A superb school report for a future radio presenter

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Embarrassment reigned supreme as my mum appeared from the loft with a large collection of books, papers and photographs.

This is my ‘Richard school file’ as she calls it.

You see, I’m still Richard, or Rich, to my folks on the Isle of Wight.

I only started to call myself Rick when I moved to the mainland and my radio career took off.

It’s only mothers who have the perfect knack of inducing a rosy-cheeked complexion and an inability to defend oneself with a witty retort.

Firstly, there’s the school portrait photograph. It’s the most awkward pose known to mankind.

At five years old, I looked like a rabbit blinded by headlights.

As more photos were produced, my heart sank as my wife Sarah’s grin grew wider.

Then, my last school photo appeared. I was 15 and had obviously given up on washing at that point.

Greasy, unstyled hair, flopping over a forehead big enough to land a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

You can see why my school days were not very enjoyable for me!

I was hoping that the back pages of my school books would be full of messages about which girls I fancied and doodlings of war scenes or aeroplanes like all the other cool kids.

No. There was a list of buses I wanted to travel on and a drawing of those big cross-Channel hovercraft that now sit motionless at Lee-on-the-Solent.

Surely there was something in those wonderful but slightly painful memories that would show everything worked out well in the end?

A small ray of light that demonstrated I wasn’t a completely lost cause?

Next out of the file were my school reports. And they didn’t make good reading.

‘If Richard spent as much time on his class work as he does on entertaining the rest of the class, he’d be a very intelligent boy indeed’ said one.

‘Clown of the class’ said another.

Not good if you want to become an astronaut or a fighter pilot, but a superb report for a future radio presenter!

My mum couldn’t disagree with that.