Mr Motivator reflects on period of homelessness and how he kept hope alive

This Morning: Mr Motivator reflects on period of homelessness

Mr Motivator returned to ITV today, 30 years after becoming a household name as Britain’s most entertaining fitness instructor.

The lycra-loving fitness star, whose real name is Derrick Errol Evans MBE, opened up on This Morning about his positive mindset with hosts Dermot O’Leary and Holly Willoughby.

Speaking on Wednesday’s show, the 70-year-old said: “I know being positive every day means negativity doesn’t affect me. If you practise being positive, you will always be positive.”

However, times were not always positive for Mr Motivator who opened up about being homeless many years ago.

The Jamaican-born fitness expert said on This Morning: “I was living near Arsenal and I went to a homeless family unit and I’d sit outside, on my suitcase, waiting each day for them to give us somewhere to stay and to eat.”

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He continued: “But all through that I really kept hope alive. All of us are going to go through difficulties but it makes you appreciate when the good times come along.”

Reflecting on his television career, he shared: “My goal was to transform the way we look at fitness. I didn’t want it to all be sit-ups and burpees. I wanted it to be fun.”

“There was like a light-bulb moment when I got into fitness,” he added. “I felt that this was my journey. I didn’t know where I was going, I didn’t know what doors it would open up.”

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Mr Motivator gave a high-energy workout wearing a red fishnet top, multi-coloured lycra shorts, and an eye-catching bandana for ITV viewers.

The fitness fan insisted it was his continuing mission to keep people active and positive.

He concluded: “Join me on the mission I’m on – which is to empower young people and older people – to realise, that as you get older, the greatest thing you can give yourself is an independent, healthier, view.”

When Mr Motivator’s fitness classes were taking off around the UK, he applied repeatedly to be taken on by ITV.

In 1992, his friend Tessa Sanderson recommended him to the producer of Thames TV’s series The Full Treatment and he started making regular appearances on GMTV. 

The star now divides his life between Jamacia and the UK and is married to Sandra Palmer. In 2020 he was appointed MBE for his services to fitness and health. 

This Morning airs on weekdays between 10am and 12.30pm on ITV and ITVX. 

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