Jay Blades has revealed preparations for his upcoming wedding to fiancée Lisa Zbozen are ‘all sorted’.
The Repair Shop star, 52, announced the his engagement to the fitness trainer in December last year and now he’s admitted their plans for the big day are complete.
In a rare comment about his personal life, the restoration expert told Hello! that he is an ‘organiser’ suggesting he is well and truly involved in the planning.
Jay’s engagement is his second following his marriage to ex-wife Jade, and the former couple share 15-year-old daughter Zola together, before splitting in 2015.
It comes as the star prepares for a special episode of the BBC hit show to air – where he will welcome King Charles into The Repair Workshop.
Jay Blades revealed preparations for his upcoming wedding to fiancée Lisa Zbozen are ‘all sorted’ while speaking to Hello at the National Television Awards
Speaking at the National Television Awards, he said ‘the plans are all sorted’, adding that he’s an ‘organiser’.
Last year Jay shared a snap of Lisa-Marie’s stunning ring, and told fans: ‘Good afternoon all. Lunchtime Treat.
‘It gives me great pleasure to announce that I got engaged to @lisamariezbozen.’
He continued: ‘We wanted to share this news with you as we are very happy and hope to bring the same happiness your way. Ring designed by me & made by @rtfj.’
Richard, best known for his work as a goldsmith on The Repair Shop, also shared a glimpse of the beautiful ring on his Instagram.
The Repair Shop star, 52, announced the his engagement to the fitness trainer in December last year and now he’s admitted their plans for the big day are complete
Jay shared the news with fans last year, writing on social media that he and Lisa-Marie were ‘very happy’
He wrote: ‘It was a real honour to make this engagement ring for another one of my #repairshop family!
‘Congratulations to Lisa @lisamariezbozen & Jay @jaybladesmbe on your engagement!’
In February Jay revealed he hit rock bottom after his marriage broke down and his charity went bust – and he spent a week living in his car believing he ‘wouldn’t see tomorrow’.
The presenter took to Instagram to announced he’d proposed to his girlfriend Lisa-Marie with a ring specially designed by his co-star and goldsmith Richard Talman
In 2015 his High Wycombe-based charity Out of the Dark, which he’d set up with his ex-wife Jade – the mother of his daughter, whom he’d met at 30 while a mature student at Buckinghamshire New University – to help give disadvantaged youngsters practical skills, was forced to close after 15 years due to cashflow problems.
Jay, who also has two children from previous relationships, told how he got in his car and drove as far as he could until he needed petrol, by which point he’d reached Wolverhampton. He then spent a week ‘effectively homeless’ and living in his car in a retail park.
Speaking to Susannah Constantine on her My Wardrobe Malfunction podcast, Jay told how he broke down in tears when he finally asked a friend who he’d sold furniture to in the past for help.
‘My marriage broke down, my business, my charity, there was a number of young people I had employed. I was a pillar in the community that people used to go to and ask for support in more ways than one,’ he explained.
Jay’s life has significantly turned around since those dark moments as he is due to welcome King Charles into The Repair Workshop later this week – as part of a special episode to mark the BBC‘s centenary celebrations.
King Charles is to guest star in a special episode of show as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations – the programme will air on October 26th
Blades receiving his MBE from King Charles in May last year for services to craft and he was appointed the first Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University in May 2022
He’ll get to inspect pottery made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and an 18th century clock before handing the regal items over to his colleagues for repair.
The furniture maker has seen his career – and love life – flourish since BBC producers put him at the helm of the hit craft show, which restores family heirlooms to their former glory, in 2017.
Such success relatively late in his career – including an MBE in May last year – is in sharp contrast to Blades’ troubled early life in Hackney, where he grew up in poverty after his father abandoned his much-loved mother Barbara.
By his twenties, Blades ended up homeless and wondering ‘Is this what my life has come to?’, he told Channel 5 documentary makers earlier this year.
The father-of-three said he could fit all his belongings in one carrier bag when he lived in a hostel before he was given social housing on the Victorian Peabody estate.
