Tonight Jay Blades opened up about the previous mental health struggles that saw him get so low, he ‘couldn’t see tomorrow’.
Jay is a furniture repairer turned presenter of the popular TV programme The Repair Shop, which sees customers have their cherished possessions brought back to life.
Speaking to The One Show hosts Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas, the 51-year-old discussed some of the details he shared in his memoir Making It.
Before Jay started his television career at the age of 46, he had ‘quite an eventful life’, which eventually saw his mental health take a nosedive.
‘The biggest repair job we’ve ever done on The Repair Shop is me. The community of The Repair Shop has helped me get back to my kind of normal self,’ he said.
‘About five or six years ago I fell down and I was in a really dark place, I hit rock bottom. And mental health-wise I couldn’t see tomorrow, it was a case of there’s no future for me and when you can’t see tomorrow there’s no need to exist in the today.’
Jay is a furniture repairer turned presenter (Picture: Wah Wah Lab)
The presenter explained that the cast and crew of The Repair Show were his ‘TV family’ and helped him get to where he is today. He also thanked his family in Wolverhampton for their support.
Alex said she had no idea what Jay had been through until she read the memoir.
One moment that particularly hit home for her is when she read about how Jay and his wife’s divorce resulted in him driving to a car park.
‘I can remember that moment like it was yesterday. When you don’t see tomorrow, you don’t see yourself in tomorrow. It’s really hard to comprehend how you’re going to come out of it,’ he said.
Jay said his friends at The Repair Shop helped to build him up again (Picture: BBC/Ricochet Ltd)
‘So I think everything that happened to me, splitting up with my wife, leaving my business, and I was quite an influential character in the community… I wasn’t able to ask anybody for support because it was like a role reversal, it just didn’t feel right.’
‘I ended up in a car park and I slept there for a week because I couldn’t see tomorrow… I just sat in that car. It was really dark place at the time.’
He explained to the hosts that the way he picked himself back up was by finding his vulnerability and letting himself cry.
‘The first time I cried at 45 in front of another black man and I didn’t get him ridiculing me or taking the mickey, it was absolutely fine and he wanted to support me.
‘I found my vulnerability was the biggest way to actually ask for help and get it. And I got it in oodles.’
The One Show airs weekdays from 7pm on BBC One.