Jay Blades quits social media as family member's murder leaves him 'messed up'

The Repair Shop's Jay Blades says he's "coming off social media" after attending the funeral of his uncle, who he revealed was "murdered a few weeks ago". The 54 year old presenter posted a very moving video to his Instagram account, saying he was taking time out to recover from the shocking incident.

"Hope you're all well. This is kind of like a public service announcement.... I've just been to my uncle's funeral, her was murdered a few weeks ago. Really, super nice guy shouldn't have happened to him, but it really affected me, I feel a little bit messed up," he said on Instagram late on Monday, 29 April.

Jay Blades
Jay Blades revealed his uncle was murdered a few weeks ago -Credit:jaybladesmbe/Instagram

Dressed in his trademark flat cap and black thick-rimmed glasses, he continued: "So what I'm intending on doing is this... I'm coming off social media for a bit, and I'll be back in a bit. Going to go and get some therapy and just chill out. Yeah, 'cause when things happen, sometimes you really need to take stock and just relax. So, I'll be back soon."

He signed off saying: "Please, take care of each other, take care of yourself, and I'll see you guys soon." The video attracted a huge number of condolence messages from his followers, with many sharing their respect for his decision to step back from social media to take care of his mental wellbeing.

Jay Blades
Jay Blades said his uncle's murder had 'messed him up' -Credit:BBC

One person wrote: "Off grid sometimes is an absolute must….Self preservation," while another added: "So sorry to hear this news, Jay. Now take care of YOU. Long as it takes x." A third added: "So sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself & your family at this sad time xx."

Furniture restorer Jay, who left school at 15, has become a well-known and well-liked presenter since he first stepped into The Repair Shop workshop back in 2017. The North London-born BBC star is no stranger to hardships, and has spoken openly about the harder times in his life, including when he was homeless in his early twenties. He's also shared his experiences learning to read later in life, documenting it in the BBC show Jay Blades: Learning To Read at 51.

In 2021, he was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's Honours for services to craft. He collected the award in May the following year, receiving his medal from King Charles, who was then Prince Charles, at Windsor Castle.

Jay Blades collected his MBE from King Charles (then Prince Charles) in May 2022
Jay Blades collected his MBE from King Charles (then Prince Charles) in May 2022 -Credit:Getty Images
Steve Fletcher, Will Kirk, Jay Blades, Suzie Fletcher
Jay and The Repair Shop team are part of the beloved BBC show -Credit:BBC/Ricochet Ltd/Steve Peskett

On the Channel 5 documentary series, There’s No Place Like Home, he revealed: “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.

“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.” He has since turned his life around, and is now a proud dad to teenager Zola, who he shares with his ex-wife Jade.