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Black Guy Crying

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Last Updated: 28 November 2020

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The man who makes millions of TV viewers cry every week says the turning point in his life was the moment he cried in front of a friend. It was 2015 and Jay Bladess's life was falling apart. The charity he ran was struggling and his marriage had broken down. He was living in a cheap hotel and had nearly been section. He says now that he believes he was 24 hours away from suicide. Then a friend called Gerald, turned up and the Blades started to cry in front of him. Gerald is a very big businessman and hes black guy, say Blades, speaking from his workshop in Ironbridge. Now, to be crying in front of a man is a big enough thing for me-but to be crying in front of another black guy is no-go where I come from. Growing up on council estate in Hackney, you didnt show emotion or vulnerability. So just to cry like that in front of Gerald was really liberating for me. I learnt, in that moment, that it is OK to be vulnerable as a man. Its cool. No one is going to take the mickey out of you. Five years on, 50-year-old is the face of Repair Shop, BBC One hit series that features professional craftsmen restoring family heirlooms that members of the public have brought in. The show was launched on BBC Two in 2017, but this year it has really taken off, drawing in 6. 5 million viewers to its new home on BBC One. It is wonderfully time: show with a reassuring, feel-good tone, that soothes an anxious, lock-down nation. That timing is eerie, he say. It was just a beautiful show and it was really, really emotional. I 've seen more men crying in the Repair Shop than I have in the entire rest of my life. For Blades, who had previously worked in factories, as a labourer and community leader, shows success has made him suddenly famous in middle age. To become famous in your late 40s is a really, really weird concept, he say, shaking his head. People come up to me and call my name and I have to quickly remember whether or not I know them. Blades is absolutely pivotal to the charm of the show, and he is such a likeable man that it is hard to believe that he has been targeted by persistent vandals who have sprayed graffiti on his door, scratched his car and broken into his premises. When you do something positive, what tends to happen is you get negativity coming at you, he shrug. And when you get negativity, you have to stay positive in response. Listen, I am a 6ft 3in black geezer from Hackney, I have had a lot of negative stuff to deal with in my life. I mean a lot of stuff. He said he can still remember being harassed by police when he was growing up in east London.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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