THE Repair Shop's Jay Blade reveals he was beaten up and spat on by racists as he grew up in "tough" area of Hackney.
The furniture restorer and host on the popular BBC One show has opened up about his childhood growing up in London.
Jay revealed his mum brought him and his brother up alone and they faced discrimination from people in the area – and the school.
"Money was always a struggle when I was a kid," he told The Sunday Times Magazine.
"Dad disappeared, so Mum brought me and my brother up alone. You don't know how poor you are because you don't know any different.
"Hackney was a tough area – the Krays once lived down the road. There was racism too. I was spat on and beaten up at school."
Not only did the pupils pick on Jay, but the teachers didn't realise he had dyslexia.
Jay says it was "institutional racism" that led to this oversight.
He continues: "I haven't done bad considering I was deemed thick. Nobody realised I had dyslexia.
"Later in life I realised it was institutional racism. As a black kid you were painted with the same brush: you are dumb, so you don't want to learn."
After leaving school with no qualifications, he spent time working in a sausage factory then as a builder.
At the age of 30, he studied a degree in criminology and worked with disadvantaged kids.
Now he is the host on The Repair Shop, which sees people bring in old decrepit possessions to be restored.
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