Big Kids

'You are brave': Boy with autism pens heartfelt letter to Anne Hegerty

We were delighted when one of our favourite Chasers joined the cast of I’m a Celeb this year.

Anne Hegerty’s appearance has inspired her biggest fan beyond words.


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11-year-old Joseph Hughes was diagnosed with autism at just five-years-old, and he reached out to Anne in a hand-written letter.

He called The Governess, who has Asperger syndrome, “brave” for her venture into the jungle.


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“I live in Preston Lancashire and I go to a specialist school,” Joseph began.

“I was diagnosed with autism when I was five. I like to watch you on The Chase and now I have been watching you in the jungle.

“I think you are very brave for going in the jungle; I couldn’t go there because there are too many bugs. You are very clever.”

The boy went on to say that Anne’s courage has helped him deal with bullying at school and to pursue whatever career path he wants.

“Sometimes people are mean to me because I am autistic but watching you makes me see that other people can have autism too. And maybe I can have a cool job like you when I am older."

Along with the letter, Joseph included a drawing of his favourite film.

“Do you like Thunderbirds?” he asked. “I love them. My favourite is Thunderbird 2. I have drawn you a picture and hope you like it.”

Joseph’s mum shared the letter on Twitter, and it has already gotten a massive positive response.

“That's a cool letter Joseph, you are very brave and clever too, I'm sure Anne will be delighted to hear from you. My son has autism too,” said one mum.

“This is so sweet, Kate. I have two boys with autism, and I'm so happy someone is representing them for once and spreading awareness. Tell him Jude and Ethan from Ireland are sending him a high five,” said another.

Many fans have credited Anne’s presence on the show to helping raise awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

We’re glad to see that viewers like Joseph have been inspired by her appearance on the show and hope she goes on to encourage other boys and girls around the world.

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