THE Repair Shop’s Jay Blades has revealed he considered suicide when his marriage broke down and he ended up homeless.
The 50-year-old was left seriously struggling five years ago following a string of unfortunate events, including the collapse of the charity he was running.
Jay ran Out of the Dark – an organisation which taught disadvantaged youths how to restore furniture – but it fell apart, leaving him at rock bottom.
Describing what happened, he explained to the Mirror: “Everything came at once.
“My marriage had broken down, I didn’t have any money and the people that I employed I had to make redundant. The state that I was in I would have taken my own life, and I came close.
“I got in my car and decided to drive. I had no vision of where I was going. I ended up in Wolverhampton, and for a couple of nights I slept in my car.
“My wife was so alarmed she reported me missing and the police found me.”
Jay – who shares daughter Zola, 13, with his ex wife Jade – was fortunately taken in by a friend in Wolverhampton, where he still lives now.
He then set up a furniture restoration business and started hosting The Repair Shop, which has proved to be a real hit on the BBC.
The show, which is now in its sixth series, draws in around 2 million viewers every afternoon as they watch various items which people find in their homes get restored by a series of experts.
One recent example includes widower Geoff who brought his broken jukebox in to get repaired.
It held sentimental value because it played his first dance at his wedding – and he was moved to tears once they got it working again.
Speaking about what people like Geoff mean to him, Jay told the BBC: "I admire people that come into the barn because some of the stories that are attached to the items are very personal, and some of them are raw.
"I love it, and I get quite choked up when I hear men being emotional, because where I'm from, men were never emotional. It was just like, 'If you show emotion, you've shown your weakness and you then become a kind of victim because people will take the mickey out of you.'"
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 16123
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