Jay Blades

The Repair Shop's Jay Blades looks unrecognisable in throwback to early career

He looks so different!

Eve Crosbie

Jay Blades has left The Repair Shop fans delighted after sharing a throwback picture from the early 1990s, and he looked completely unrecognisable.

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In the photo, a young Jay can be seen without his signature black-rimmed glasses and bake boy cap. Instead, he's wearing a very nineties get up - a striped salmon pink polo shirt with a pocket square tucked into high-waist blue jeans. 

"Great pic," one commented, while another marvelled at how different the star looks now, writing: "Jay, you've changed SOO much. Hardly recognised you!!" Another joked that Jay was sporting a "Tom Selleck moustashe" in the picture.

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However, the photo was more than just a fun throwback. In the caption, Jay revealed he was sharing it to celebrate the fact that his memoir Making It, which was released in May, has retained its position in The Sunday Times' best-selling hardback list. 

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He wrote in the caption: "I'm so happy to still be in the @sundaytimes Top 5 Hardback book list. This is a photo of me aged 23 at Simon House, Oxford which changed my life."

Readers of the book will know that Jay began volunteering at Simon House, which is a homeless shelter, as a way to get back on his feet in his early twenties after experiencing homelessness himself.


A post shared by Jay Blades MBE (@jay_n_co)

Jay shared the photo of him at 23 to Instagram for a very important reason

He went on to work on a community scheme to help people with mental health issues before attending university as a mature student to study criminology. After that, he set up a charity based in High Wycombe to train disadvantaged young people in furniture restoration.

Jay, who began hosting the hugely popular BBC show in 2017, often posts on his social media showing off his impressive restorations accompanied by a "Thought of the Day" but also likes to share the rare childhood photo here and there.

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In fact, last week he delighted fans as he shared a photo of him as a young boy to reveal that he had been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List and was had received an MBE for his services to craft. He captioned the picture: "It gives me great pleasure to announce that I've been awarded an MBE, for my contribution towards Craft. Thank you to everyone who made this possible for this young innocent boy."

The comment section of the post was soon flooded with congratulatory messages from fans and his The Repair Shop co-stars were also quick to react, with Will Kirk writing underneath: "Big news and well deserved!" Kirsten Ramsay, who is the show's resident ceramics expert, added: "Congratulations Jay!" followed by a string of clapping hand emojis and Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell, known as the Teddy Bear Ladies, commented: "So proud of you Jay." 

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