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Graduation

Neil Bell

A sports podcaster who struggled for more than 40 years with undiagnosed dyslexia is preparing to graduate from Abertay in Creative Sound Production.

Despite struggling with his ability to write, Neil Bell, from Dundee, carved out a successful career in the sales and entertainment industries.

It wasn’t until 2007 that the 51-year-old – who does podcasts and radio work covering Dundee United, Dundee and Aberdeen – received a formal diagnosis and was finally able to get to grips with his dyslexia.

The father-of-three will graduate with a BA (Hons) on July 6 and is hoping to progress to a Masters degree.

He said: “Every time I couldn’t do something, my brain would go into auto-pilot and find another way of doing it.

“Throughout my life there were lots of issues that came along, it was just a case of trying to avoid them.

“I had a job where I was asked to write letters to MPs but I wasn’t good at it and kept making errors.

“I didn’t realise that something just wasn’t working.”

Neil completed two years at Fife College, specialising in radio, before coming to Abertay for a further two - starting at University the same day as his daughter, who is studying accounting.

He said: “I took University head on and I haven’t failed any of the assessments. For ones I struggled with I went and got extra help, and it has worked out well.”

It was during his first year at Abertay that a national news organisation picked up on voluntary podcasts he had been doing for Dundee United and signed him to produce content.

Neil has also worked on comedy programmes for the same organisation with stars from BBC series Scot Squad and with people from the popular football-based Only an Excuse show.