Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gareth Gates is stuttering again

As I have predicted before, British Pop Idol Rounder-up, former pop star and current Musical front performer Gareth Gates is unfortunately stuttering again. Check out this video of him becoming a father where the voice says that Gareth is stuttering again. So much for McGuire glory and his talk show appearances on telling everyone of us how to rid yourself of stuttering and what stuttering is really about: That stuttering is psychological, that the McGuire is the way out and so on. He was even a coach on McGuire. Of course, his answer is that due to the birth of his child and career commitments he has not had time to practise. How about just re-evaluating your theories of stuttering, your evaluation of McGuire and actually reading up on the topic more?

Anyway, I certainly wish him well, but talking about stuttering per se is not what he can do extremely well. He is great at singing and performing. So feeling the pressure of "see Tom why don't you do it like Gareth", I inexcusibly feel a bit of Schadenfreude when he is still stuttering.

He should do some charity work for the British Stammering Association on top of being a patron of the HIV/AIDS charity Body and Soul and of the Bobby Moore Fund in bowel cancer. Why on earth is he not helping the BSA to further the causes of stuttering in the UK. Does he care about fellow stutterers? Or does he care about himself mostly? Or is it his advisors that care for himself mostly?


Anonymous said...

Gareth has frequently said that he's not cured, that he has good days and bad days and that things like being tired, not having time to practice and other psychological things have an impact. He doesn't claim it's all psychological.

Gareth has the guts to stutter on tv, but also speaks very eloquently sometimes. I think you are being very cruel to judge him on this, and to take his comments out of context.

Gareth has been an inspiration to many who stutter and has done more to provoke the public debate than just about anyone else, and we could do more like him. Unfortunately, the criticism anyone in the public eye gets for stuttering too much or not enough or in the wrong way from the public who don't understand variability. Shame on you for being no better.

Manpreet said...

It gives us a hint there is no 100% cure for stuttering . However you can learn to stutter fluently and that is what we pws are considering as our fluency.

This is a wonderful blog.I have become a follower of this blog and promoting this blog through my blog also.

So I wud like to request the owner of this blog to plz add my blogs url in ur Stuttering blogs section.


Tom Weidig said...

If you hear his interview (linked to in one of my posts), talks about it better psychological.

Gareth is mainly interested in his career. Why was he on TV for interview? He was there to further and push his last album. He doesn't really care that much about people who stutter. Ask the British Stammering Association. He promised to be at the conference and cancelled for falling off a trambolin? Give me a break.

He deserves credit and admiration for pressing on despite his stuttering. I and many have done similarly, and I admire him for this. He is a role model for some. But not for helping the stuttering community as such.

Maybe he will when he is older and wiser.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you've never had a day off sick in your life, but when Gareth had to cancel the BSA presentation it was because he was unable to attend. If you were in pain and had a leg in a cast and were on medication that made you drowsy you might struggle to catch a plane then give a coherent speech. He was very disappointed not to go, but you go ahead and presume the worst in someone else if it makes you feel better.

When Gareth talks about a stutter being 90% psychological, he doesn't just mean that people make themselves stutter. He means that the problems that come with a speech impediment are not limited to the physical difficulties with speaking. He means that there are psychological hurdles to over-come. You might be super-confident about stuttering away in public, and if so, that's great, but most of us have felt a sense of shame that has discouraged us from asking for what we want when we order in a restaurant. If we anticipate a block, we get anxious and that can make the block worse. We aren't weak willed or inherently nervous people, but we are human and we have feelings.

I don't know if you misunderstood Gareth, or if he didn't explain himself as clearly as he could have done during the interview you saw.

You are of course entitled to your own opinion. You might think that the things Gareth has said are wrong, and that is your opinion, even if what you presume him to think isn't what he's said in public many times. However, it is totally out of order and verging on the nasty to suggest that he doesn't care about any other people who stammer. He puts in many hours on the McGuire programme behind the scenes and with no cameras present.

I know that what Gareth has done has changed many lives for the better. Not just people who stammer, but also others with disabilities, because they saw in him something that encouraged them to be themselves and not be put off by what convension says.

I also happen to think it is quite distasteful that you criticise Gareth working with the wrong charities. Who are you to say which causes he should support? You haven't even got the full list.

Just one more thing. While you might be rejoicing because Gareth said that his speech was suffering a bit since he became a father, you should know he was on live tv a couple of weeks ago and his speech was very strong. It was an awards ceremony for charities, so you probably don't approve as BSA wasn't there.

Tom Weidig said...

So he was very dissapoined? Why did he not attend any of the next five conferences? If he really cares about furthering the causes of stutterers? He hasn't done a damn things for the BSA. The BSA and many conferences organisers are sick of him (or maybe it is also the people around him). They don't wanne run after him anymore to beg him to come to a conference.