The team will also mend two precious items chosen by the monarch – a piece of pottery made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and a 18th century clock. Charles met with Jay and his team in 2021
In the programme, Charles, pictured with Blades, Steve Fletcher, Kirsten Ramsay and Will Kirk, will meet with the show’s host Jay Blades and his expert team of craftspeople to explore their shared passion for preserving heritage craft skills
Dyslexic and unable to read, it wasn’t until the star reached 51 that he began to tackle to illiteracy problem that had haunted him all of his adult life – after he’d found fame on the show that tapped into the nation’s obsession with heritage crafting.
Speaking about when he was homeless, Blades said: ‘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.
‘My mum moved to Luton and I lived up there with her for a bit.
‘I had my first child, and then 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. I remember thinking, ‘is this what my life has come to, is this the end for me?”
But the TV star was helped out of the hostel and was given social housing on the Peabody estate, which was built in 1910, along with three other young men.
Jay has seen his career flourish in recent years after he took on the main presenting role on the hugely successful BBC craft show; marking a stark contrast to a tough childhood growing up in North London with his mother Barbara (pictured)
Dyslexic and unable to read, it wasn’t until the star reached 51 that he began to tackle to illiteracy problem that had haunted him all of his adult life
The BBC show has propelled Blades to being a household name after the furniture maker was picked to host the show
When Jay lived on the estate, it had a strict list of 17 rules for tenants which banned dogs and wallpaper and said everyone had to be vaccinated against smallpox.
The Peabody estate was founded by American philanthropist George Peabody who wanted to provide affordable housing for Londoners living in slum conditions, but with rules on moral conduct.
Blades said it was when he was living in the flat that he found voluntary work which kickstarted his career as a furniture restorer and designer.
His earlier life was similarly bleak, he’s revealed previously that he used to live amongst rats in his childhood home in Hackney, north-east London.
The star told how he was brought up in impoverished conditions, after his mother Barbara was abandoned by his father when he was a baby.
He said: ‘When I was born my mum came to live here with my uncle. My mum got pregnant with the man who contributed towards my birth and he left her high and dry.’
Blades has spoken previously how he was brought up in impoverished conditions, after his mother Barbara (pictured) was abandoned by his father when he was a baby
Jay added: ‘[He] took all her money from her, said he was going to promise her this and that, and he didn’t, he just disappeared. The time for my mum must have been quite desperate I would say.
‘There was loads of rubbish everywhere, there was rats.’
Last year, the presenter starred in the BBC documentary Learning to Read at 51, which saw the once-illiterate star tackle the written word after years of being unable to read.
The presenter learned how to read last summer using the same techniques children use, such as phonics.
Speaking to The Sun at the time, Blades recalled how he was brought to tears when he received a letter from his daughter Zola, 14, who lives in Turkey with his ex-wife Jade, and was able to read it. Jay also has two other children from previous relationships.
He said: ‘Reading is something most people do every day and I didn’t know it would mean so much to me. It grabs you emotionally.
‘It was the first letter Zola had ever sent me — she had never sent one before because she knew I couldn’t read it.
Jay was given the honour by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday for services to craft and in recognition of his work promoting heritage craft and restoration in the UK
Jay made the admission on his new documentary series, There’s No Place Like Home, where he revisited his old flat on the Peabody estate (pictured)
The Repair Shop team will mend two precious items chosen by the monarch – a piece of pottery made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and a 18th century clock. Pictured meeting the team of experts at the start of the video
‘Reading her letter gave me everything I’d ever wanted but didn’t think I would ever experience.’
Jay, who left school without any qualifications, suffers from dyslexia which went undiagnosed until he was 31.
The success of The Repair Shop seems to be as much as a surprise for Blades as anyone else.
In May, he was given an MBE by the then Prince of Wales for services to craft and in recognition of his work promoting heritage craft and restoration in the UK.
The star said he never expected that the programme ‘would become so big’ when it began five years ago.
He said: ‘I knew it was special, because you wouldn’t have all of those different disciplines in the same building. You wouldn’t have a ceramic next to a fine art next to woodwork and a clock restorer, you just wouldn’t have that.’
Jay left school at 15, and has set up a charity encouraging young people who struggle academically to get involved in practical jobs, such as restoration and craft.
He is also an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which provides people with up to £18,000 in funding to study a traditional craft.
Jay previously lauded his co-stars for giving him the ‘confidence’ to speak about his dyslexia.
The special episode with King Charles was announced during The One Show on Tuesday, with the episode airing on October 26 at 8pm on BBC One.