The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades recalls having food ‘stolen’ in homeless ordeal

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The Repair Shop has returned for another series, showcasing more stories bound to pull at the heartstrings and precious belongings that are in need of some TLC. Jay Blades has hosted the BBC One restoration series since it began in 2017 and is back for season 10. As The Repair Shop continues every Wednesday, Blades is also the star of a new Channel 5 docu-series about his troubled past.

While Jay Blades may be the successful beloved presenter of The Repair Shop now, his early adulthood was much more tumultuous before stardom.

Channel 5 series No Place Like Home shows Blades visiting some of his previous haunts to find out more about the areas he used to reside in.

Along the way, Blades reminisces details of his life, highlighting just how far the 52-year-old has come.

In the second episode of No Place Like Home, Blades talks of how he found himself homeless.

Blades reveals details of his past as revisits his old flat on the Victorian Peabody estate in London.

“At 21 I was all over the place, I had no direction, I left London because I was getting into loads of fights and there were people after me”, he said.

“My mum moved to Luton and I lived up there with her for a bit.

“I had my first child, split up with the missus, and moved back to London, then I ended up homeless and went into a hostel.”

“I had a supermarket carrier bag with all of my stuff in there and it wasn’t a lot.”

Blades and three others living in the same hostel were soon moved into a flat on the estate, provided by social housing.

Life had been made a lot simpler with a roof over his head but his new roommates weren’t exactly ideal.

He explained: “I don’t think moral conduct was happening when I was here.

“One of the people I lived with was a bit naughty and would steal our food.

“You would see him with the cornflakes box and he would say, ‘No, I didn’t do it’.”

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It was while Blades was living in this flat that he started his volunteer work, the seeds of what would grow into a very successful career.

The Peabody estate was built in 1910 and featured a strict set of 17 rules for its tenants including no dogs and wallpaper and everyone had to be vaccinated against smallpox.

Blades’ former home was founded by American philanthropist George Peabody who wanted to provide affordable housing with set rules on moral conduct.

The host moved away from London several years ago, now residing in Ironbridge, Shropshire, with his fiancée Lisa-Marie Zbozen and three daughters.

No Place Like Home will return for its third on Tuesday, May 17, on Channel 5.

This is the final episode, delving into his past as a young adult when his life slowly but surely started to turn around.

The description reads: “In his final journey, Jay follows in the footsteps of his young adult self, walking the streets where he used to live and discovering their hidden secrets.”

The Repair Shop season 10 continues every Wednesday at 8pm on BBC One.

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