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Sandi Toksvig to star in new documentary about adult illiteracy in Britain

Sandi Toksvig will test the adults featured in the show (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Sandi Toksvig will test the adults featured in the show (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Sandi Toksvig is to host a new documentary exploring adult illiteracy in Britain, according to Channel 4.

The Write Offs will follow eight adults who have problems with their literacy as they undertake intensive lessons to improve their reading and writing.

At the end of the process, Bake Off star Toksvig will front a final test of their skills which will be held in front of an audience of family, friends and teachers.

Toksvig said: “I have had the extraordinary pleasure of spending time with eight courageous people who have approached their deepest fears with humour and determination.

“Like me, I just know not only will everyone fall in love with them, they will review what they think they know about reading and writing.

“I believe the ripple effect from these eight will be astonishing.”

The adults featured in the programme, whose ages range from 22 to 66, include a town crier hoping to write a thank you letter to those who have supported him and a young mother who wants to help with her children’s homework.

Channel 4 said the series is “an empowering and uplifting” exploration of Britain’s “staggeringly low adult literacy rates”.

One in five adults in Britain are considered functionally illiterate, according to the broadcaster.

Gilly Greenslade, commissioning editor for factual entertainment at Channel 4, said: “The Write Offs is a joyous way of tackling this important issue and will enable our learners to experience some of the pleasures that come with being able to read and write.”

Toksvig’s “humour and warmth” make it a “fantastic” programme, she added.

The show will air on Channel 4 later in 2020.2

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