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By royal appointment: King to star in special Repair Shop episode with Jay Blades

The King is to guest star in a special episode of The Repair Shop alongside presenter Jay Blades as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.

Jay Blades and the King (BBC/The Prince’s Foundation/PA)
Jay Blades and the King (BBC/The Prince’s Foundation/PA)

In the programme, Charles will meet with the show’s host Blades and his expert team of craftspeople to explore their shared passion for preserving heritage craft skills.

The team will also mend two precious items chosen by the monarch – a piece of pottery made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and a 18th century clock.

The special was announced during The One Show on Tuesday, with the episode airing on October 26 at 8pm on BBC One.

Blades, has a workshop in Wolverhampton and lives and works in Ironbridge.

The King met the team at Dumfries House (Dumfries House/Prince’s Foundation/Ricochet TV/BBC/PA)

In August 2021, the team of Blades, ceramics expert Kirsten Ramsay, horologist Steve Fletcher and furniture restorer Will Kirk were invited to Dumfries House in Scotland to meet the King, then the Prince of Wales, and learn about The Prince’s Foundation’s work in training the next generation of craftspeople.

The episode will see Charles give Blades a tour of the estate as well as meeting some of the students on the Building Craft Programme set up by The Prince’s Foundation which teaches traditional skills such as blacksmithing, stonemasonry and wood carving.

Blades, who grew up in Hackney, London, said: “You’ve got someone from a council estate and someone from a royal estate that have the same interests about apprenticeships and heritage crafts and it is unbelievable to see that two people from so far apart, from different ends of the spectrum, actually have the same interests.”

Meanwhile, the collections manager of Dumfries House, Satinder Kaur, gives Kirk, Ramsay and Fletcher a tour of its collection of 18th century furniture and decorative arts.

Within the episode, the Repair Shop team also pledge to restore two historic pieces that the King has selected of an 18th century bracket clock from the collection at Dumfries House and a piece of pottery made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee by Wemyss Ware, a renowned British ceramics company founded in 1882.

A skills swap also ensues as the Building Craft Programme lends its graduate Jeremy Cash to the Repair Shop to work alongside metalwork expert Dom Chinea on a special third item – a fire set in the shape of a soldier which has a poignant story behind its existence.

Charles met with the show’s host Jay Blades (Dumfries House/Prince’s Foundation/Ricochet TV/BBC/PA)

In spring 2022, Blades and the team welcomed the King to The Repair Shop barn to be reunited with the items.

BBC commissioning editor Julie Shaw said: “This is an incredibly special programme which has the magic that Repair Shop viewers have come to know and love.

“People will see the former Prince of Wales as you rarely see him – and he is as captivated by the skills of the team who work on his items as any of our Repair Shop visitors.

“The episode is a real treat and we hope that people enjoy it as much as we do.”

Joanna Ball, executive producer of The Repair Shop and managing director of Ricochet, added: “We’re so happy that The Repair Shop can play a part highlighting how important passing on craft skills to the next generation is.

“Hosting His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the barn was a real privilege for the whole team.”

The episode will air later this month (Dumfries House/Prince’s Foundation/Ricochet TV/BBC/PA)

Kaur, collections manager for Dumfries House, said: “At The Prince’s Foundation, we are very proud to have partnered with The Repair Shop for this very special episode.

“It was a joy to welcome Jay Blades and the talented restorers to our Dumfries House headquarters to explore our collection of 18th century furniture and decorative arts, including many examples of Thomas Chippendale’s work, which were a huge hit with the team.

“They also met with students benefiting from our Building Craft Programme, which helps preserve heritage building craft skills that are at risk of being lost through education and training.

“Over the past five years, The Repair Shop has done of a wonderful job of showcasing the skill involved in craftsmanship, and of highlighting the importance of repairing items, rather than replacing them, so it was a very natural collaboration.”

The programme was filmed between autumn 2021 and March 2022, before Charles became King following the death of his mother the Queen.

The special episode of The Repair Shop will air on October 26 at 8pm on BBC One.

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