Every week the nation has been loving settling down to watch The Repair Shop on BBC Two. The heart-warming show sees a panel of experts take precious family heirlooms and possessions and restore them to their original state and fantastic glory. The experts themselves have also built up quite the fan-base among viewers at home, and Suzie Fletcher has fast become one of the show's fan favourites. But who is she and what does she do when she's not on the show? Here's all you need to know about the master saddler and Repair Shop star...
Suzie Fletcher's bio
Equestrian-loving Suzie is an expert in leather and saddles from Oxfordshire. Her love of horses comes from her childhood which lead to her career in saddle making and restoring, and she's been in the industry for over 40 years. "I have been nuts about horses ever since I can remember and can vividly recall from a very young age making saddles and bridles for my rocking horse and Cindy horse. With the influence of my mother, who was very skilled in designing and making clothes and my father being a watchmaker, it's no surprise I found a way to combine my interests in design and horses to become a saddle maker."
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Suzie with fellow experts in The Repair Shop
Suzie Fletcher's career
When Suzie was a teenager she met a local saddler named Ken Langford after her own horse's saddle broke. Upon hearing it wasn't fixable, Suzie was then inspired to take the equipment apart to see how its made before attempting to put it back together – it was this that made her realise her dream career. "Ken didn't see any reason why I shouldn't and played a huge part in my training. To this day, now in his 80's, Ken is still my mentor, second father and best friend."
Suzie went to live in America for 22 years working as a top saddle maker, but after the sad passing of her husband, she returned back to the UK. Her brother, Steve, who also appears on the show, told her how he was beginning to get involved in the new BBC programme, and inspired Suzie to do the same.
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Suzie's brother Steve is also on the show and is specialises in clocks
Eventually, Suzie joined at the beginning of season two, and thanks the show for getting her through her grieving. On joining the Repair Shop team, she explains: "Every time [Steve] called he looked to be having such a good time I jokingly said, 'If they need anyone to do leather I'm your gal.' I really was joking but after several phone calls and a lot of reassurance from Steve I agreed to give it a go and joined the team [...] I'm so happy I did as this is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever been involved with it's also helped me through some very dark days."
What else is there to know about Suzie Fletcher?
It seems that craftsmanship and restoration has always run in the Fletcher family. While Suzie's focus remains on leather and saddle work, her brother Steve's focus is on clock repair and restoration. The Clock Workshop has been in the Fletcher family for three generations as their grandfather opened it in Oxfordshire in 1910.
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