No one knows the true me Jay Blades explains real reason behind explosive memoir

The One Show: Jay Blades discusses mental health struggles

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Jay Blades, who fronts The Repair Shop, recently released his autobiography Making It, which gives readers a fascinating insight into the presenter’s life. The BBC favourite unveils the various challenges he faced from homelessness to mental health struggles and racism, before landing on-screen with his own show.

The 51-year-old opened up about his decision to give his fans an insight into his background, as he recounts tales from his past.

The small-screen star explained that most people only know him from his time working on TV shows including The Repair Shop and Money For Nothing.

Jay spoke candidly about sharing his story, as the restorer admitted he wanted to show his true character.

He explained: “The reason was that I’m in a position where people are looking at me and the articles written about me and so on and so forth, I thought, ‘You know what, let me tell people exactly what’s happened to me and how I’ve got to where I’ve got to.'”

Jay continued: “A lot of people just know me as Jay from The Repair Shop but no one knows the true me.

“And knowing the true me fully will inspire people to achieve things at the later times of their lives. Or just showing people that no matter where you’re from, you can actually achieve something.”

The memoir explores Jay’s life from his childhood and follows his journey to landing on-screen, but it wasn’t without trial and tribulations.

He opens up about overcoming a mental breakdown, abandonment by his father and his devastating divorce, to finding success in the TV world.


In his new book Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped Me Repair My Life, Jay revealed how he struggled to read after he gave up studying while in secondary school.

The small-screen star was unaware that he had dyslexia and it was thanks to the encouragement of his ex-wife that he received his diagnosis.

The restorer admitted that he often doesn’t read his scripts on the BBC show.

“I’ve still got dyslexia. I don’t read scripts for the shows that I do. The [producers] just want me to talk,” Jay remarked.


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“They send me the emails of what I need to do.”

He continued: “But they learn very quickly there is no point in sending Jay an email – he never reads them. Send him a voicenote and he’ll listen to that, but he’s never going to read them.”

The restoration expert revealed when he first became aware that he had problem with his ability to read.

“I was 31-years-old when I went to university and my ex-wife identified that I had a problem with reading,” Jay explained. “She said, ‘Let’s find out if you’re dyslexic.'”

He added: “I did quite a big dyslexic test and I’ve got the reading ability of an 11-year-old.

“I stopped learning when I went to secondary school.”

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words, according to the NHS.

Jay Blades’ Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped Me Repair My Life is out now.

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