EXCLUSIVE: TOWIE’s Tommy Mallet tells how he went from being ‘unable to read and write’ and ‘tortured’ by his mind to a multi-millionaire on the Forbes rich list
Tommy Mallet has told how he went from being ‘unable to read and write’ and ‘tortured’ by his mind due to undiagnosed ADHD to a multi-millionaire on the Forbes 30 Under 30 rich list.
The former TOWIE star, 31, also explained that his life is now ‘completely different’ compared to last year, following his diagnosis with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, the Mallet London footwear founder – who has son Brody, two, with reality star fiancée Georgia Kousoulou, 32 – said he is on the ‘right path’ and finally feels stable for the first time in his life.
He said: ‘For me ADHD is a super power, it just needs to be understood properly. If you can understand it and work with it, it can be the best tool you’ll ever get in your life as I can out perform most people in most things.
‘When I was undiagnosed, I couldn’t read and write, I wasn’t able to express myself properly and now I can express myself really really well. I can do meetings with billionaires or sit down with a kid at school who’s in a unit.
Incredible journey: Tommy Mallet has told how he went from being ‘unable to read and write’ and ‘tortured’ by his mind to a multi-millionaire on the Forbes 30 Under 30 rich list
Inspiring: In 2015, the former TOWIE star, 31, channelled his passion for trainers into his own footwear line, Mallet London, and the business clocked £11.8 million in sales in 2020
‘I live a very uncomfortable life because I’m constantly chasing after the next thing and I don’t know the feeling of what being content is.
‘The money side is one part of my life but I also want to be a dad and be present as a partner. I’ve really got that balance in the first time in my life.
‘When you’re sitting there, thinking and trying to be the best all the time, it’s very hard to do that but then sit at home and get up late. I have to get up in the morning, I have to train to be half stable.
‘Those who are struggling with ADHD, if you can tap into it like I have and give yourself a routine, it could be so good for you.’
The reality TV star, who left school with no GCSEs after struggling with dyslexia, worked as a carpenter before becoming a reality TV star on TOWIE.
In 2015, Tommy then channelled his passion for trainers into his own footwear line and the business clocked £11.8 million in sales in 2020, with Mallet London shoes and apparel stocked in over 150 stores around the world.
The businessman father-of-one also detailed the mental ‘torture’ he went through during his time on TOWIE, prior to his diagnosis.
Tommy told MailOnline: ‘I’m successful so nothing matters to me any more. I’m past that stage of being a reality TV star.
‘I’ve got this thing where I’m impulsive and where it affected me the most is being so worried about people selling stories or me being involved in something at the wrong time. Now I’m at the stage at my life where I’ve got success the worry has gone.
‘I had so much torture in my head of being thrown off the show or doing something wrong.
‘I did miss out on a lot with having ADHD on TOWIE because I didn’t trust myself in a lot of situations so it did make my journey a bit tougher.
Last year, Tommy unveiled his ADHD diagnosis on his ITVBe series Georgia and Tommy: Baby Steps.
He got emotional as he and fiancée Georgia recalled his troublesome school years living with undiagnosed ADHD.
Tommy is now involved in a campaign to help young children who are in the same position as he was.
The father-of-one is the face of Superdrug’s new apprenticeship campaign Rise Up To Level Up and hopes to raise awareness around the support needed for young people to gain valuable life skills.
He added: ‘I left school with no GCSEs, which I’m quite open about, and when I left school my mum pushed me into architecture and I took an apprenticeship scheme doing it.
Family: Tommy told MailOnline he is on the ‘right path’ and finally feels stable for the first time in his life with son Brody, two, and reality star fiancée Georgia Kousoulou, 32 (pictured)
‘I always say that if it wasn’t for doing those three apprenticeship schemes I wouldn’t have ended up being where I am today.
‘As a businessman now I try to do as much as possible and do my bit, I hire a lot of young kids and try and show them the ropes and put them in the right direction.
‘I’m very passionate about helping kids who are in the same position I was in.’
Tommy also detailed how he went through a difficult time in his life and was ‘praying’ for his ADHD diagnosis to point out what was wrong with him.
He told MailOnline: ‘When I went to get diagnosed I was praying that I was going to get told I actually had it, because I was going through such a hard time in my life and I didn’t know what I had wrong with me.
‘I always knew my mind was so erratic and so intense. Mine was left undiagnosed and it had come to a point where I nearly lost everything because I couldn’t handle my own head.
‘When I went to get diagnosed, I was just sitting there thinking “Please please please tell me I have something wrong with me so I can try and fix it”. My life now to last year is completely different.’
Campaign: Tommy is now the face of Superdrug’s new apprenticeship campaign Rise Up To Level Up and hopes to help and inspire young kids
WHAT IS ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural condition defined by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
It affects around five per cent of children in the US. Some 3.6 per cent of boys and 0.85 per cent of girls suffer in the UK.
Symptoms typically appear at an early age and become more noticeable as a child grows. These can also include:
- Constant fidgeting
- Poor concentration
- Excessive movement or talking
- Acting without thinking
- Inability to deal with stress
- Little or no sense of danger
- Careless mistakes
- Mood swings
- Difficulty organising tasks
- Continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
- Inability to listen or carry out instructions
Most cases are diagnosed between six and 12 years old. Adults can also suffer, but there is less research into this.
ADHD’s exact cause is unclear but is thought to involve genetic mutations that affect a person’s brain function and structure.
Premature babies and those with epilepsy or brain damage are more at risk.
ADHD is also linked to anxiety, depression, insomnia, Tourette’s and epilepsy.
There is no cure.
A combination of medication and therapy is usually recommended to relieve symptoms and make day-to-day life easier.
Source: NHS Choices
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