Repair Shop host Jay Blades made an MBE at Windsor Castle
The Repair Shop host Jay Blades has spoken of his surprise at the show’s popularity as he was made an MBE at Windsor Castle.
Blades, a furniture restorer and designer, was given the honour by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday for services to craft and in recognition of his work promoting heritage craft and restoration in the UK.
The regular favourite on the BBC show – which sees members of the public bringing in worn out family heirlooms to be restored by a team of experts – said he never expected that the programme “would become so big”.
Blades has starred in the programme since it started in 2017.
He said: “I knew it was special, because you wouldn’t have all of those different disciplines in the same building. You wouldn’t have a ceramic next to a fine art next to woodwork and a clock restorer, you just wouldn’t have that.”
He said that the rest of the team were “over the moon” for him after receiving his MBE.
“They’ve all said: ‘Do we have to bow, do we have to curtsy to you?’ and stuff like that.
“I’ve just said there’s one request: as long as they can bring me a biscuit with my cup of tea, that’s all I want,” he joked.
The presenter, when asked whether a particular object from the show stood out to him, said it was like “picking your favourite child”.
“All of them are really special, all the individuals that bring an item in, all the items are dear to them and all the memories are so unique that you could never pick one I don’t think.”
Blades, 52, stressed the importance of craft as part of a sustainable future, something which he spoke about with Charles as received the honour.
“It’s all about sustainability, it’s all about teaching the next generation as to what they should be doing and what they can do, because some people think craft isn’t accessible to them,” he said.
“I want craft to be accessible to everybody, from the poor side of town to the rich side of town, so everybody can access it.”
Blades left school at 15, and has set up a charity encouraging young people who struggle academically to get involved in practical jobs, such as restoration and craft.
He is also an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which provides people with up to £18,000 in funding to study a traditional craft.