Uk News 'I'm fearless. That is my strength': Jay Blades on his rise from homelessness to hosting a primetime TV show United Kingdom news

PremierLeague-News.Com - The East Londoner's turnaround is the stuff of a Hollywood plotline. And now 51, just six years after he went through his darkest days, he has written his life story

Uk News 'I'm fearless. That is my strength': Jay Blades on his rise from homelessness to hosting a primetime TV show United Kingdom news

PremierLeague-News.Com - The East Londoner's turnaround is the stuff of a Hollywood plotline. And now 51, just six years after he went through his darkest days, he has written his life story

Uk News  'I'm fearless. That is my strength': Jay Blades on his rise from homelessness to hosting a primetime TV show United Kingdom news
15 May 2021 - 12:03

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! You get those who find fame young, go off the rails and end up in rehab faster than you can say “Love Island contestant”. Then you get those who find fame older, wiser, and are better able to handle the pitfalls. What you don’t get is many people who have gone from homelessness to hosting one of the BBC’s most beloved shows in less time than it takes the rest of us to jump a single rung up a career ladder. In fact, you only get one. From living in his car to presenting The Repair Shop, a programme that – in true Bake Off style – began as a niche offering and is now watched by almost seven million people at prime time, Jay Blades’ turnaround is the stuff of a Hollywood plotline. And now 51, just six years after he went through his darkest days, he has written his life story. Your guide to what to watch next - no spoilers, we promiseEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription. Read More Lucy Punch on Motherland and Bloods: ‘I’ve played a lot of bitches and witches’ “I’ve spilled my guts,” he says. “I’m quite open with my emotions, and it’s a way of inspiring people to see they can achieve anything as long as they believe in themselves.”Brought up on a council estate in Hackney, east London, by his single mother, Blades never knew the man who he refuses to call Dad. During a brief spell of contact at the age of 21, Blades learnt that his father had a further 26 children in various countries. What does he think about him reading the book? “He might have something to say about it, but I’m not really bothered what he thinks. I’ve only spoken to him four times in my life. He has no significance to me; he’s just any guy walking down the street.” ‘The skills I got for The Repair Shop came from my work getting disengaged people engaged,’ Blades says (Photo: BBC/Ricochet Ltd/Steve Peskett)During his disadvantaged youth, Blades suffered racist bullying at school and had regular run-ins with the police, but he holds no resentment – and is supreme at the art of turning negatives into positives (follow him on social media for his daily life mantras). “I got beat up by the police, I was fighting with racists, but those people have baggage and I have a choice whether to put their baggage into my rucksack. And if I do, I’m going to be carrying it around for a long time. I’d rather not do that.”Blades has never been short on self-belief. “I’m fearless. Fearless and stupid. In one way, that’s my naivety, but in another, it’s my strength and means I’ve been able to jump into certain situations.” These qualities helped him make in-roads to a better life in his thirties, studying for a degree in criminology, before setting up a charity with his then-wife Jade. Out of the Dark invested in disadvantaged young people, teaching them Blades’ own self-taught art of furniture restoration. “I grew up in an environment where we would make stuff. I remember being given a bike frame and different wheels and handlebars and making it myself. The skills I got for The Repair Shop came from my work getting disengaged people engaged,” he says. Blades, pictured aged six, was brought up on a council estate in Hackney, east London, by his single motherA short film made about the project came to the attention of TV producers and Blades made his first appearance opposite Kirstie Allsopp, making a Christmas tree out of driftwood. It looked like the start of something but, alas, life took a wrong turn. The charity stopped receiving funding and Blades split from Jade, the mother of his daughter Zola, 14, which brought about his darkest days, living in his car and suffering a breakdown. “I slept in my car for about a week until my ex-wife contacted an old friend called Gerald to come and see if I was all right. I sat in his car and started crying like a baby. I thought he was going to take the mickey or tell me to get out.

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.’ I was like: ‘Can’t you see I’m crying? This is the weirdest job interview I’ve ever been to.’” Blades lived with Gerald’s family for a while and, through Gerald, was able to set up his own restoration workshop, and met his new partner Christine, with whom he now lives in Wolverhampton. After hosting his first show, BBC One’s Money For Nothing, Blades signed up for The Repair Shop. “I knew I had the emotional intelligence to be able to read people and to put them at ease so they could tell us their stories.” He is taking his new-found fame in his stride. Blades pictured with his mother Barbara“I’ve always had a lot of attention from community members – there was a stage where my ex-wife wouldn’t let me go to the shops to get milk or I’d come back four hours later because everyone was talking to me. I’m still doing normal stuff: I go to the market every Tuesday, I go to Sainsbury’s, I iron my own clothes, I’m not endorsing products and driving a Range Rover and bleaching my teeth. It is all a bit surreal, though.”What is even more remarkable about his success is that he has done it all with severe dyslexia, which went undiagnosed until he went to university. “At school, there were three groups: the Ps (the perfects) the Ms (the mediums) and the Ls (the learners). Or Losers. I was an L. We were just classified as dumb. I got bullied because of the colour of my skin and defending that was kind of a good distraction from not being able to read – I’d get kicked out of a lesson and have to stand outside the headmaster’s office. I always found a way to get out of something that was embarrassing to do, like reading to the class.  “I’ve got the reading ability of an 11-year-old. The concentration required is unbelievable. My eyes, my brain, it all starts to hurt. But the beauty of all the shows I do is there is no script and no Autocue.”Blades’ new book details his life story. He has severe dyslexia and has never read a book, including his ownBlades has never read a book, including his own – for which he had a ghostwriter – but he did listen to the audio version. “It was quite exhausting,” he says. “And I don’t really sit down that much but when I got this book in my hand, I sat for 10 minutes, processing it. My bottom lip went a bit.”Never mind his 18-year-old self; what would Blades’ 46-year-old self would make of all this. “He would say: ‘Are you for real? Nah, shut up, sit down, it’s not going to happen.’ I thought I was going to live until my dying days doing community work,” he says. “Imagine someone is going to make a show and you say, ‘OK, this is this guy’s life.’ They would say, ‘You need to tone it down, because it would not happen.’ But, yeah, it did. Anything can. My life is unbelievable.”

Source = PremierLeague-News.Com

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