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Tom Zanetti has opened up about the way his life was changed for the better when he became father to a son when he was but a teenage lad himself.

The 31-year-old DJ was 16-years-old when he discovered he was going to be a dad – and had turned 17 when he welcomed his son, Deacon.

The occasional reality star – who has featured on First Dates, Celebs Go Dating and Made in Chelsea – hinted a life of crime and jail would have awaited him if he hadn’t been forced to grow up and fulfil his role as a father.

Tom – who was romantically linked to Katie Price back in 2015 – says he worked hard to provide for his son and is grateful to have him in his life.

Tom Zanetti says becoming a dad to son Deacon at the age of 17 turned his life around for the better

He told OK! magazine: “He completely changed my life. If it wasn’t for Deacon, I would probably have been in jail. Or worse. Doing the things that I was doing and with the people I was involved with.

“It was very dangerous, very risky.

“But also he’s kept my head above water with things throughout my life that I did that he doesn’t even know about. He’s kept me going and kept me wanting to just get out of bed in the morning and wanting to keep going.

Tom says he would have ended up in jail 'or worse' if he hadn't become a teenage father
(Image: tomzanettitz/Instagram)

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“He doesn’t know how much he means to me. He’s absolutely everything.”

Thinking back to the day he was told he was going to be a father, Tom said: “Finding found out i was going to be a father at 16 and then having a son when I was 17 was a massive shock. Very, very scary.

“It was something that I never planned on or saw happening at all. So it was something I was completely unprepared for.”

He continued: “I was a child myself, but I just knew from that day forward that it were just me and him and it was the two of us and that was it, that was my life planned out.

Tom enjoyed a whirlwind romance with Sophie Hermann after making his way onto reality shows including Celebs Go Dating and Made In Chelsea
(Image: Instagram)

“I’d been kicked out of school. I didn’t have any qualifications. I lived in a council estate with my mum. She was a single mum. She didn’t have any money, really. She only had enough to pay for me, my brother and my sister.

“So at that age I just did anything I could to make legitimate money. I would work as a butcher, I worked in a factory, I was a brick layer, plasterer, a scaffolder… I just worked hard every day to try and make money for my boy.”

Watch the full interview with Tom at ok.co.uk now.