JAKE Quickenden has credited his young son Leo with saving his life.
The popular TV personality, 34, who shares the one-year-old with wife Sophie and is stepdad to her son Freddie, eight, said he was plagued by dark thoughts before the birth of his first born.
Jake has spoken openly in the past about losing his dad Paul and brother Oliver to cancer and the devastating impact it had on him.
He admits to this day he still fears developing cancer "all the time".
But since becoming a dad Jake's outlook on life has become a lot more positive and he is throwing himself into new experiences like never before.
In an exclusive interview he said: "I think having a kid has made me realise life’s too short. You need to go out there and do what you gotta do.
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"I think Leo saved my life in a way because I did used to have a lot of thoughts and a lot of worries.
"He gave me a purpose. I have an amazing wife and amazing stepson, but when you have your own child he gave me a purpose and my anxieties didn’t seem as bad then and my thoughts weren’t as dark, and I just wanted to do everything for him. He gave me a reason and that’s how I look at things now.
"He really is that little bright spark. When I lost my dad and brother, I feel like I lost a part of me as well, but having him around now has given me that back. In a way he’s saved me."
Family really is the most important thing to the Dancing On Ice winner, and he loves nothing more than watching Leo and Freddie interact.
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"When you’ve got a baby they are your priority then and he’s just the most amazing little boy and so’s my stepson," said Jake. "They’re both amazing, and watching them together is incredible and it kind of just spurs me on now.
"I do worry every day about Leo. Sometimes I sit watching TV and think ‘oh my god, what would I do if something happened to him?’. It’s just a worry because they are everything to ya once you’ve got them.
"They’ve definitely spurred me on to be more motivated and work harder and try and make something of myself even more so."
The I'm A Celebrity star, who also keeps his mental health in check by regularly working out, is keen to add to his brood sooner rather than later and laughed that he and Sophie will be "cooking soon".
He said: "I wanna keep it small [age gap]. I’d love to have two children with a similar age gap playing and stuff like that. Fred and Leo are amazing together, but Fred can’t really play with him as much at the minute because Fred’s eight and Leo’s not even two, so there’s a bit of an age gap."
Jake has big career plans too as he looks to bag serious acting and presenting roles in 2023.
With a stint on Hollyoaks under his belt and a leading role in a stage production of 80s film Footloose, he revealed he'd like to play a PE teacher in BBC drama Waterloo Road.
He said: "I've done musicals and feel I've grown as an actor, and I want to be given those opportunities."
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