Union J's JJ Hamblett is backing Alzheimer's Research UK and is on a mission to help his fans to learn more.
JJ Hamblett may be one of the foxiest fitsters in Union J, but he also has a big heart and thrown his popstar weight behind a very touching cause – Alzheimer’s Research UK, a charity that is trying to raise awareness into the illness. Here, the handsome fella spoke exclusively to Now about why he has got involved.
You’re currently supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK. How did you get involved?
It’s heartbreaking when you hear of the pain the families affected by Alzheimer’s go through. Scientists are looking for a cure. I really feel for these families and just want to do all I can to help.
But you’re so young!
Alzheimer’s can affect young people. Although rare, it can happen at an early stage. We have a very large fan base, some of them have family members with Alzheimer’s. I want to raise awareness with our fans that it can happen to anyone.
Have you experienced the illness first hand?
No, but my mum works with people with Alzheimer’s, she is a social worker, so I went to meet some of the people at Alzheimer’s Research UK and wanted to get involved straight away. I’ve been working with the charity for about five or six months now. My mum is so proud I’m involved. The research they are doing is incredible. They are trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s which tears people’s lives apart. I want my son to be aware of it, and all of our fans too to spread the word. It’s not just about being famous, but helping people. Hopefully they will find a cure.
Does having a baby on the way make you want to do more?
It’s such a sad, sad thing not being able to remember your kids.
I’m about to become a dad too, and the thought of me not one day recognising my family because of Alzheimer’s scares me. It breaks my heart. That’s what so many families are going through. Hearing their stories and their struggles has brought tears to my eyes. I want my kid to be aware of the situation too.
It’s been a rollercoaster year for you with a top 10 album, singles, a tour, and now a baby on the way in just a matter of months. Congrats! How are you preparing for the juggle?
I’m so excited. It hasn’t even properly sunk in yet that I’m going to be a dad. Probably not until I hold the baby in my arms. I’m reading baby books every night, learning about the different stages and milestones. The rest of the band don’t know about the books though, or I wouldn’t hear the end of it.
Will fatherhood spell the end for Union J?
A lot of fans were worried we would split because I’m going to be a dad. But not at all. It drives me more to do well knowing I’ve got a little boy on the way. I may not be home much because I’ll be on the road, but I’d love to take the little man on tour with me when he’s old enough. I’m inspired by dads like Marvin from JLS. He’s proof that you can have a baby and still have your career.
Both Union J and JLS hail from the X Factor. With Kingsland Road biting the dust, is the show a little short on talent this year?
I’m a huge fan of X Factor and think it is the best show in the world. Tamera Foster is the one to watch, I’d love her to win. She has the whole package and is like a young Rihanna.
With Gary Barlow leaving and viewers dwindling, how can the show be saved?
Bring back King Cowell. Simon needs to come back and shake things up. He’s just what the show needs. If Simon returns then I’m sure Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh will stay and it will be brilliant.
Find out more at www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
*Union J’s album Union J is out now.
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