This Morning: Jay Blades discusses learning to read

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Jay Blades has become a household name since he started presenting The Repair Shop on BBC One. Now the star appears in countless shows, mostly demonstrating his impressive carpentry skills. However, Blades’ career goes back further than his woodworking days.

What was Jay Blades career before becoming a furniture restorer?

Blades was born in Hackney, East London, and was one of a staggering 26 children that his dad fathered across many different countries.

Admitting to the Mail on Sunday, Blades didn’t meet his father until he was 21 years old and shared how it impacted his early years growing up.

Blades explained: “Growing up, I only knew of two families where the mum and dad were married.

“I loved the ladies I was with but things didn’t work out and I moved on, even though I always stayed in touch with my children. I didn’t want to be like my father.”

The presenter struggled at school due to dyslexia which he wasn’t diagnosed with until years later.

However, he went on to go to Buckinghamshire New University he studied Criminology as a mature student.

Yet, Blades ultimately decided against criminology and specialised in woodworking. 

Blades set up his own company, Jay & Co, a company that repaired furniture and beloved items for customers.

Eventually, the BBC created a TV series around the shop, which later evolved into the TV show fans love today.

Today, Blades has settled down with his partner, Christine Goodman, but his backstory has not been an easy one.

Five years ago, the presenter’s marriage broke down, prompting him to leave his home for Wolverhampton.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Blades admitted: “I left the family home, gave the house to my ex-wife and just drove.

“I didn’t know where I was going. I slept in my old estate car for three or four days. I was in a really dark place.”

He also opened up about his mental state on the show, revealing: “If it had continued for 24 hours more, I don’t think I would be talking to you now.”

Most recently, Blades can be seen in Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop, a show where he went to Bradford to work with a team of volunteers.

The aim of the series is to give back, gifting the creations to those in need while teaching the volunteers invaluable skills.

The last episode of the series airs on September 29 at 9pm on BBC Two with the rest of the season available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Blades shared the trailer for the last episode on his Instagram, captioning the post with: “Last Show. Good afternoon all. Don’t forget Last Show of Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop.”

Fans rushed to the comments, with kate_kitch98 writing: “Oh gosh this video really hurts my heart. love and miss you all to death!”

“Thank you for a really lovely show. Hope you make another series,” deekirk5 added.

The Repair Shop is available to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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