EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Brazier lifts the lid on Strictly Come Dancing 2024

Jeff has opened up to heat about appearing on Strictly

Jeff and Freddie

by Charlotte Roberts |
Updated on

When it comes to keeping busy, the Brazier family know best. After eldest son Bobby's Strictly adventure last year, it's now younger son Freddie who's taking centre stage - this time partnering up alongside his dad Jeff with a campaign for HomeServe.

The campaign comes after reports said a quarter of young adults aged 18-34 in the UK say their parents haven't taught them basic home maintenance skills, with 61% of parents admitting they don't have enough confidence in their own abilities to teach their children. Dodgy lightbulb? We don't even know where to start...

But now, Jeff and Freddie have partnered up with HomeServe for their Gen D-IY campaign, creating a set of easy-to-follow instruction videos on your everyday home maintenance - covering everything from locating a stopcock to fixing a fuse box.

Now, Jeff sits down to tell heat what it's like to work with his son, his own DIY struggles, and whether there's any reality TV in the pipeline...

What made you decide to partner up with HomeServe?

Homeserve told me that 20% of young people don’t feel prepared for adulthood, and I’ve got two in that category. I’m looking at both and thinking, how much can he actually do around the house from a DIY point of view? But 61% of parents have no clue either – and I’m absolutely in agreement! How can my boys be sufficient around the home if I’ve not taught them to be? I wanted them to know a little bit more about DIY.

Are you having the panicked FaceTime calls saying "Dad , my boiler is broken" yet?

Bobby and Freddie still live at home, so I’m not having them yet – but they probably wouldn’t come to me. They’d be calling HomeServe instead! That’s how you go through life – reassured in that if you don’t have the knowledge, somebody else does.

Have you enjoyed having Freddie onboard this time?

I loved the fact I was learning with my son. I’m not pushing him to be involved in this industry, I don’t think it’s of much interest to him, but this seemed a really cool project to collaborate on. I felt really proud watching him talk to the camera, and I can see his confidence has grown since that first time on Strictly when he was in the audience and he absolutely melted when the camera went past.

Talking of Strictly, would you ever whip out the sequins and give the show a go?...

I would be uncomfortable doing the next series, because I feel like that was Bobby’s world and I want to leave that as his thing. I think something that might weave it’s way into our life soon is something to do with property – I’ve always wanted to buy somewhere that needs a little love and do it up as a project. Hopefully the boys will be open to trying as well.

Jeff and Freddie
Jeff and Freddie have partnered up with HomeServe for their Gen D-IY campaign ©Home Serve

What about a reality show? Keeping Up With The Braziers, perhaps?

No is the short answer. [laughs] Bobby’s got such an amazing opportunity to go and pursue his passions, and I think for him, he’s very much into acting. My youngest son Freddie is working on something that’s slightly more manual and physical, so it’ll be interesting to see what flourishes. There’s never any pressure from me. I don’t care what either of them do, as long as they’re happy and nice humans.

One of the things people loved about seeing you in the Strictly audience was how emotional you were. Do you think it's important for young men to know it's okay to show their feeling?

I have become a better person the more vulnerable I have become. In the early years of bringing the children up, I would just use the shield of positivity. It did get me so far, until you realise that I’m not really being human, because a big part of this really challenging experience is that things can be difficult. If I can acknowledge and allow myself to ask for support, and to be supported, then suddenly life gets a bit easier. It’s just such a shame that we’re conditioned to sideline our real feelings in fear we’ll be judged or that everything will crumble. But that vulnerability is amazing. Everyone always responds so overwhelmingly positive towards it. People need to see that everyone goes through low moments – and I’ve had a million of them – but now I’m far more comfortable being able to voice it.

The Gen D-IY campaign says parents don't always have the confidence to teach their kids... Did you ever worry about that, when you were a single dad?

Absolutely. I think all we can really be is ourselves. We set ourselves up for failure when we try and prove to our children that we’re the Oracle, and if they just listen to us, then life will be absolutely fine. I’m still learning from them and I don’t intend to stop, because if you’re making mistakes, it means you’re trying new things.  Becoming a parent of a 19- and 20-year-old, you can find yourself quite helpless in a lot of situations, and I’ve had to become okay with the fact that I can’t help.

Jeff and Freddie

You have to leave that space open for them to find a solution. In doing nothing, you’re preparing them for real life. Bobby broke the toilet seat – I don’t even want to think about what he was doing to break it. I waited three months for him to fix it, and then for my birthday I bought myself a toilet seat and my dad fixed it. I wanted to hold out, but because it was the downstairs toilet that guests use, there was a danger that they might sit on it and catch the skin of their bum cheeks between the cracks. So actually, what have I taught my son? That he can break things around the house, and he doesn’t have to fix them, because grandad or I will. It’s a win for anyone who sits on the toilet in our house, but as a parent it’s a struggle.

Do you ever worry about your boys being in the spotlight?

I think there’s been a transition. I’ve always worried about the boys, but not overly – I don’t necessarily describe myself as an anxious thinker. I have a good relationship with my inner dialogue and I’ve worked hard at that. But in the last couple of years, I’d say I’ve learned the limitations of being a parent to boys that are a bit older now and becoming men. What I think had been really good to me has been to realise I can’t and shouldn’t try to be the answer to everything. I’ve stepped back and left the space for them to come into their own, and that’s how they’re going to become more independent. They need to make mistakes to learn from them. They know I’m here as a support and there’s nothing I won’t do for them, but I won’t do it for the sake of it, otherwise I’m denying them the growth.

What has this HomeServe campaign made you realise about DIY. Anything you need to fix in your home?

We haven’t had the tumble dryer for ages, to the point where Bobby and his brother haven’t been able to dry their clothes. They’re basically hanging them all around the house, and it’s getting a bit out of hand. So basically, we need a new tumble. But have I dragged the old one out, put it on the street and let someone take it for scrap? Have I ordered a new one? No.

 Jeff Brazier has partnered up with HomeServe. For more information and to download HomeServe’s new videos, visit [homeserve.co.uk]{href='https://www.homeserve.co.uk/gen-diy' target='_blank' rel='noreferrer noopener'}.

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