He’s become ‘the nation’s PE teacher’ while parents up and down the country home school their children during isolation, with Channel 4 and the BBC even fighting over Joe Wicks to host a daily workout show!
But life wasn’t always like this for the 33-year-old fitness coach, who’s sold over three million bestselling healthy-eating Lean in 15 cookbooks.
Joe – who is said to now be worth £14.3 million – previously described his upbringing to Woman as “hectic”. He was born to parents who never married, and grew up on a council estate in Epsom, Surrey. His roofer dad, Gary, was a heroin addict, while his mother, Raquela, was “on the social”.
Now Joe has opened up further about his troubled childhood.
In an interview with Femail, he explained, “Dad was in and out of the home because he was battling with addiction, often in rehab. He had been a heroin addict from a very young age, and I was exposed to the damage of that on a daily basis.
“Some of my friends had wonderful home lives, but they ended up doing drugs and going down that route. I never wanted to be like that. My dad’s example put me off drugs for life.”
It’s clear that growing up in this environment is what’s driven Joe to make a success of himself, and also to be a great dad to his two children, Indie, two, and four-month-old Marley, who he shares with his model wife Rosie Jones, having told us, “We can decide as parents how we deal with a situation.”
He has now added, “I became a great example of the fact that you don’t have to follow in your parents’ footsteps. You don’t have to repeat the addiction cycle, you can change the culture.”
This positive attitude is part of the reason why Joe, in his own words, “Made a lot of money, very fast.” He once admitted that, for a period of time, no-one turned up to his classes and, in 2012, he failed to make a single pound from his fitness business.
He said, “I was really upset because I didn’t have any clients. But I loved personal training, and I instantly thought, ‘This is what I’m supposed to be doing’, and it all accelerated from there.”
The first thing Joe did when he came into wealth was to buy his mother a house, while he and Rosie live in a three-bed home in Richmond.
Since his troubled upbringing, his mum, who left school at 15, went back to college and qualified as a social worker, while his dad beat his addictions and ran the London Marathon last year.
“I am proud of my story and I am so proud of my parents,” finishes Joe. “Mum is a wonderful person, she really helps people in the community and Dad is fine. He had been an addict for the majority of his life, but he is clean now.
“He’s there to support me and we have a great relationship. So many of his friends didn’t make it through addiction. I am just very grateful that he did.”