Jeff: "My pert bum is the best perk of DOI!’
Tuesday 18 January 2011
With his mega-watt smile, love of Lycra and energetic moves, Jeff Brazier has been wowing the nation on Dancing On Ice.
And after spending the last three months training non-stop for the hit show, Jeff says he’s delighted to have the body of a teenager again.
The 31-year-old TV presenter – who was on the books of football club Leyton Orient for three years before finding fame on reality TV show Shipwrecked in 2001 – laughs: “I’m very proud of my body at the moment – I haven’t been this fit since I was a footballer! You should check out my pert bum – it’s definitely the Brucie Bonus! I’ve also lost a lot of weight from my belly so I can welcome back that six pack.”
And Jeff – who combines training on the ice every day with gym sessions and Bikram yoga four times a week – adds: “There’s nothing more terrifying than knowing you’ve got to lift a girl above your head on an ice rink in front of 11 million people. So I’ve been bulking up my upper body to make sure I don’t drop her. I have to meditate before I go on the ice just to relax!”
And Jeff says his two sons, Bobby Jack, seven, and Freddy, six – whose mum and Jeff’s ex, Jade Goody, tragically died from cervical cancer in March 2009, aged just 27 – loved coming to watch him perform his skating routine on the opening show two weeks ago.
He says: “The boys sat around for six hours to see the show filmed and were so well behaved. They get so excited about seeing me on the ice and they love eating all the free doughnuts during the intervals!
“They both said afterwards: ‘We’re so proud of you, Daddy!’ It’s a beautiful thing to see your kids look at you in awe and amazement. Bobby wants to be a footballer and Freddie just likes doing puppet shows so I don’t think they want to go into showbiz.”
And single dad Jeff – who’s skating with new pro skater, Canadian Isabelle Gauthier, 30 – says he’s still determined to give the boys a normal upbringing.
Jeff adds: “They’ll do their paper rounds and clean cars because I think it’s good for them to know what it’s like to earn their own money. I did that when I was a kid.”
Back on the Dancing On Ice set, Jeff says he’s been bonding with his fellow skaters, especially former Coronation Street actor Steve Arnold and reality star Kerry Katona.
“I wish I could say we’re all at each other’s throats but we’re all getting on so well,” says Jeff. “We’re all doing the same terrifying challenge so it’s good to stick together. It’s like a big family.
“I think I’ve hugged Steve more than my kids recently. He tends to come and nuzzle in for a cuddle, which I didn’t expect at first! He’s the kind of guy I’d love to have a drink with. He’s amazing.
“I like being around Kerry because she’s not exactly shy and is always up for a laugh. I’ve seen her go through ups and downs at times but now she’s got the right people around her and she’s in a happy place.”
And Jeff says he’s glad another co-contestant, Elen Rivas – who split from footballer Frank Lampard in early 2009 after seven years together – has recently found love with Peter Andre.
He says: “When I first met Elen a couple of months ago she told me that she was going on a date with someone in the public eye and I’m not the sort of person who would ask for a name. Then afterwards she was really excited and told me she’d had an amazing time.
“Now I know that was Pete! I think good luck to them – they both have their kids in common and Elen’s very bubbly and endearing. Why can’t it work?”
After splitting with Jade in 2004 after two years, Jeff has vowed never to discuss his relationships and won’t divulge whether he’s single or not.
He says: “After having a very high-profile relationship, which made the whole partnership very difficult, I’ve conducted my private life behind closed doors.
“I already feel very settled with my boys but I can see myself marrying in the future. It would take someone very special for me to share everything with them. My children are a blessing and a privilege so my future partner would have to feel that way too.”
From next week, Jeff’s going to be Closer’s new agony uncle. Jeff says he can’t wait to share his experience and has a lot to say when it comes to the love lives of celebs – especially Jordan and Alex.
“They would have to be in a seriously strong relationship to survive that kind of daily scrutiny,” says Jeff.
“I think she should go out with someone who doesn’t want to be in the public eye.
“I feel like I’ve seen quite a lot in my life so I’ve got some decent advice to give! A lot of girlfriends come to me for advice on their relationships or career. I love supporting my friends and having a good chat. I like to find the positive in every bad situation.”
By Katie Banks
Catch Jeff’s first column as Closer’s new agony uncle in next week’s issue.