All-round decent chap Jeff Brazier is currently strutting his stuff in Dancing On Ice but this week he took a moment to slip out of his skintight outfit and sequins to chat to me about new love Claire Springett, The Xtra Factor and er, his ‘auto-fellate’ party trick.
Why is it so important for you to get involved in Cancer Research’s Race For Life campaign?
It’s important to me to get involved because cancer has been rife in my family. I lost my grandad who died shortly after Jade died, who was obviously the mother of my children and who the kids tragically lost and then you’ve got my nan who died seven-eight years ago and my aunt Jackie who I adored and was so close to. It’s the same for lots and lots of people so if I can raise the word on places like Twitter. You can use it for a load of rubbish sometimes or you can be positive and constructive about great stuff like this.
Are we going to see Bobby and Freddy getting involved with any similar projects?
I promised their mum that I would do something but I don’t want to divulge what it exactly was. It’s something I will be doing with them in the future. To be honest we always take any toys that they are finished with down to the kid’s hospital. They know all about charity and they get taught how satisfying it is to give and put a smile on other people’s faces. It’s really important for me to teach them that.
And you’re currently strutting your stuff on Dancing On Ice. Are you over the shock of falling on the ice last Sunday?
No-one could be as shocked as I was when I fell. The minute that I hit the deck I just thought ‘What do I do? What do I do?’ All I heard was the crowd and the support was amazing. They are not there for you as there are ten people there to shout for you and the rest of the 240 don’t owe you anything. So to hear everyone get behind me was really special. I just chased Isabelle because I thought that she knows exactly where she needs to be. I didn’t save it by any stretch but it wasn’t an absolute nightmare because I would have been out if I hadn’t got back into it so quickly. You need to keep calm and carry on. Until you are in that situation you don’t know how you are going to react and I swear I just went into autopilot and autopilot was a good thing because I just got back into it. I’d rather not have to learn the hard way every week because I’ve still not pulled out a performance that I would say ‘That’s exactly what I’m capable of’. It’s annoying because I don’t feel like I’ve even started yet. I’ve really not even started.
Surely that’s a good thing though?
You can see that I can skate but you don’t want to peak too early. So you want to come from behind and for no-one to think you are a threat and all of a sudden you go ‘Pow! Deal with that – I can skate. What about you?’ Also the experience of getting in the bottom two – as much as it wasn’t nice – meant that now that now I won’t be fazed by it. In fact I wasn’t last time and in fact I was more confident for some reason. How does that work?
Probably because you realise what it means to you…
You have got nothing to lose. I tell you what fear plays such a huge part in wrecking performances. You’re constantly thinking: ‘There’s only 12 million people watching!’
You said that you haven’t started yet so what can we expect in the coming weeks?
This week is required element week and I think it’s going to continue like that for the next three weeks.. So this week everyone has to do a step sequence so that will involve going from one side of the ice to the other without touching your partner. You will also have to do some forward, backwards and other different techniques that we’ve learnt since we’ve started. I think it will be hard for some and not so for others so this is where it will get interesting. This is where Dancing On Ice becomes more about the skating which I’m relived about because I’m alright at skating but I’m also very good at falling over.
It’s slightly unfair for the guys as the girls can pull out all the tricks by wearing very revealing outfits. Are we going to see any tactics from you?
I always go into wardrobe and request a low V. I don’t want a round neck, I don’t want a turtle neck, I want a low V. It’s the whole JLS-inspired look, Marvin especially. That one and his press-ups – he has got the right attitude. I’m just borrowing it a little bit of that. I just where lycra around the house, just for fun, and I don’t end up wearing it on Dancing On Ice.
I bet your girlfriend, Claire Springett, loves the lyrca. How is everything going with her?
Everything is fantastic. I’d like to see my girlfriend a little bit more but these things don’t last forever. We’re just as strong as ever. I led a very public relationship in the past and you can never keep from the press that you have a girlfriend – and I don’t really need to – but it’s not something that I’m ever going to sell stories for. It’s personal and for us.
And you revealed this week your special, erm, party trick….
I’m not regretting it as it’s not exactly something to be embarrassed about although I’ve obviously grown up a lot since the times when I did it as I must have been about sixteen-seventeen years old. It’s a party trick that I wheel out every now and again and I think the last time I did it but in the year 2000.
Will you be pulling it out in the final?
I don’t think it’s something that Torvill or Dean or Jason – actually he might quite like it – would want to see. But no, it’s not something that I want my younger fans to see and I’m sorry if it’s caused anyone any offence.
Did you manage to approach Simon Cowell when you recently attended the NTA’s and ask for The Xtra Factor job?
I didn’t get anywhere near Simon to be honest. I don’t want to be disrespectful to Konnie Huq because it’s not exactly been revealed whether she’s got the job again or even whether there’s going to be another series. Until it’s announced that it’s not her job anymore it would be disrespectful to say that I want it. Although I can say in terms of dream jobs I’ve always had my eye on The Xtra Factor. It would be my ideal job because I’m really good with people and I’ve experienced the other side as well. With all the nutcases and auditionees you would have the best time ever. It would be my dream job.
Can you sing?
I’m average. Why, what do you want to hear?
Jeff starred in ‘Join the Girls’ – a musical telling the story of Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in just six minutes. The musical will be touring major cinemas across the UK in February, for more info and to sign up to a Race for Life event go to www.raceforlife.org
Words: Natalie Edwards