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The Repair Shop's Jay Blades reflects on 'dark time' in early career

The TV presenter is a household name

Francesca Shillcock

Jay Blades has become one of TV's most recognisable faces thanks to his presenting gig on hugely popular BBC show, The Repair Shop. 

But the antiques expert has faced some difficulties in his life, and he recently opened up about a "dark" time he went through before he shot to fame.

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Speaking to the Guardian earlier this year about the period when he became homeless and also saw his marriage to the mother of his children break down, he said: "I didn't even know if I would see tomorrow. It was a really, really dark time."

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As well as the breakdown of Jay's marriage five years ago, the charity organisation that he had set up stopped receiving an income of funds, which contributed to the struggles he faced. The charity, called Out of the Dark, sought to encourage young people who struggled academically, like himself, to get involved with practical jobs.

The presenter, 50, added that he feared opening up at the time and reaching out for help would be considered a weakness. "For years, I'd run community groups. I was the person people would come to when their children were arrested, something was going on at school, there were two gangs fighting: 'Call Jay, he'll sort it out.' I knew I needed support, but I couldn't ask." 

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Jay Blades is a regular face on The Repair Shop

The Money for Nothing presenter added: "I was scared because it would make me seem as if I was vulnerable, that I was not a 'man'." Nowadays, the TV star has been enjoying success with The Repair Shop, Fixing Britain and his own enterprise, Jay & co., which aims to help disadvantaged and disengaged groups.

Jay has also found love again, with his current partner of four years, Christine Goodman. Christine works as a marketing specialist for consumer goods and retailers. The couple live in Wolverhampton. 

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