Can I suggest that McGuire has brainwashed him to believe that the BSA is really useless? McGuire approach is fine by me, but it is getting a bit out of hand.

Of course, stuttering has a psychological component, and yes he works on it. But if you listen to his interview, they are like "oh you just need to do this and this and then it works. It is psychological. And so on." Putting on this act: If you work on it, you will be fine. If you still stutter, it is your fault because you have not worked hard enough. I hate this I-know-what-is-working approach. He might be good singer and good person but he is no genius.

I critize his charity work because it seems to be the typical VIP charity stuff. The BSA is low profile, boring, and he wont get PR from it. There are no glitzy charity events.

Would he really care about stutterers then he would be active in lobbying for the BSA? Instead the MCGuire people are using him for their own agenda. Again, what they do is OK for me, but they have a larger responsibility of asking him to help the BSA to help ALL people who stutter not just the once that are McGuire believers.

Anonymous said...

why does Dave McGuire hate the BSA?

What is the inside story?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Gareth hasn't been cancelling other engagements to go to another BSA conference because of the way in which BSA people treated him. It's all very well for "BSA people" to criticise Gareth and the McGuire programme, but there were McGuire people at the BSA conference who know how hard Gareth works and didn't take kindly to the presumption that he woke up in the morning and decided he couldn't be bothered so didn’t. That kind of presumption is highly insulting, and more fool you for believing it. BSA just want the famous poster boy but don't seem to care about the person.

Someone from BSA complained in public that Gareth was giving the wrong impression by being too fluent these days. As soon as he stammers in public, people are mocking him for creating a stutter as a publicity stunt, or there are people like you laughing because you think he's "failed". Everyone else gets to be themselves, but if you are famous you can't do right for doing wrong.

Perhaps McGuire should work more closely with BSA, but BSA have treated McGuire like the delinquent relative for many years, so it is hardly surprising that McGuire get on with their own thing. If you object that much, complain to someone there, or try explaining to your friends that it’s OK to stutter.

You clearly disapprove of McGuire, and don't like the fact that Gareth's apparent success goes against that. You say that Gareth doesn’t care about other stutterers, so I can only presume you hate McGuire so much that the stutterers who attended the course he ran in June aren’t important to you? He did this without any press releases or media interviews. He is frequently helping out without making a show of it, and then people like you come along and complain that he’s only interested in helping others if there is PR in it. Believe it or not, a lot of celebrities do good deeds without a camera crew on stand-by. Most non-famous people manage to do good deeds without announcing it too.

It’s impossible. If Gareth does something in the public eye, you complain he’s only doing it for the publicity. If Gareth does something away from the public eye that you don’t know about, you give him a hard time for not doing anything. You must realise how silly that is.

However, the facts are that neither McGuire nor Gareth claim it is a cure. It is very clear in all of the literature and something Gareth has repeated many, many times. The media often gets it wrong, but that’s life if you are famous. Banning Gareth from talking about stuttering in public won’t help either. He’s the only high profile stutterer that actually stutters on tv that I know of. He might not say what you want him to say all of the time. He probably doesn’t quite manage to say what he wants to all of the time, but even non-stutterers experience that.

You might think Gareth is a bad role model, but you are the one who has found a news item about a young man becoming a father and you have taken pleasure from telling the world that it proves he’s a failure. Many teenage boys who stutter worry that they'll never get a girlfriend or marry and have a family. To them, a story about Gareth and his wife having a baby would be positive, but to you it's an excuse to be nasty. Many in the stuttering community love that Gareth is prepared to stutter in public. He could refuse to do so if he’s having a bad day, but perhaps knowing that he has good days too is part of what gives him the confidence to get on with it.

For you to sum him up as someone who doesn’t care about other stutterers is irrational as well as unfair. Your website is all about being logical, but you don’t bother if it is someone you have decided you don’t like.

Anonymous said...

Here are some more YouTube clips for you. In the first Gareth is stuttering a lot, but it doesn’t get mentioned. The second Gareth stutters a bit, but it doesn’t get mentioned. The next two Gareth stutters less, but he is with more professional interviewers that he knows better so he is probably more comfortable. The last one is the most recent one where he doesn’t stutter and it isn’t an interview, so he gets on with what he has to say. I’m sure you’ll find fault in all of them if you try hard enough, but personally I think it’s a great example of variability.

While I'm digging around on Youtube, here's an old one. It's one where Gareth visits the Body & Soul charity as part of an awareness raising fundraiser. Watch it and then come back and say Gareth should be ignoring charities like that and should devote his time and energy only to BSA.

Tom Weidig said...

Stuttering has actually helped his career. It is a bit of the Susan Boyle effect. He is clearly a very good singer, but stuttering has made his singing appear even better by contrasting his fluent singing performance to his dysfluent speech. Look at the first casting.

