Repair Shop expert says fixing radio took longer than usual in "emotional" episode
Mark Stuckey had to fix Luigi's vintage Bakelite radio, which has been mute for over 50 years.
The Repair Shop continued this week, with radio expert Mark Stuckey getting his hands on a radio, which had been mute for over 50 years.
Brought to the workshop by Luigi Ciaburri, the radio was originally passed down to Luigi by his Italian father, who emigrated with his wife to Wales to begin a new life and raise their family.
It held huge significance for Luigi, as his family would sit together and listen to it for hours, and it helped them all to integrate into life in the UK and to learn English.
After dismantling the entire workings, Stuckey was able to bring the radio "back to life", but it was no easy feat, with the expert telling RadioTimes.com that it took much longer than his usual repairs as the radio restarted and "failed" many times.
He said: "This was a bit longer because after it came back to life and then failed, it took probably a couple of months or so trying to find a suitable donor, so I could get the parts. And that's literally going round and looking and talking to people, and hopefully somebody somewhere is going to have a similar type model.
"The problem is we talk about mobile phones being changed – radio manufacturers are doing the same. They want us to constantly buy to keep their factories running. So a manufacturer may have seven or eight versions of different models out in a year. The older the item is – the radio in this particular case – the harder it is to source. Somebody somewhere will have one, it just takes time to locate it."
Thankfully, Stuckey was able to restore the radio to its original glory, which led to a very "emotional" reveal for Luigi.
"When you get something like that working again – the family originally was using it to learn how to speak English – I am hearing the same sound coming out of that loudspeaker as the day he first heard it. So the past and the present are literally linked together. And then we've breached that decade gap," he continued.
"It's lovely. You get a feeling of pride! Seeing the reaction for the first time when they hear it coming back to life or even when you've just re-polished a case and it looks really lovely, and you can tell what it meant to them. And sometimes the emotion gets released as well.
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"It's so incredible that we have the luxury and the honour of being able to bring some happiness back into someone's life or family's life. That radio was being used long before I was born. So yeah, this is quite an achievement."
New episodes of The Repair Shop air on BBC One on Wednesdays at 8pm. Episodes are also available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news.