Ben Cohen is clinically deaf but has admitted that not many people are aware of his condition, especially considering the fact he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. However, the former rugby player kept his condition private during his stint on the BBC1 show, relying on his pro partner Kristina Rihanoff to help him find other ways to 'hear' the music. And now he's revealed the real reason why his deafness was such a well-kept secret.
"I just simply wasn't allowed to talk about it," Ben told HELLO! "It was something that was overlooked – I couldn't hear the music or the beat just a noise, so (Kristina) would squeeze my palm and nod – I wanted to achieve something and I set my mind to it – if you set your mind to it you can achieve anything you put your mind to." Ben also revealed that even though he only has 46 per cent hearing, he hasn't learnt sign language, although that is something he would love to rectify. He added: "I don’t know sign language but would love to learn and would love my daughters to learn, it’s a great skill to have so for sure!"
Kristina helped Ben on Strictly
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Ben also suffers with tinnitus but admitted modern technology has helped him "immensely" in dealing with his hearing difficulties. He added: "I have had tinnitus as long as I can remember so it's easier to live with unlike other people who develop tinnitus later on in life. Modern technology has helped immensely with ways to cope with the difficulties of hearing and every day challenges."
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Hello! interviewed Ben Cohen following the launch of The Lonely Penguin, the latest book to be added to the Huawei StorySign app. To find out more, visit www.storysign.com
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