Jay Blades practices his writing with fiance Lisa
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Jay Blades, 51, has become a firm fan-favourite amongst fans since his rise to fame on BBC’s hit DIY show The Repair Shop. And he’s been taking his new-found recognition in his stride.
I’ve always had a lot of attention from community members
So much so, that his ex-wife Christine once banned him from going to the shops because fans would ambush him.
In an interview with iNews, Jay looked back on the reaction from his family when he was propelled into the spotlight.
He said: “I’ve always had a lot of attention from community members.
“There was a stage where my ex-wife wouldn’t let me go to the shops to get milk or I’d come back four hours later because everyone was talking to me!”
But he revealed he’s “still doing normal stuff” despite being firmly in the spotlight.
“I go to the market every Tuesday, I go to Sainsbury’s, I iron my own clothes, I’m not endorsing products and driving a Range Rover and bleaching my teeth,” he explained.
“It is all a bit surreal, though!”
However, while the presenter has made it big now, he admitted it was a very different story to when he was younger, after a school careers officer was adamant he wouldn’t go anywhere in life.
A tough thing to read now, but even tougher to hear those words as a child.
He recalled the day when he and his classmates were queuing up to get advice about their futures.
Chatting to Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 show, Blades said: “My careers teacher said I wasn’t going to amount to anything.
“And then he just said, ‘Next.'”
There was a pause as Blades continued: “You know when everybody used to line up to see the careers officer?
“He saw me come to the table and said, ‘Blades, you’re going to amount to nothing – next!’ And he looked behind me.”
He sighed: “I didn’t even get to sit down in the chair.
“That was it, [it was a] bit naughty.”
And his success is even more remarkable due to his severe dyslexia.
Blades was diagnosed with the learning condition at the age of 31 while studying criminology at Buckinghamshire New University.
He had struggled with literacy for years prior to his diagnosis, but the presenter was stunned to learn he had the reading ability of an 11-year-old child.
Since then, he has created a documentary for the BBC; a raw and honest account about his condition and how he feels learning to read at the age of 51.
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