Jay Blades: The Repair Shop host was sacked from McDonald’s ‘That was a really low point’

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Jay Blades, 51, has been the face of the feel-good BBC show The Repair Shop since it began in 2017. However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the star, who has opened up in a new interview about some of his tougher moments.

Jay shared several revelations about growing up, suffering racism and early setbacks in an emotional new interview.

One particularly low moment for the television presenter came when he was 19-years-old and living in Luton.

He said: “There is one moment I’d like to go back to and tell myself, things are going to get better. I was 19 and living in Luton.

“And I remember saying to myself, ‘OK, I’ve got five tomatoes, they’re gonna last me for the whole week.

“I can have quarter a [sic] tomato for breakfast, a quarter for lunch, and a full half for dinner’.”

During the chat, the presenter revealed how he worked several jobs, including at a frozen sausage factory and a Christmas card factory.

He even had a short-lived stint at McDonald’s but was quickly fired.

Jay continued: “On the fourth day that week I got a job in McDonald’s.

“But I got sacked after about three days because I ate too many burgers while I was working.

“That was a really low point. I’d like to go back and tell myself it’ll get better than that.”

In his interview with The Big Issue, Jay also opened up about his childhood in Hackney, east London and enduring racism at school.

He added: “I suffered a lot of racism in secondary school. I went to a school that was predominantly white, and I was one of the first wave of black kids.

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“I got called loads of different names and I didn’t know what they meant. I grew up in Hackney, and I didn’t see racism there at all.”

The television star shared some revelations about his childhood situation as well.

Jay was raised by his single mother and did not know his father well.

He said: “I didn’t really know my dad much but I didn’t feel I was missing out because there were a lot of single parents where I was growing up.

“I think I knew three couples that were together. I don’t remember seeing too many men in my estate.

“I call him the man that contributed towards my birth, I don’t call him my father.”

Jay is best-known for fronting The Repair Shop on the BBC, which follows a group of experts as they restore personal items for people.

The series has already run for six series and last week Jay shared they were back filming.

On March 3, he tweeted: “Good morning all, Look who’s back in the Barn filming. How do you feel about that?”

The Repair Shop is available on BBC iPlayer. You can support The Big Issue’s 100 Days of Action Appeal by buying a subscription from your vendor or by subscribing online. More information is available here.

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