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Craft experts have got me hooked on the Repair Shop

The Repair Shop: BBC1 8pm, Wednesday

Why would I care about repair? After all, I’ve never done much repairing myself, being totally impractical.

As for the televised Repair Shop, it can be stagey. Everything is carefully set up in a delightfully rustic setting rather than, say, an industrial estate on the edge of Coventry.

And, yes, it’s predictable insofar as the men do the sawing and the women the sewing.

It was recorded all too evidently PC. Pre-Corona, that is, judging by the amount of kissing, hugging and handshakes rather than elbow brushes. No masks, as far as I can tell. Except, perhaps, to keep sawdust from the nasal passages.

To be honest, this is the sort of programme that I wouldn’t have watched were it not for the lockdown. But there are aspects of The Repair Shop that are pleasingly unpredictable.

The main presenter, Jay Blades, is of Caribbean heritage and was once homeless in London. He now does furniture repairs himself in Wolverhampton.

And the programme that he hosts has a warmth about it, sparking occasional bursts of spontaneous emotion. Smiles break into broad grins. Tears flow. So do memories of long-gone loved ones who passed on anything from an ancient wooden duck to a torn and faded leather-bound tome.

It’s a reminder that we all have pasts. Some would prefer to forget what went before. But for many of us The Repair Shop has confirmed that, even in these dire times, family ties cannot easily be severed.


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