Jay Blades, presenter and furniture restorer

Jay Blades, presenter and furniture restorer

By BBC Radio 4

Jay Blades is a furniture restorer who is best known for presenting the Repair Shop on BBC One. The programme, which attracts many millions of viewers, brings old and damaged family treasures back to life and has been praised for its celebration of craftsmanship and the values of kindness and patience.

Jay grew up in Hackney in East London and was brought up by his mother Barbara. He struggled to read as a young boy which held him back at school and he left at 16. Years later, after he got a place to study criminology and philosophy at university, he was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 31.

He worked as a community worker for many years and co-founded charities which helped disadvantaged young people learn new skills. One of his charities was based in High Wycombe – an area famous for its historic furniture trade – and Jay learned how to restore furniture alongside the teenagers he was helping.

Later he started his own furniture restoration business and in 2017 he started presenting the Repair Shop. He recently set up his own television production company and has written books about DIY and his experiences on the Repair shop. In 2021 he was awarded an MBE for services to craft.

DISC ONE: Help Me Make It Through the Night by John Holt DISC TWO: The Night I Fell In Love by Luther Vandross DISC THREE: Revolution by Dennis Brown DISC FOUR: Battle by Wookie DISC FIVE: Love You Anyway by Cameo DISC SIX: Baby I’m A Fool by Melody Gardot DISC SEVEN: Kisses Don’t Lie by Evelyn “Champagne” King DISC EIGHT: Take Me To The Alley by Gregory Porter

BOOK CHOICE: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with Alex Haley LUXURY ITEM: A reclining massage chair CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Help Me Make It Through the Night by John Holt

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

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