Maya Jama was happy to laugh off her dad's absence during her childhood.

Maya Jama

Maya Jama

The 26-year-old TV star has revealed she simply got on with living her life while her dad was in and out of prison, and Maya was always happy to joke about the situation.

She shared: "Anything that seems tragic or could make people feel sorry for me, I make a joke out of. I guess it's because I'm OK with it. I've accepted it and I don't want you making me feel like you're sorry for me.

"If people said, 'Where's your dad?' I'd say, 'Oh, he's in jail' and I'd laugh about it. It wasn't something I sat at home and cried about."

Maya has a good relationship with her stepdad, and she's ultimately glad that she got to see her mum in a "loving relationship".

Maya - who dated Stormzy between 2015 and 2019 - told Marie Claire magazine: "When I was 10, my mum met my stepfather and he is the loveliest man. So I got to see a loving relationship, which I think is what can affect young women growing up without a dad – not experiencing love first-hand and seeing how a healthy relationship should be.

"Dad wasn't around, but I had all the love I needed from elsewhere."

And even though her dad was absent from her life, Maya could still rely on a group of family friends to look out for her during her younger years.

She shared: "Every woman in my family is super-strong and a go-getter. Because my mum used to babysit boys in our area, I had older boys who would look out for me.

"If they saw me out, they'd be like, 'Maya, we're dropping you home'. It was a community and that really impacted who I was as a person growing up, especially with men."