Interview OnBox

Get inspired by Jay Blades’s “The Repair Shop” on BBC One – restore old furniture while in Isolation

Jay Blades is a furniture restorer and presenter originally from Hackney but currently based in Wolverhampton. He is best known for presenting The Repair Shop and Money for Nothing. He has also appeared in Would I Lie To You?, Celebrity Masterchef and Richard Osman’s House of Games. For those episodes you missed catch up on BBC iPlayer the show has amassed over 6 million viewers and started on BBC One at 8pm from Wednesday 18 March.

Why do you think the series has been such a success?
Put simply we have created a big family in the Barn. We’ve got a crazy uncle, a funny grandad, a mother etc, we’re a family who comes together to help people. It’s about kindness, and that’s a very good thing.

Do you have lots of celebrity fans?
I’m aware of a few who’ve said nice things about the series – Stephen Fry, Greg James, Richard Osman, Leanne from Little Mix! But it’s the love I feel from the public that really makes me happy. It seems to have a universal appeal.

How do you feel about the series moving into BBC One peak?
I am just so excited!

How did you end up going from being a restorer to being on TV?
I was running a charity that taught teenagers about furniture restoration. The Guardian online did a piece with me and it went viral. Almost overnight I started hearing from TV production companies. I did a BBC Money For Nothing and then 4 years ago I was approached by the makers of the Repair Shop.

What next for The Repair Shop?
I want to take it to the masses! I’d love do events where the public get to come and meet us… a road show maybe!

What has been the most memorable or challenging repair you’ve seen to date?
That is a tough question! But I would say that Susie repairing the leather poof – she had to take every segment apart and repair it completely. This was the one I think must have taken the longest.

Have there been any items or stories that have really touched you / that you related to?
I’m always touched when men show emotion, as it is very rare. In this new series there is an episode with a jukebox, which is incredibly moving and a beautiful story. I might go so far as to say, it is one of my favourites to date.

Watch it here.

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