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I Can't Say My Name

I Can't Say My Name
Alumnae Senior School

Acclaimed journalist, producer and WHS alumna Felicity Baker (Class of 2002) has been regular source of inspiration for Year 7s over the past few years with her wonderful talks. 

As a Senior Producer for BBC News at One, Six & Ten, she has worked on many high-profile news stories, including five general elections, the coronation of King Charles, the war in Ukraine, and overseeing news deployments for the BBC’s coverage in Westminster during Brexit. In 2020, she revealed the story of her grandmother, Hazel Hill, who helped to turn the tide of the Battle of Britain when she was a 13-year-old school girl. The story was broadcast to acclaim across the world.

But, impressive though her career is, it is not why Felicity is invited back to school time and again; it is to talk about a part of her life that she kept hidden for most of her childhood – her stammer. Felicity explained to Year 7 that she even struggles to say her own name. In 2021, she spoke even more publicly about her stammer for the first time, fronting a TV documentary ‘I Can’t Say My Name’. The piece came about after she revealed her secret to fellow GDST alumna and BBC presenter, Sophie Raworth. They swapped roles, with Felicity stepping out in front of the camera to talk about what it is like to live with a stammer. Broadcast on BBC One, it was watched live by over 2.6 million people in England and has reached many more since on the BBC News Channel and BBC World.  Her documentary demonstrates that she is not alone – featuring other public figures that have a stammer, including a rugby player who blames his stammer for his aggressive behaviour on the pitch, a rapper who found that music stopped him stammering, and the film star Michael Palin, whose father stammered but never ever spoke about it.

The response to the documentary was overwhelming. Since broadcast she has been contacted by people from all over the world who found her story inspiring and have shared their experiences of living with a stammer.  And Felicity continues to put stammering in the spotlight – she is a ‘Stambassador’ and hosted a conference for Action for Stammering Children – a charity she has now joined as a trustee.

My stammer has made me brave and empathetic and, more importantly, rather than stopping me doing things, given me opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had.”

Felicity continually uses her own experience to help inspire young people, regularly giving talks at the Michael Palin Centre and back at Wimbledon High.

The impact is clear - Year 7 students had this to say:

“It was really brave of her to come and say that I have this hidden thing and that I am showing it to all of you, and to be told by people ‘you should speak about it more’ and how people were really supportive. People weren’t like ‘that’s a bit weird’, they said ‘that’s really cool’.” - Tilly

“It made me realise that it’s okay to speak up about things.” - Olympia

Felicity remains passionate about telling the stories of people who haven’t had their voices heard. She also urges Year 7s to be patient with others who may have a hidden part of their life, and to those who may have a hidden part of themselves, she encourages them to “be your authentic self.”  

And her advice to those who stammer?  "What I found helpful is learning to look at my stammer differently... Knowing that if I do stammer, I will get through it - I will be fine. It's not going to stop me doing anything."
And what would she say to her younger self about her stammer? "I can do anything I want. I know it sounds like a cliché but if my 11-year-old self knew that I would go on to work in TV and appear on screen, she would never have believed it."


Watch out for Felicity's new documentary piece about the causes of stammering which is due to be aired on BBC News 6 and 10pm very soon!

Action for Stammering Children is the UK charity for children and young people who stammer, their families, and the communities who support them:




I Can't Say My Name: Stammering in the Spotlight
First aired: Wednesday, 10 March 2021. Available on BBC I-player

STAMMA -  an interview Felicity Baker and Sophie Raworth about the reaction to their BBC documentary 


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I Can't Say My Name