He got a lot of votes because of his stuttering. And a lot of press coverage because of his struggle. It is helping him to be public in his struggle. Hîs singing career went nowhere really as the Pop Idol wave went away. He shifted to Musical because he had to shift to Musical and he is spinning this now.

I admire him for his determination and focus. And yes he is a role model for people who stutter to go on despite challenges. But let's keep it in perspectives. Calling Gareth famous is a bit of an over-statement nowadays. Let's call him a well-known professional Musical performer.

I of course do not wish him stuttering. But it is he and some McGuire people who keep on telling us how it should be done. Well, here he has done it all. went to the course. he is even a coach. and he is still struggling. What has he done wrong?

I dont hate McGuire. I met a few of them and they are nice people. But I also met others who seriously got on my nerves by telling me that they have all sorted it out and told me what I should do. When in fact they had no real clue about stuttering, were not exactly bright minds, and sounded more like members of a sect.

It is in this sense that I am asking: So you told me about how great McGuire is SO HOW COME I HEAR THAT YOU ARE STRUGGLING AGAIN.

Anonymous said...


Your last post (if it's really you) is crazy. In Gareth Gates we have a young guy in the public eye who has stuttered openly. If we want to increase public awareness of stuttering, then we need more stutterers like Gareth Gates. He may not be as famous as Madonna or Michael Jackson, but he has certainly increased public awareness of stuttering ... more than what the BSA could ever hope to do.

Jayne said...


Gareth isn't "struggling again". If he'd claimed he would always have fluent speech, you might have a point, but he didn't. Because of McGuire he has many more good days than he would have done before. In fact, I'd speculate that he only had bad days before McGuire, despite having undertaken conventional therapy before then. Now he has some good days and some bad days and admitting to the press that you are having not so good days because you have been busy working or just about to become a father is surely further proof that Gareth doesn't claim to have been cured.

There isn't any "doing it all" for McGuire, because you are never finished. It isn't a magic pill, it is an ongoing therapy and if you don't keep it up, you will slide back, no matter how much you achieved.

At the time Gareth's baby was born, he'd been working solid for about six months with no more than one day off a week, if that. He was out of the McGuire loop and couldn't go to any courses or support groups, so I'm not sure that you are proving anything other than the obvious.

Gareth's stutter did help him to get talked about, which he said himself, but don't underestimate how many people in the UK appeared to hate him simply because they thought he was making up his stutter because he sang just fine. Many more thought that there was no way that we could have a popstar who can't talk.

We could talk for hours on the implications of finding interviews difficult when you are working in an image and media-led industry, but Gareth is the only person to have ever done it successfully, because most are never given the chance. Despite having to turn down many interviews, especially in the early days, Gareth is still a household name. He's not just famous, he's generally well liked, and those who don't like him tend to be the ones who objected to having to sit through him stuttering. Unfortunately, there were quite a lot of those, but thankfully the general public showed them up by having great respect for him.

We could talk for hours about how Gareth stuttering very publicly changed the way stuttering is understood in the UK for ever, but trust me, it has and for the better. To complain that there are still misunderstandings and to resent him for that is churlish.

Gareth showed that those with a stammer aren't all shy, nervous types. He showed that people who stammer can have great personalities and be funny and the sort of person you might like to talk to. There is evidence that Gareth was presumed to have the negative characeristics often unfairly associated with those who stutter, but there is only so much prejudice one person can over come, especially when they aren't doing many interviews because they are concentrating on other things.

Trying to demean Gareth's career and achievements underlines that you are holding a grudge against him and what he has achieved. There's no point claiming that you don't when the evidence is there in your own words. You seem to be projecting your own unhappiness onto Gareth and looking for fault in a disproportionate way. I'm not saying that Gareth should be immune from all criticism, but you are getting carried away and in doing so you let yourself down.

If Gareth is "only" a well known professional musical performer, why does it bother you what he says? He's either a high profile stutterer or he isn't. You are the one writing blogs about him.

You have many interesting articles on your blog, but this reads like the ramblings of a jealous teenager who is unhappy that all the girls at his school fancy Gareth. If I'm honest, I'm very disappointed.

Norbert @ BSA said...

Seeing that BSA's name has been taken in vain any number of occasions in this thread, perhaps a few clarifications might be in order.

Just to be entirely clear, no-one on this thread so far has been speaking for the BSA. I am not sure where some of the Anonymous people are from and what if any their relationship with McGuire or Gareth Gates is, but Tom has no formal relationship with the BSA and I am sure he wouldn't claim one.

It is true we have asked GG on any number of occasions for support and have always been refused except for the one time he agreed to speak at the Conference in Stirling as part of a McGuire presentation which he then had to pull out of for medical reasons. It is also true that as an individual, it is entirely up to GG to decide which charities, if any, he wishes to support and which he does not wish to support and it does not do anyone any good to second-guess his reasons.

