffe: Love the work you are doing & helping raise awareness. I had a Subarachnoid hemorrhage 18 months ago & my speech has been impacted. 6 months in Hospital,then rehab at home I am finally returning to teaching. Ìm different now and have to do things in a different way now. ♡ lufc ♡

@lazeyhazey66: We ❤️ U Kammy

@miffy0811_a: Just love you our kammy. A proper true genuine gentleman.

@Paul_Ellis147: What you’re doing is amazing, Kammy. Raising awareness about a condition, that most people – like myself – weren’t even aware existed. You’re an inspiration! Your voice is helping so many and is more powerful than ever!

@MusicManMercer: This is so good Kammy and will help so many people. You keep going and we want to see you on our tvs. Your speech is good tho in truth just that smile and laugh is so so warming to us all. You make us all happy Kammy and thats a very special thing ❤🙏

Will be an emotional watch 💔
We all love 🤍💛💙@chris_kammy
Stay strong Chris, much respect 😘


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