Jeff Brazier's mother was a single parent at the age of 16, and Brazier never knew his father, an older teenager who had immediately swanned off and got another girl pregnant, before later dying in a tragic accident (The Marchioness disaster, but more of that later).
Brazier himself grew up to have two children from a short-term relationship with Big Brother contestant Jade Goody and, all in all, this should be another sorry tale from 'Broken Britain', another Daily Mail-inciting example of teenage mothers, feckless fathers and feral children.
The 32-year-old is fashionably dressed and fit looking, like a footballer on a photo shoot, which isn't a million miles from the truth, and has just been delivered from Elstree Studios where he has been recording that afternoon's edition of OK! "I find it hard to be anything else, to be honest," he replies.
TV – Richard Desmond's synergetic meeting of his celebrity magazine and his recently acquired TV station, Channel 5. That, of course, is the secret of television success, but if Brazier's public persona is that of the Essex cheeky chappy – a bit of a Jack the lad, but sweet and toothy and boyish with it – there is a core of steel. The childhood sounds almost Dickensian in its adversity, including a spell in a women's refuge in Yarmouth, where Brazier's mother, Jeanette, had taken him and his brother when her relationship with his stepfather finally broke down – the brother, Spencer, suffering from cerebral palsy.
What is so interesting is that the exact opposite is the case – in Brazier's case, at least: his is a heartening story about taking responsibility, making the most of yourself and generally manning up."What's the style of the shoot?
" Brazier asks, his gaze coolly appraising rather than instantly friendly.
Ill leave you with some coaching inspiration that you can start utilising at home, in relationships, friendships and at work in order to make the very best of any obstacles you may encounter."How caring she was, and how warm and friendly and how engaging she was and how much she made you laugh."Three months after that first fateful encounter, Goody found she was pregnant with their first child, Bobby."All of a sudden my own experiences tumbled into play," says Brazier.I fancied him so much I wanted to get his pants off there and then".For the object of her lust, however, some mental adjustment was required."It had to become less about the presents."Now, instead of ignoring Jade's absence, Jeff makes Jade part of Christmas."I take them to the cemetery first thing in the morning," he explains.The only time that Brazier unwittingly came face to face with his biological father, Stephen Faldo, was when he was a newborn baby."He was a little bit older than my mum, he was 19, and you can imagine my mum and my nan going to see him on the river, as I believed happened, and saying, 'This is yours'. "Chaotic it may have been, but Brazier's childhood was far from unhappy – a chief pleasure being football, playing at West Ham United from the age of six, and then for Leyton Orient when the family moved to Essex; he turned professional at 16., Jeff says that at first, he struggled with celebrating Christmas with his sons following Jade Goody's death.He initially went overboard with the toys, trying to give his sons "everything they could ask for" - but they were still upset and arguing."Christmas is the one day of the year when it's most obvious someone's missing," says Jeff.