As a teen Alex Sawyer would stand in the corner pretending he was ill, in the hope that people wouldn’t talk to him.

He would avoid going to parties riddled with the fear of meeting someone new.

Girls, were strictly off the cards because he couldn’t muster the courage to speak to them.

Having a stammer controlled every aspect of his life.

But now he whisks off across Atlantic for the Emmys, sits with celebrities at the BAFTA’s and has some of the best credentials in the business, including working on every series of the ITV drama, Downton Abbey.

The success, the glamorous lifestyle and being surrounded by celebs also had its own issues for Alex.

He is no stranger to working with celebrities and has worked with the likes of Kevin Spacey, David Walliams and Matt Lucas.

This year, he flew LA, nominated for the Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie award, at the prestigious award ceremony, the Emmys for the TV mini-series, The Night Manager, staring Tom Hiddleston.

Married to Iryna, his wife of four years, and with a four-year-old son Edward, Alex, still has to overcome his stammer when he attends award ceremonies and celebrity parties.

Sound engineer Alex, who narrowly missed out on the award to dark comedy, Fargo, said: “It was still a very big speech challenge because at those kind of events you have to meet lots of people.”

The 36-year-old sound engineer said: “I would be in a circle, where people were introducing themselves.

“Then I would have this thing that stammerers call creeping death syndrome - I would just stand there terrified like a rabbit in the head lights, hoping no one would ask who I was, as I was so afraid of speaking.”

It is a similar challenge, that is felt by an estimated one in every 100 adults in the UK.

International Stammering Awareness Day is on October 22 and raises awareness of the struggles stammerers.

Alex, from Winchester in Hampshire began stammering as a child.

Although a popular teen, who studied at Peter Simmonds College he was worried about his future and how living with a stammer would hold him back.

He managed his life around his stammer by answering in short one-word sentences.

When he began his career as a studio runner, he shied away from talking to people and when Gwyneth Paltrow asked him for directions once he couldn't get the words out and resorted to just nervously pointing instead.

That all changed, around eight years ago, when he entered the training scheme, The McGuire Programme, made famous by fellow stammerer and pop star Gareth Gates.

The course focuses on a breathing technique called costal breathing, a technique used by opera singers. As well as encouraging you to use non-avoidance strategies, by having a go at saying your feared sounds and speaking to groups of people.

“I believe it’s made me a stronger person mentally.

“I have had to deal with it and face it head on.

“The McGuire programme has made a more confident person,” he said.

He has worked on an array of television programmes and films including BAFTA winning film Four Lions.

He accredits the programme for teaching him ways to speak to famous actors and producers, something that his profession regularly requires him to do.

“The McGuire Programme teaches you the importance of disclosure - telling people you have a stammer at the start of the conversation.

“By doing that you are taking a lot of pressure off yourself so you don’t have to try and hide it.

“The more you try and hide a stutter, the worst your speech becomes.”

Although he still practices the techniques every day for at least 10 minutes. He feels that without the programme he would still be suffering in silence.

“It’s something I have to work at for the rest of my life but that’s okay.

“Its hard work to do all the exercises but it’s harder to have an out of control stammer.”