One of the country’s top health experts has revealed he had to resit his A-levels – and has only recently stopped having nightmares about them.
Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar – a member of the
Sir Jeremy said he would be ‘thrilled’ if people are inspired by his story of things turning out well after poor exam results.
The scientists – who sits on the body advising ministers on
Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar – a member of the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – has revealed he had to resit his A-levels – and has only recently stopped having nightmares about them
Appearing on Desert Island Discs, Sir Jeremy reflected on his school days and said: ‘I was playing an enormous amount of sport in the latter years of school and there’s no doubt that I neglected some of those studies, and probably wasn’t good enough either is the truth.
‘Having been pretty good at sport at various levels, and being head of the school and all of those sorts of things, I then hit this brick wall, which was I didn’t quite fail, but I might as well have done, failed my A-levels, and that was as an 18/19-year-old, and that comes as a pretty big shock.
‘I had to resit them and then I had to knock on doors in London around universities a year later, but I used to wake up with nightmares thinking “Have I got to do my bloody A-levels again?”.
‘For years, and it’s only in the last year or two I’ve got over that actually. It’s amazing, the scars.
‘It also shows you there are late developers, there are people that come to it late, there are people that have bad days, and I just hope we haven’t lost, as a world, the ability to let people have a second chance in education because I do worry it’s become so pressured.
‘To be able to say that you failed your A-levels and things turned out okay, I think if that inspires a single other individual who listen to this, I’ll be thrilled.’
Sir Jeremy, the director of the Wellcome Trust, also expressed optimism about life looking ‘a lot more like normal’ come next spring.
‘There’s light at the end of the tunnel. I think we always knew there would be. It’s got there quicker than I thought it would.
‘I didn’t think within a year we would have the sorts of results we’ve seen in the last week or two with the vaccine and the drugs, therapeutics and the diagnostics.
Sir Jeremy said he would be ‘thrilled’ if people are inspired by his story of things turning out well after poor exam results (file image)
‘We’ve got a difficult few weeks ahead of us but there is hope at the end of the tunnel, there is light there.
‘The world won’t suddenly revert to normal when spring comes next year, but it’ll look a lot more like normal than it does today,’ he said.
Sir Jeremy Farrar said scientists had been thrust into the forefront of debate during the
But during a virtual briefing, he added: ‘I’ve made mistakes, Patrick and Chris would say they’ve made mistakes, but science has been front and centre.’
Sir Jeremy, who also ‘publicly thanked’ the pair’s contribution to navigating the UK out of the pandemic, did not refer to which ‘mistakes’ he meant.
In the briefing, he also said he believes the coronavirus is ‘now party of humanity’, and it will be something the world will have to ‘learn to with’.