The Repair Shop's Jay Blades discovers he has 27 siblings
The Repair Shop star Jay Blades has revealed that he has 27 siblings.
The furniture restorer and TV presenter opened up about the discovery on a recent podcast episode, explaining how his biological father had multiple children away from his mother.
"The man who contributed towards my birth got my mum pregnant when she was about 16, 17, promised her that he's going to get a flat and they're going to live happily ever after, took the money and left her bone dry," he told the Big Fish with Spencer Matthews podcast.
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"We ended up in a women's refuge [when I was born]... from there we went to live with her uncle and then she got a council place. So the man who contributed towards my birth came back into my life when I was about five I think.
"I vaguely remember it, and I remember him and my mum arguing because he wanted to take me somewhere, and then he came back into my life when I was 20, 21."
Opening up about learning more about his wider family, Blades explained: "I knew I had more brothers and sisters, and when I went to London with him and met the people he was living with, there were four there.
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"I said to him, 'I know there's more, I remember meeting a sister that was older than me, when you had me at five'. And he said, 'No, no.' I said, 'Are you sure?' 'No, no, no, there's no more'.
"So I left that place, and the half-sister rang me and then she said to me, 'Yeah, there is more, there's loads more'. I said, 'Well how many more is there?' She's like, 'There's 25'. I was like, 'Wow'.
"That's just in this country. There's some in Jamaica and there's some in America as well. I think he used to be a rabbit. I did challenge him after, and I've met 11 of them."
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Blades revealed that since becoming famous "two more have come out the woodwork", while "a lot of them don't want to be found and don't want to be related to the man who's contributed towards my birth because he's put nothing into them. Some of them feel shame".
The star went on to speak further about the strained relationship with his biological father, admitting: "I have a real problem with him. I've probably spoken to him about four times in my entire life.
"I remember the last time he called me up and first of all he started talking to me about, 'Oh, I've got a picture frame that I need repairing'.
"And I was like, 'OK, there's appropriate channels, go to the BBC website'. And he's like, 'You don't know who this is, do you?' I said, 'I know who this is, this is the man that contributed towards my birth.'
"I said, 'What is it you're after?' He said, 'I just want to tell you that everything you're doing is because of me – I'm responsible for that.'
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"So I said to him, 'I don't know how you've worked that out, but one thing I must give you is this: you have taught me how not to be a father, and I can thank you for that. So if you have nothing further to say, I just want to bid you good day'. I just put the phone down and that was it."
Confirming he now knows he has 27 siblings, Blades further said of his biological father: "His kind of motto was basically to go forth and multiply – to have children all over the place. But when I look back in his history, he was kind of abandoned as a child, so his way was doing that.
"There was some stuff I was doing as a teenager that was kind of mimicking him, with all these women, but I didn't know this at the time. Then you're like, 'Whoa, I'm kind of doing what you are without even knowing you'. That's a surreal experience."
The Repair Shop airs on BBC One.
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