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Pure joy as old heirlooms restored; PICKS OF THE DAY.

Editor's pick THE REPAIR SHOP (BBC2, 7pm) Ah... The Repair Shop. Tuning into this gem of a show is like slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers or greeting an old friend - reassuring and cosy.

It's also one of those programmes that has surprised many people by gaining a cult following. What's more, as time goes on and series pass by, an increasing number are tuning in to discover its delights - you could describe it as a slow-burning hit.

Many have picked up on it via social media thanks to the number of fans commenting on it via Twitter, Facebook and the like. Pointless co-host Richard Osman is a fan, urging his nigh-on million Twitter followers to tune in by describing the series as "the absolute best show on telly... It is so warm and charming. It's just a pure joy to watch." More recently he tweeted while watching a repeat: "Holy moly, the end of The Repair Shop is absolutely killing me today. What a lovely programme."

Osman isn't the only celebrity fan - Stephen Fry loves it too. Tweeting last September, he wrote: "It is my considered opinion that The Repair Shop is far and away the best programme on British television at the moment. Congratulations and thank you. Just what's needed to counter the mad digital world."

Part of his quote makes it on to the cover of the spin-off book, which was released at the end of last month.

For the uninitiated, the premise is simple - members of the public bring along their cherished but broken or dilapidated family heirlooms for a team of experts to restore in a specially converted barn at the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex. But what that description doesn't convey is the sheer joy in seeing the fixed items - and the faces of their owners when they're reunited with something they long thought was past repair.

Jay Blades, an upcycling specialist based in Wolverhampton, is the foreman - he's the guy who acts as the linkman between the owners and those working on their objects. But the real stars are the experts, who include furniture restorer Will Kirk, metalworker Dominic Chinea, upholsterer Sonnaz Nooranvary, painting conservator Lucia Scalisi, silversmith Brenton West and ceramics specialist Kirsten Ramsay.

Special mention should go to the Fletcher siblings too - Suzie is a leatherworker, while Stephen is a horologist who can, in fact, turn his hand to most things.

But no matter how skilled this group is, they're nothing without the public. Previous episodes have had viewers in tears at times - who could forget the widower whose wish was to have fixed the radio that brought back valuable memories of his wife, or the story of the violin that survived Auschwitz and the doll that reminded its owner of her much-loved father? Tonight's edition features a miniature whisky barrel, a clockwork train, wicker baby-weighing scales and a military swagger stick.

So newcomers and regulars should definitely tune in. Just don't forget to have a box of tissues handy, because you're sure to need them.


The Repair Shop, BBC2

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Publication:Shropshire Star (Shropshire, England)
Date:Aug 6, 2019
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