Inside Jeff and Bobby Brazier's unbreakable bond - 'They celebrate Jade and talk about fun times'

Bobby Brazier and his dad Jeff at NTAs
-Credit: (Image: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock for NTA)

Raising two young boys as a single dad is a hard task for anyone, but Jeff Brazier has gone above and beyond. When his ex-partner Jade Goody passed away in 2009 to cervical cancer, Jeff was granted sole custody of sons Bobby and Freddie, 19, and the trio have shared an unbreakable bond ever since.

But one thing's for sure, the 45 year old - who split from Jade in 2004, five years before her death - has never shied away from encouraging his sons to talk about their mum. Now, as Father's Day approaches, a source has told OK! that Jeff and Bobby's strong bond allows them to keep her memory alive.

"Jeff and Bobby have such a strong bond - they’re not just father and son, they’re best friends," the source said. "They talk about everything together, Jeff encourages them and has never shied away from the subject of Jade. They celebrate her and talk about fun times.

"They really are such a strong unit and it's helped Bobby to become the star he's become.”

Jeff Brazier and the late Jade Goody with baby son Bobby Brazier in 2003
Jeff Brazier and Jade Goody with baby son Bobby -Credit:Mirrorpix

Bobby - who first shot to stardom in EastEnders when he joined the cast in 2022, and won an NTA for Best Newcomer - is clearly following in the footsteps of his famous parents. Jeff is a successful television presenter, while Jade worked tirelessly to raise awareness of her condition, after a successful reality TV career.

Then, when 21 year old Bobby danced his way to the Strictly Come Dancing final in 2023, it was clear to see his biggest supporter was his dad.

Following Bobby's emotional Strictly dance tribute to Jade, the dad of two broke down in tears and later penned a moving message on Instagram. Jeff proudly gushed: "To share your grief even to just one person can be a daunting prospect but to express it so movingly in front of millions takes incredible courage so thank you for your inspiration."

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell
Bobby brought viewers to tears with his touching dance -Credit:Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

He went on to say: "Encouraging many a conversation about loss & giving people an outlet for the tears they might find hard to release is a wonderful legacy of your time in the competition so far.

"You said something in the VT about making me proud of you? You and your brother achieved that a long time ago. Don't forget I've seen the journey and you both have my lifelong support & unwavering respect."

Things haven't always been easy for the actor though - who was just five when Jade passed - and Bobby has opened up in the past about his struggles. Making it clear that the family talk about his mum when they can, he said, “Mum died when I was five. I think I’ve got some vague, fleeting memories tucked away in there."

Jeff with Bobby and Freddie as kids
Jeff raised Bobby and Freddie on his own -Credit:Getty Images

He later continued: “The moments I truly cherish are the ones when I’m sitting at home with Dad and Mum’s friends, talking about her, hearing what she was like from the people who knew her. That’s when I feel I’m close to her.”

However, during Bobby’s stint on Strictly, his grandmother Jackiey Budden made headlines when she claimed that she had been “banned” from watching her grandson dance. Following these claims, it was reported that she and Jeff had been “feuding” for years.

While this has been tough for the family though, our source said that it has helped make Jeff and Bobby’s bond "even stronger", especially as both boys are still living at home with their dad and his wife Kate Dwyer in Essex.

But, just like any dad, Jeff has faced parenting struggles and while the pair are extremely close now, he recently hinted that it wasn’t always this way.

Writing in The Times, Jeff shared that things were rather difficult when Bobby was attending secondary school. He wrote, “Bobby was a joy up until 15 or 16, then he became a nightmare. A lot went on that I will never reveal — so many meetings at the school. The phone would ring and I’d think, ‘Oh, God, what’s he been up to now?’"

Jeff Brazier and sons Bobby and Freddie
Things haven't always been easy for Jeff as a dad of two boys -Credit:Instagram/Jeff Brazier

It's been no secret over the years that Jeff was fiercely protective of Bobby and Freddie during their mum's illness and after her death, which came seven months after going public with her diagnosis. In 2009, he even asked the press to stop taking photographs of them.

According to our source, this just shows how great a dad Jeff is. They said: “They've had they've had their ups and downs and some rocky times in the past. But Bobby losing his mum at a young age would naturally throw life upside down. He was also in the spotlight, which couldn't have been easy for him or his brother.

"Jeff saying he would never reveal why Bobby got into trouble just shows how protective he is, and also how proud he is of how far Bobby has come. Jeff has been there every step of the way for his boys and times like these made their father/son bond grow stronger. They will always stand by each other."