The Repair Shop boss gambled reputation on Jay Blades’ BBC series

The Repair Shop: Guests stunned at telescope restoration

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The Repair Shop, which sees guests hand over their more treasured possessions for the team of experts, headed by Jay Blades, to fix. The nostalgic BBC show often sees people recounting tales of their sentimental items, and viewers enjoy the wholesome feel of the programme. But the person behind the show took a risk to get it on air.

Carla-Maria Lawson, head of BBC daytime and early peak television, unveiled that her idea for the show was a gamble.

She said “It’s my baby really, my television baby. It was really hard to get it commissioned because there was a sense of why would anybody watch something that didn’t have a monetary reveal at the end of it?

“It’s quite difficult to persuade people that the emotional currency in itself could pack enough of a punch.”

Speaking to Radio New Zealand, she continued: “It was just something that I kind of felt viscerally could work. And the company kept saying oh, well, we give up, and it’s like ‘No, please don’t!'”

The Repair Shop is among the most popular BBC programmes, particularly of the last year.

“It is now probably the biggest factual show on British television outside of the news,” Carla-Maria said.

“It gets audiences of between five and six million viewers for original episodes that are going out.”

The Repair Shop stars Jay, 51, who fronts the series alongside a team of talented experts.

Carla-Maria explained each item on the show is sent to her with a description and backstory.

She detailed how it’s necessary to “mix it up” and make sure joy is included in the story.

“There’s all sorts of reasons people bring things into the barn,” she said. “I think the thing that generally binds all of the items together is the sense of modesty.

“I don’t think anything is really worth loads of money. It’s there because of its emotional value to the contributors.”

The programme often has BBC viewers in tears as they watch guests recollecting their memories associated with the items.

Often they include a connection with a lost relative, and the objects brought in hold the importance of their loved ones.

But fans love to see the owners being reunited with their cherished items after they’ve been repaired.

For these reasons, it has built up a big following, with people keen to finished products.

One viewer recently took to Twitter to say: “My favourite all time programme #TheRepairShop.”

Another commented: “@TheRepairShop every. You can hear the emotion. God, I love this show #therepairshop from the stories to the craftsmanship!”

“I love this show…the skills really intrigue me….bring these lessons back into schools.. our kids wud strive and have improved mental health #TheRepairShop,” (sic) a third wrote.

The Repair Shop is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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