Deep in the Sussex countryside, there is a place where no heirloom is beyond saving. The Repair Shop, which airs every weekday on BBC One, takes on the impressive task of fixing old, broken or damaged treasures. But the show has left many viewers asking the question: who pays for the repairs?
Well, no-one does. The ‘Repair Shop’ is, in fact, a bit of a misnomer. Because the artefacts are all chosen for their sentimental value to the owners (and the BBC get a whole broadcast TV slot out of it), the Repair Shop and its experts do not charge people for its services.
Rob Butterfield, head of factual programming at The Repair Shop’s production company Ricochet, told RadioTimes.com that “we’ve found most people for the show through social media.
“We don’t charge for repairs. If people wish to make a donation to charity we’re very happy with that, but it’s by no means necessary.”
What’s more, the Repair Shop is not, in fact, an operational business. Many of the experts featured on the show – the professionals who specialise in fields like woodwork, toys, or jukeboxes – do, however, run their own private shops, separate to the one seen on the programme.
Part of the reason The Repair Shop is so popular is because of its sentimental approach to repair. Even though the series has featured some expensive restorations – including a painting by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu and an oil portrait by CJ Frost – the pieces are selected because of their emotional connection to their owners, which often comes across on screen.
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The Repair Shop airs tonight on BBC One at 8pm.