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The Repair Shop's Jay Blades opens up about past 'heartbreak'

Jay has presented the BBC show since 2017

Francesca Shillcock

The Repair Shop presenter Jay Blades has opened up about his past relationships and his previous "heartbreaks" in a candid chat about his earlier years of dating.

The restoration expert, 51, spoke to The Big Issue last month about all things Repair Shop and more, when he admitted that his "romantic" nature left him with the blues.

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On his love life during his teenage years, Jay began: "How long have you got? Don't get me started on girls." He added: "I always suffered heartbreak because I fell in love all the time.

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"I'm one of these ever-romantics, 'This is the one. No, there's another one. She's the one. She's the one. She's the one.' I was a little bit free with my love."

Jay is now settled with his partner, Christine, but the presenter's journey to happiness hasn't been without its "dark times". Jay's marriage to his first wife broke down a number of years ago which lead to Jay "hitting rock bottom".

He told Radio Times in 2020: "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 bravely admitted: "If it had continued for 24 hours more, I don't think I would be talking to you now." Jay shares daughter Zola with his ex and also has a step-daughter, Paris Goodman, who is the daughter of his partner Christine.

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Jay is the presenter of beloved BBC show The Repair Shop

Jay didn't have the easiest start to his career. Growing up in Hackney, east London, the presenter never considered a career in television, and he had left school at the age of 15. 

After doing a number of other jobs, he decided to turn to studying. "I wanted to set myself a challenge of doing something that I didn't like, which was school," he told the BBC.

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However, it seems his pride and joy now lies within working in communities and giving back to ordinary people that come into The Repair Shop. "I think [the show] is so popular because it represents a community of experts working on behalf of someone we don't really know," Jay told HELLO! in November 2020.

"I feel fortunate that people come in with these items and some of the stories and the history related to them are quite raw, and they're very personal."

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