King Charles Is Set To Star In A BBC Special To Showcase His Rare Hobby

Since 2017, "The Repair Shop" has been a feel-good TV favorite. Recorded at the Court Barn at the Weald and Downland Living Museum in West Sussex, the British show features host Jay Blades and a team of restoration experts as they lovingly repair all kinds of family heirlooms, per National World.

"We have over 600 years of experience there," commented Blades, per the Mirror. "We all work together. If you've ever worked in a workshop or your work around creative people, it's one of those things where you can be on a coffee break, and you're still thinking about how to fix it, still thinking about the solution."

Appearing on the show "Lorraine," furniture restorer Will Kirk spoke about the impact of working on these treasured items. "That and many other things that have come in have been so emotional," he said, per Hello! magazine. "Sometimes it's hard to do the work while not having tears running down your face. And you see how much these things mean to people, gosh, sorry!"  

Typically, items repaired on the show are selected from online applications (via Metro). Besides having their cherished items restored, the lucky owners get access to all this expertise for free, per Radio Times

However, a special upcoming episode is going to deviate from the norm and give "The Repair Shop" the royal treatment.   

King Charles shares his passion for heritage crafts with The Repair Shop

In celebration of the BBC's 100th anniversary, BBC One will air a special episode of "The Repair Shop" featuring King Charles on Oct. 26, 2022 (via The Telegraph). Besides paying a visit to the show's iconic barn, the monarch invited host Jay Blades and three members of the team to Charles' home at Dumfries House in Scotland. According to the BBC, the king provided two items for the show's expert restorers: an 1897 piece of Wemyss Ware ceramic and an 18th-century bracket clock.  

"When you see King Charles in this show, you're never going to see him like this, he was so relaxed, unbelievable, filming with him was such a joy," Blades told BBC's "The One Show," per the Daily Mail.

Like the team of expert restorers on "The Repair Shop," Charles is passionate about preserving the skills of traditional crafting. During the Dumfries House tour, the monarch introduced the visitors to students participating in his foundation's Building Craft Programme, which focuses on teaching wood carving, masonry, and blacksmithing (via The Telegraph).

"Stonemasons, carpenters and other artisanal craftsmen and women who specialise (sic) in a whole range of unique heritage crafts, have been disappearing at an alarming rate," Charles said in 2018, per The Guardian. "Their skill seems too often swept aside in a race for cheaper, faster building techniques that often produce homogenised (sic), mono-cultural buildings that are not in harmony with the natural environment in which they appear and offer little consideration for the people who live in them."

The king and Jay Blades have bonded through their crafting enthusiasm

As reported by the BBC, the upcoming episode of "The Repair Shop" was recorded in fall 2021 and spring 2022. According to the show's host, Jay Blades, he felt a connection and common ground with King Charles. 

"You have someone like me, from a council estate, and someone from the royal estate having the same interests where we basically want to continue heritage crafts," Blades said on BBC's "The One Show," per Express. "And if we can do it through apprenticeships and adjust the knowledge and everyone feels the same way, but I never thought I would get on like that!"

In May 2022, Blades had an additional opportunity to talk with Charles when he visited Windsor Castle to receive an MBE for his contribution to craft, per BBC. "It is 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. Blades serves as an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, an organization that promotes education in traditional crafts (via Mirror).

The king has participated in other TV shows to encourage traditional crafting. As reported by the Daily Mail, Charles served as a judge on the Sky Arts series "The Prince's Master Crafters." "The urge to make something is such a centering process," Charles said.