Stephen Fry has said he gets upset seeing the pressures and stress children face regarding exams, and that ultimately he believes results “never really matter”.
The broadcaster, 61, was speaking as pupils received their GCSE results across the UK.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I get very upset when I see how stressed children are sometimes by exams, the pressure that’s put on them, either by themselves, by their mates or by their teachers or parents.
“I think, like a lot of things in the world, it matters at the time but it never matters in the end, and that is true of so many things in our lives – they matter desperately at the time but they never really matter.”
The actor, comedian and writer said his own early exam performance was “miserable” and the type of person you become matters more.
He said: “I can understand why people get upset and they think ‘I’ve failed’ but you don’t fail. I did miserably in my GCSEs – they were called O-levels in my day – but managed to blag my way to get some A-levels and then slowly I got the learning bug, but it doesn’t matter in the end.
“What matters is what kind of person you are, curiosity, staying alert and interested, there is always another chance and I would always rather be an unqualified success than a qualified success.”
Hundreds of thousands of youngsters received their results on Thursday after sitting the Government’s tough new GCSE courses.
Celebrities were among those taking to social media to wish pupils good luck and share advice if the results are not what they hoped for.
Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Neil Jones wrote on Instagram: “Good luck today to everyone who is waiting to get your exam results and remember it doesn’t matter what result you get.
“If you really want to do something you will find a way.”
Love Island 2017 winner Amber Davies’s message had a personal edge as she tweeted: “Happy GCSE RESULTS DAY! can’t believe my little cousin is receiving his…
“GOOD LUCK and have the best celebration tonight.”