In what feels like the darkest days many of us have come into contact with in a long time, The Repair Shop is back to bring some much needed lightness and escapism to our lives.
Since the restoration series first came to our screens back in 2017, it has worked its way up from a pleasant daytime distraction to Primetime’s must-watch telly. The latest series now airs Wednesday nights at 8 pm on BBC One.
As always, furniture restorer Jay Blades heads up the show as its foreman, with the likes of Will Kirk, Steve Fletcher, and Suzie Fletcher joining him in The Repair Shop barn.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Jay to talk about the new series of The Repair Shop, life on set, and some of his favourite memories from the show.
Jay Blades talks joining The Repair Shop
Jay was approached by Ricochet – the show’s production team – from the very start and he jumped at the opportunity. Although it was pitched as a daytime show, Jay knew that the show was something unique; he predicted it’s success!
Speaking about The Repair Shop’s new Primetime slot, Jay joked: “We’re in the big boy league now!”
He continued: “Personally, I knew that the show was going to be a special show. I knew it was going to go Primetime. I was saying it to all of the guys and girls at The Repair Shop and they were like: ‘No, it’s never going to happen Jay’. And I said: ‘No, this show is special’.”
From the outset, Ricochet had Jay, Will, Dom, Steve, Kirsten, Lucia, the teddy bear ladies, and Roger on board.
Jay on The Repair Shop experts
Over the past five seasons, The Repair Shop has roped in some of the country’s finest experts in restoration. From horologists and metal workers to toy repairers and painting conservators, the show has seen it all!
When the subject of his Repair Shop co-stars came up, Jay gushed about all of the experts, each in detail.
You’ve got the queen, Kirsten, who is very reserved. Steve is Steve. Will is like mine and Kirsten’s surrogate son. Lucia is like a sister from another mister. We’re all just like family really.
Anecdotes and memories from life on set followed, including one, in particular, about Pete Woods who Jay insists on calling “Uncle Pete.” Jay describes the expert: “Everybody has an uncle like this guy, he just doesn’t really care. Well he does care, but he’s just in his own little world!”
The “best programme on British television”
The Repair Shop has received unanimous praise from critics, celebrities and the like. Stephen Fry stated the restoration show was the “best programme on British television” in 2018.
When asked about what makes The Repair Shop different to other upcycling and restoration shows, and why it has been such as success, Jay could list numerous reasons.
One [reason] is the community we’ve created in the barn; two is the masterclass men and women who are able to do the repairs; the third one is the history behind these items. It’s just nice to hear someone else’s story and just be taken into someone else’s world, whether it be for five or fifteen minutes.
It’s clear that Jay is completely passionate about his work at The Repair Shop; he couldn’t initially pick out a favourite repair he’s done on the show!
When pressed, Jay admitted that the first reveal he did with Steve Fletcher really blew him away. In this first episode, Jay and Steve repaired a clock which the client’s blind father had made.
We create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable to expose themselves in sometimes the rawest setting. To be able to share it in front of people is really something.
Catch up with Jay Blades
In the hour following The Repair Shop’s broadcast on Wednesday evenings, Jay revealed to us that he has been filming Instagram Live videos with his fellow experts.
Follow Jay on Instagram @jay_n_co to watch his latest IGTVs and keep up to date with the furniture restorer.
WATCH THE REPAIR SHOP WEDNESDAYS AT 8 PM ON BBC ONE