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Meet The Repair Shop's new star Rebecca Bissonnet - and her amazing link to Princess Kate

Rebecca is a qualified textile conservator

Rebecca Bissonnet
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
10 April 2024
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The Repair Shop is returning to our screens with a brand new series on Wednesday night, which will see Jay Blades and his team of expert crafters return to the barn for more fascinating fixes. 

The team will also welcome a fresh face to the barn this series in the form of textile conservator Rebecca Bissonnet, who has joined the line-up of professional fixers. Keep reading for all we know about Rebecca and her career, including her incredible link to the Princess of Wales!

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Repair Shop expert Rebecca Bissonnet's career

Rebecca is an embroiderer and qualified textile conservator with over 20 years of experience.

After completing an apprenticeship at the Royal School of Needlework, Rebecca enrolled in a Masters of Art in Textile Conservation course, graduating in 2004. 

The expert, who is based in Hampshire, has worked on countless priceless items at prestigious locations such as Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and The British Museum. 

Rebecca Bissonnet© Ricochet Ltd/Emilie Sandy
Rebecca Bissonnet is a qualified textile conservator

Before going freelance, Rebecca spent six years working for Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that manages six of the UK's royal palaces, including the Tower of London. During her time there, Rebecca took care of state beds and throne canopies at Hampton Court and Kensington Palace.

The textiles conservator has worked her magic on some amazing items over the years, including Queen Elizabeth's coronation dress. She was also part of the embroidery team that worked on the Princess of Wales's gorgeous Alexander McQueen wedding dress

Kate Middleton wearing a veil and a wedding dress looking over her shoulders© Pascal Le Segretain
Rebecca worked on Princess Kate's wedding dress

When she's not busy preserving historic textiles, Rebecca teaches local classes and creates pieces to sell at craft fairs, according to the Royal School of Needlework website. 

On welcoming Rebecca to the show, host Jay said: "It was great to welcome Rebecca to the barn, she just fitted like a glove and it’s always so special to be able to learn different skills from different people."

So, what can fans expect from the six new episodes? 

The experts will tackle some amazing items from a variety of locations, including from the linen mills of Northern Ireland to London's Holloway fire station.

The Repair Shop experts Brenton West, Dominic Chinea, Jay Blades, Suzie Fletcher, Will Kirk, Kirsten Ramsay© BBC/Ricochet Ltd/Jack Barnes
The Repair Shop returns on Wednesday night

They include cowboy boots connected to music icon Elton John, a World War II code-breaking cookbook and an armchair which tells a poignant story from the 1980s AIDS crisis.

Teasing the upcoming episodes and sharing the secret behind the show's success, Jay said: "If you're super excited about The Repair Shop coming back, you're not the only one. We work really hard to make sure people's dreams come true, so to be able to show you guys what we've done is so exciting.

Jay Blades, Diane Wynell-Sutherland, Dean Westmoreland with cowboy boots© Ricochet Ltd/BBC
Dean Westmoreland works on a pair of treasured cowboy boots in episode one

"The show goes from strength to strength, and I think that is simply because we're talking about community, it's all about working together as a team and achieving a common goal for someone."

The Repair Shop returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Wednesday 10 April at 8pm.

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