We have been impressed by the fact that he spoke openly about stammering on many occasions and on that count I am sure he is a role model for many teenagers who stammer, and others.

But in terms of raising awareness - it's the kind of awareness that leads to peope who stammer being asked "why don't you fix your speech like GG has". I know this is a terrible media simplification, and not his own message, but there we are. BSA's awareness raising campaign goes beyond "before the course and after the course" video tapes of miracle cures so beloved by journalists. The message is far more subtle and therefore less interesting to journalists and the media, but it's much more important and it's hard work, hard work that's not only done by us but let's not forget, also by people like Tom with his blog who puts in his own time and money.

Anonymous said...
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Jayne said...

Tom does do a lot of good work, and his strength lies where he analyses facts. Where he has fallen down here is in making a string of presumptions about someone he doesn't know, and allowing himself to be clouded his own annoyance to the way other people, not connect with Gareth, have misinterpreted his situation.

Educating the general public is never going to be a quick or easy thing, and blaming one member of the stuttering community for not representing everything that every stutterer wants the world to know is unhelpful to the debate, as well as being unfair.

The stuttering community needs to find other ways in which to engage with the general community. Enjoying some Schadenfreude because someone has been stuttering a bit is not helpful. Calling someone with a reputation for being one of the nicest people on showbiz uncaring is not helpful. Trying to dismiss the work of other charities as not as important is not helpful. Digs about anyone not being clever because they don't agree with your own point of view is never going to encourage sensible debate in any field, and making them isn't particularly clever either.

There are still many people who still think that when they see Gareth stuttering it's all put on for sympathy or publicity, because they cannot grasp variability. When he's fluent they make sarcastic comments about how it has magically disappeared, even though the explanation has been reported fairly widely for those who are interested. In that respect, it should be considered that the presumption that everyone can be "cured" because they saw Gareth on the tv speaking "fluently" isn't a deliberate conspiracy by Gareth to make other stutterers feel bad about themselves.

Trying to make Gareth feel bad about himself for it won't help either. I'm sure he's got far more interesting things going on in his life than to worry about someone he doesn't know making wild accusations about him on a blog. However, some people who read this might be thinking "I wonder if they'll judge me as harshly" and that might be enough to make them not bother.

Anonymous said...

This is certainly getting a few hits on the website !!!....nothing like a bit of controvesy.

First of, you dont always have to agree with Toms point of view, we all have our own opinions on everything, thats what makes life interesting.

Gareth has never said that he is "cured", so that cant be held against the guy.

GG's speech is like ours, we have good days and bad days, the stutter waxes and wanes and thats life...his techniques hopefully give him more good days than bad days.

McGuire is not a cult !....there are so good people, there are so not so good people in with everything.

I can be fluent with FULL mcguire technique, but it takes a huge effort and control.

Medication and treatment to break the habitual nature/cycle is the way to go.

Just my 2 cents

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Anonymous said...

You said:

"I can be fluent with FULL mcguire technique, but it takes a huge effort and control.

Medication and treatment to break the habitual nature/cycle is the way to go."

what is the FULL mcguire technique?

Regarding good days and bad days, that is too simple. There is always an explanation for everything.

Will you admit the Mcguire technique is not for everyone, and it won't work for all PWS?

What Mcguire technique, it is coastal breathing and self-advertising....Mcguire did not invent the so called mcguire technique, let's be clear about it.

Stop with the false advertising, please don't mislead people.

TheVK said...

I know this post is old, but wow, trashing Gareth just because he did not do anything for some charity that is important to YOU? How about YOU, what have YOU done? Talking big on the internet, let's see if we meet eye to eye, see if you can speak so fluently as you do on here.

Blaming Gareth Gates for your own shortcomings in life won't help you become any better in life.

Anonymous said...

Just found this post - had a good read over lunch.

I joined McGuire only a few months ago and for the first time in my life I have control over my speech. Of course there are good and bad days but I feel at ease in many situations I used to stress over previously.

If it works for some, then you should be happy - isn't that what we have always wanted? We are all have a stutter and are just trying to find a way to solve the puzzle.

And btw Gareth Gates is perfect for raising awareness about stuttering - I can only think of the Kings Speech and Brain from Thunderbirds as the prime examples of stuttering in the media.

Its 2017 and people still find him relevant.


Unknown said...

So what have you done for the BSA lately

Unknown said...

Respectfully please what meds and what therapies please. My son had sudden onset stammering at 15 yrs old after stopping ambien (8 week regimen once) unsure if they are related. He has speech therapy 2xweekly. Mabey should be noted he has adhd and imsonia. Very social and popular btw

Anonymous said...

Respectfully What therapy and meds? please