The hard-wearing star in our hard-wearing Autumn essentials
Don’t ever bet against Jake Quickenden. Life has thrown a lot at the man – and to be fair, he throws himself in front of plenty more besides – but he always comes back: stronger, wiser, hungry for more.
You may have recently seen him taking on special forces training on SAS: Who Dares Wins on Channel 4. He had to withdraw from the show and undergo surgery after tearing a muscle while hanging off the side of a speedboat. Within a year of filming he was claiming victory in a boxing ring, inspired by his late brother and father who also boxed.
Take a look at Jake Quickenden’s CV and none of this will surprise you. He’s done it all. After coming to the public eye on The X Factor, he’s since taken on I’m A Celebrity…, Ninja Warrior, Dancing On Ice and more. He’s a singer, an actor, an athlete and a father. You might think he’d have slowed down after breaking a bone in his neck in 2019, but the brake pedal seems to be the one thing he’s not keen to try.
Close to a million people follow his exploits on social media, where he shares the emotional toll as well as the physical. He’s opened up about disappointment, grief and anxiety, advocating good mental health at every turn. If anything, we find that more impressive than everything else he’s done.
Jake stopped by Percival HQ recently, wearing a selection of our AW21 collection (which is also tough and adaptable in its own way). So we asked him how he does it – all of it, always with a smile on his face.
You’ve tried your hands at all sorts over the years. Has that taught you a certain toughness or adaptability?
Yeah being in the public eye, you get a tough skin anyway because you get a lot of trolling. What it is with me is, I like testing myself and that means I can do shows and provide for my family as well. I’m lucky to be where I am really …I’m thick as fuck!
Boxing, dancing, SAS training, injury comebacks… What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
I think the hardest thing is overcoming the death of my brother [Jake lost his younger brother Oliver to bone cancer in 2010]. I could have gone down a dark hole, but I didn’t and I’m proud of that. The other things are easy when you have dealt with loss.
You’ve been through a lot, and come through. What has the experience taught you about yourself?
That I’m more resilient than I even new. I broke my neck in 2019 and was told I wouldn’t do contact sports again, but I had a boxing match this year. The mind is a powerful weapon.
What did you learn on Who Dares Wins?
Just not to doubt myself and it’s ok to show emotions. It was amazing and I’m gutted I got injured. I like to think I would have finished the show.
When times are tough, what do you fall back on for support and resilience?
My mum she’s been through alot and she’s my best mate. I talk to her, I see my pals and I have a laugh.
Traditionally, men haven’t been much good at opening up and sharing their feelings, especially when faced with adversity. You seem different in that sense. Is that fair?
Yeah deffo, if I can open up about day-to-day struggles then hopefully I can help people who follow me on social media, they see it’s ok to talk. Like I said, I’m emotional and I’ve suffered anxiety for a while, but I also now know how to deal with it.
Do you think more men should be like this?
I think gone are the days of “ manning up“. Being open shows more strength, I think we are deffo making strides, especially with more high profile people talking about their struggles.
The Jake Quickenden Look
Not unlike his good self, Jake wears a selection of the most adaptable and versatile pieces in Percival’s AW21 collection. Multifunctional layers like the reversible gilet and blanket overshirt are essential as the seasons change, while proper winter insulation comes with our new bramble crewneck jumper and evergreen peacoat. We should add that none of it has been tested on an SAS assault course.