The Repair Shop: Owner recalls her father's death
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During Wednesday’s The Repair Shop, Jay Blades welcomed a number of guests and their treasured items to the workshop. Electronics expert Mark Stuckey tried to revive an old tape recorder, while Will Kirk had the task of restoring an old coffee table. Teddy bear experts Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell also had the challenge of putting a panda toy back together. However, just minutes into the programme, Jay appeared to be lost for words after guest Gill detailed the night her father died when handing her the panda toy.
Gill had brought a small toy panda into the workshop which had been given to her by her father when she was a child.
“Where did you get the panda from?” Jay asked as Gill took the worn item out of her bag.
“It was given to me by my parents when I was about three or four,” Gill explained.
“My sisters and I all got to choose a mechanical toy. I’m the youngest of the family and I chose the panda.”
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“Panda is about 60 years old,” the guest continued. “He still works. He is a little bit slower than he used to be.”
Speaking about the heartbreak of when her father passed away, Gill told them: “My father, unfortunately, died two weeks before my sixth birthday.
“And when my dad was bed-ridden at home. If I wasn’t feeling very happy, he’d say, ‘Go and get panda because he’ll make you smile’.
“So, I used to go and get panda, dad would wind him up and we’d sit and watch because dad would say ‘It’s really important to smile’.”
Gill began to break down in tears as she remembered her father. She added: “So it (the panda) reminds me of that.
“The last image I really had of dad was him standing holding on to his bed and he took off his oxygen mask and waved at us.
“And…that night he died.”
Jay took a deep breath as the BBC host was taken aback by Gill’s story and he bowed his head down in shock.
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Turning her attention to the panda, Gill explained: “Consequently he is a bit worn and I think that’s years of sitting on a shelf and collecting dust.”
After The Repair Shop team worked their magic on the toy panda, Gill was left tearful again when Steve Fletcher revealed how they had restored her treasured bear.
“Well, we won’t leave you in suspense any longer,” the expert said before the big reveal.
“Oh, my goodness,” Gill said in shock. “I don’t know what to say.”
Her husband chipped: “Seeing this even makes me well up.”
“That takes me back to when I was about four or five,” she added. “Yeah, that is exactly what it was like.”
“Look at that,” Gill exclaimed as turned the mechanical toy on.
“He’s got his smile back,” Steve concluded. “Thank you very much for bringing him in.”
The Repair Shop returns on Wednesday at 8pm on BBC One.
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