In The Repair Shop, the beloved fix-em-up programme which airs weekdays on BBC1, people have their treasured, broken possessions restored to full fettle by one of the series’ trained specialists. But viewers have been left wondering – who exactly are The Repair Shop’s experts?
Who are the Repair Shop experts?
The series has featured a large number of different experts since it began in 2017, with new faces often being brought in to meet the needs of each specific case.
Jay Blades (above, far left) is The Repair Shop’s presenter, and also an expert in furniture repair. He can also be seen hosting BBC trash-to-treasure show Money for Nothing, and has made guest appearances on Celebrity MasterChef and Richard Osman’s House of Games.
Steven Fletcher (above, centre left) is one of the most regularly used experts on the series, having appeared over 70 times so far. He is a horologist, specialising in watch and clock repair. His sister Suzie Fletcher (above, centre right) is a leather expert who focuses on equestrian items like horse saddles.
Another of the other most frequently seen experts is Will Kirk (above, far right), a carpenter and cabinetmaker who is usually brought in when a restoration involves working with wood. Kirsten Ramsay is the female expert with the most appearances, and specialises in ceramics.
In the 2020 series, we’ll meet the Teddy Bear Ladies, Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell, who can repair any beloved cuddly toy. Speaking about their dream repair, Julie revealed: “If a bear or soft toy that needs fixing and an owner that needs our help, Its a dream fulfilled! However, we would love to find ourselves with the opportunity to care for and learn the stories behind the bears and soft toys belonging to people in the public eye such as the Royal Family or other influential figures. Who hasn’t got a teddy bear story to tell!?”
Dominic Chinea is also on the team and has a background in art and graphic design, but his passion for cars and metalwork led to jobs in car restoration. Brenton West has a history in fixing up racing and classic cars, but can turn his hand to anything – even “swagger sticks”…
For some episodes, The Repair Shop needs to call in the services of especially niche craftspeople – such as Roger Thomas, an accordion specialist or Richard Rigby, who specialises in antique projectors.
Rob Butterfield, head of factual at The Repair Shop’s production company Ricochet, explained to Radio Times: “Many of our huge pool of experts run their own businesses, but the Weald and Downland Museum [in Singleton, West Sussex], where The Repair Shop is filmed, doesn’t offer a repair service outside the show.
“In the case of some items, there are only a handful of people in the country who have the skills to fix them, so we’re lucky to have so many of Britain’s top craftspeople involved. It can get busy at times, with as many as 12 experts working in the barn, plus the occasional appearance of a barn owl!”
The Repair Shop’s previous episodes can be watched on BBC iPlayer