Jeff Brazier was one proud father last night when his son, EastEnders star Bobby Brazier, scooped an National Television Awards rising star gong.
The 20-year-old stepped away from Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals to receive the accolade at London’s O2 arena, watched by the nation on ITV and a star-studded crowd of thousands.
Since Bobby’s first scenes in Albert Square aired last year, he’s become a fan favourite on the BBC soap.
But he may not have made it to the NTAs without his family by his side, and he knows it.
Since his reality star mum Jade Goody died of cervical cancer aged 27 in 2009, Bobby has relied on the support of his TV presenter dad, who was moved to tears by his son’s touching speech.
Taking to the stage to receive the award, Bobby said: ‘This has very little to do with me and everything to do with my dad.
‘Over the course of the last 20 years I’ve heard him say, “because I can”. It was a mantra of his and him just saying that, “because I can”. Because I can, why not?’.
Prior to his achievement, the soaps star thought about how his mum would have felt could she have been there to watch him win.
He exclusively told Metro.co.uk on the red carpet that Goody ‘would be proud too.
‘And not necessarily for Strictly, I think for everything. My life is a much bigger picture than this and everyone that knows and loves me is proud of me, and I think she’d be the same.’
They’re clearly a close knit team, so here’s everything we know about Jeff Brazier, 44, and his sons’ lives before and after the death of Jade Goody.
Who are Jeff Brazier’s sons?
Freddie Brazier is only 18, and has been largely out of the spotlight, aside from a modelling debut for HERO magazine in 2021.
In recent months his famous brother Bobby has posted a few snaps of Freddie on social media, though.
In one – which saw the pair smiling in a sunny selfie – the Strictly star joked in the caption: ‘Quick Fred let me get a picture for nan. Chant and be happy 😆.’
Another saw the pair super relaxed and happy at the dinner table, as Bobby wrote a lovely note reading: ‘Do what makes you be happy and calm and peaceful and connected and grateful and in love.
‘Even if some people don’t understand.’
Freddie’s older brother Bobb,y on the other hand, has rocketed to fame.
He initially took the fashion world by story in his modelling debut at Milan Fashion Week in 2020, where he strode onto the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana.
Not long after he was strutting his stuff in Tommy Hilfiger’s London Fashion Week show.
He then entered the cast of EastEnders last year, playing Freddie Slater – already an iconic character. His efforts paid off when he was awarded the prestigious rising star NTA last night.
Bobby credits his late mum for his modelling success, as he previously talked of having inherited her ‘lips, smile and eyes.’
‘I look like my mum, I’m always being told that by everyone. I have her lips and smile – and her eyes,’ he said.
‘The rest of me is dad’s. As I grow up I’m starting to look more like him.’
But dad Jeff was concerned about his son’s fame, as he previously told The Mirror: ‘As this particular parent who obviously not only had his own difficult experiences but also can cite many occasions when his mum went through the same.
‘I think that I do enough worrying on behalf of both me and his mum when it comes to what he might be subject to.
‘I just hope that everyone’s kind, I hope that he looks after himself and makes good decisions and has always been for him to have a skill and a talent to develop those things.’
How old were Bobby and Freddy when Jade Goody died?
Bobby and Freddie were only five and four when their mum died from cancer aged 27 in 2009.
This year, 14 years since Goody’s death, Jeff reflected on the ‘absolute chaos’ he and his teenage sons faced at the time.
’14 years ago today,’ he wrote in the post on social media in March. ‘Hard not to feel flat.
‘The boys losing the most loving and protective mother any child could have hoped for at such a young age will never not feel ridiculously cruel.
‘The most charismatic, loyal, inquisitive, adaptable and switched on person I’ve known.
‘Her strength lives on in her children and I wanted to take a moment to honour her this evening and share that with you,’ he said.
He explained how there was a ‘wonderful moment’ on the anniversary of Goody’s death that day, when Freddie walked into his barber shop and was greeted by the song Rose Garden.
‘Not one you’d expect to hear too often but it was the song Jade sung on Stars in Their Eyes,’ Jeff said.
On GB News last year Jeff explained how he went on without the Big Brother star.
‘I think, for anyone that loses someone, whether it’s a parent, or whether you’re losing anyone, you’re in crisis, you’re in absolute chaos,’ he reflected.
‘And it’s not a time for really sitting there and kind of thinking logically and rationally about your future and what the plan is.
‘It’s something that takes years to find your feet again, or to even feel like you are sort of even halfway there.’
The Brazier brothers don’t have many memories of their mother, as they were so young when she died.
Jeff and Goody began dating in 2002 and enjoyed a two-year relationship before their split. They never married.
When Goody died on March 22, Jeff gained full custody of their two children, and he raised them out of the spotlight.
The two boys were best men for Jeff’s wedding to partner Kate Dwyer, and the doting dad still takes them to their mother’s grave every Christmas.
‘I very quickly realised that I was going to be responsible for the boys, for the rest of their childhood,’ Jeff said in a life insurance advert while speaking about Goody’s death.
‘It’s insanely unfair that they were robbed of someone that was such an incredible mum. I remember when Jade very bravely told them that she was going to be in heaven,’ he added.
‘For six months after that they were absolutely all over the place. From the moment your children are born and you hold them in your arms and you realise how small and fragile they are, I think you immediately become their protector.’
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