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The Repair Shop: 6 famous stars you forgot appeared on the show

From Dawn French to Craig Revel Horwood


judi dench jay blades craig revel horwood
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
Updated: 23 June 2023
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The Repair Shop has been keeping viewers entertained for several years now, having first premiered back in 2017. 

The heartwarming heirloom-fixing show has seen an array of guests with fascinating stories come and go through the barn doors during its time on our screens. But it's not just members of the public who have had the privilege of bringing their treasured items in for repair. 

Several famous faces have joined Jay Blades and the skilled team of experts in the barn. Here's a list of the stars you might have forgotten appeared on the show. 

Judi Dench

Hollywood actress Judi Dench paid Jay and the experts a visit last year in an emotional episode that saw the 88-year-old bring in her late husband Michael's pocket watch in for repair. 

The Philomena star had the item restored as part of a special live session of the BBC One programme held at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Judi revealed that she had given her husband the pocket watch as a gift one year after they married and that he treasured the item, carrying it around in his pocket until he died from lung cancer in 2001, aged 65. 

MORE: The Repair Shop's Steve Fletcher shares new photo of rarely-seen partner in sweet tribute

The James Bond star was delighted with the repair, telling Jay and horologist Steve Fletcher: "Oh my! That's sublime. And ticking! How brilliant. I'm very happy and full of admiration."

judi jay steve repair shop© Photo: BBC
Judi brought her late husband's pocket watch into the barn

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders 

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders appeared in a special instalment of the BBC show for Comic Relief. 

The comedy-duo reprised their popular characters 'The Extras' to blag a free fix from Jay and Steve, bringing in a faulty toaster. 

MORE: The Repair Shop's Will Kirk shares personal family connection for special episode

READ: The Repair Shop's Suzie Fletcher opens up about abusive 15-year marriage in candid interview

The sketch delighted viewers, who took to Twitter to praise the episode. One person wrote: "If you haven't seen the Comic Relief Repair Shop special with French and Saunders being brilliant then please look it up on iPlayer as it's hilarious," while another added: "Please come back French and Saunders - loved The Repair Shop!! You're still as funny as you were back in the day!!"

french saunders repair shop© Photo: BBC
French and Saunders appeared on the programme for Comic Relief

Craig Revel Horwood

Craig Revel Horwood appeared in the same episode as Judi Dench in August last year. The Strictly Come Dancing judge was hoping the experts could restore a life-like chimp from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard, which was given to him as an opening-night gift. 

Craig was very impressed by the restoration and said: "That is amazing. That is actually 100 times better than what it would have looked like in 1992."

Craig brought a life-like chimp in for repair © BBC
Craig brought a life-like chimp in for repair

King Charles 

King Charles appeared in a special episode of the popular reality show to mark the BBC's centenary. The instalment, which was filmed in October 2022 when Charles was still the Prince of Wales, saw the royal bring two treasured items for repair: an 18th-century bracket clock and a piece of Wemyss Ware made for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. 

Jay and the experts paid Charles a visit at Dumfries House in Scotland for the episode, which was titled The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit. The programme was widely praised by viewers and even won a TV BAFTA in the Daytime category. 

king charles repair shop© Photo: BBC
King Charles appeared on a special episode of the show

Exclusive: Jay Blades talks reuniting with King Charles for future project after The Repair Shop visit

Speaking about welcoming Charles onto the show, Jay 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."

Watch a clip from the episode below. 

WATCH: King Charles makes special appearance on The Repair Shop

Simon Armitage

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage appeared in an episode of the new series, bringing his treasured harmonium in for repair. The cherished item holds precious memories of his father, Peter, and was played in Simon's local church throughout his childhood. 

After organ restorer David Burville transformed the harmonium, Simon returned to the barn along with his band, LYR, who performed a stunning rendition of their song, Winter Solstice.

Simon Armitage brought his harmonium into the barn for repair © Ricochet Ltd
Simon Armitage brought his harmonium into the barn for repair

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