Joe Wicks' popularity has soared in recent weeks thanks to his new role as the nation's P.E. teacher on his YouTube live workout videos. And following the huge response it has received, he joined Russell Brand on his Under The Skin podcast to talk about its success and his chaotic childhood.
The father-of-two was candid about his upbringing in the hour-long interview, revealing how he went from fitness trainer to the Nation's P.E. teacher. "I've had times when I've been really struggling but I've always had a voice in my head saying 'you can do it, just keep going. It will build and it will grow,' and that's what happened with the boot camp, it's what happened with my YouTube and with my Instagram," he said.
He later went on to explain how it had taken him eight years to reach success: "I don't come from a family of entrepreneurs, we’re not an ambitious family, we don't run companies. My dad Gary has been in and out of rehab for addition, I had a manic and really chaotic home life. It wasn't settled and calm and I wasn't being encouraged to go to university, but one thing I will say is I always had love. That love and that support has been powerful."
Opening up further about his parents, Gary and Raquela, he told Russell: "My mum left home when she was 15, she got kicked out of her home, was living in a squat at 15. She met my dad in a squat in Epsom, they had my brother Nikki, she was 17. Year and a half later she had me. She’s 19 years old, with two kids and a drug addict partner in and out of rehab and she raised us, and I love my dad and we have a great relationship now but there were a lot of years when my dad was absent and it was my mum that raised me. My mum, bless her, she always taught us right and wrong because of my dad’s addiction, me and Nikki steered clear of that."
Joe, who is a father to 21-month-old Indie and four-month-old Marley, later added that he currently gets along with his parents and brother. "I’m really close to my family now, we have a great relationship," he shared.
Earlier in the year, Joe paid tribute to his brother Nikki in honour of his birthday. "Growing up Nikki always protected me. Then we spent our teenage years fighting each other, then one day he went travelling and when he came back we just stopped," he captioned a picture of them together at his wedding to Rosie. "We started to look after each other. Then we lived together for 5 years. Then he went to live in Singapore for 2 years. I asked him to come home and help me. Now we work together. We travel together. We speak everyday. We are best friends and business partners. He is the other half of the Body Coach. No one understands me better than Nikki. I would have had half the success I have without him. He's the only person who I know who works as hard as me. Like me he's always thinking about the mission. We share the same purpose and drive to make an impact on the world. I love and appreciate you bro," he wrote.