The Repair Shop's Jay and Will fight back tears in Christmas special

The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades and Will Kirk fight back tears as two sisters dance to Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song after being reunited with their parents’ restored stereogram

  • Viewers sobbed as treasured family heirlooms restored in Christmas special
  • Sandra and Donna were overcome with emotion when machine began playing
  • Told how parents moved to UK ‘with nothing’ from Guyana and saved up to buy it
  • Will Kirk and Jay Blades welled up at the moment it played Nat King Cole again 

The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades and Will Kirk fought back tears in last night’s festive special as two sisters were reunited with their parents’ lovingly restored stereogram.

Sandra and Donna were overcome with emotion when the machine began playing Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song – the first time they’d heard it play since the 1960s – and embraced before dancing around the workshop.

The sweet moment brought many of the skilled team to tears, while viewers at home admitted they too were reaching for the tissues. 

One tweeted: ‘Omg the two woman crying and then seeing Will, bear ladies and Jay crying for me!’, while another wrote: ‘So the stereogram reveal on #therepairshop and the sister’s reaction… I’m not crying, you’re crying…’

The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades and Will Kirk fought back tears in last night’s festive special as two sisters were reunited with their parents’ lovingly restored stereogram

Viewers at home admitted the moment the stereogram was revealed to the sisters after its restoration left them in tears

And one exclaimed: ‘There’s a storm outside and I’m watching #therepairshop Actually sobbed when the ‘gram was fixed and they danced.’

When presented with the stereo, Jay said it took him right back to his childhood days.

Sandra explained that it belonged to her parents but she is currently its ‘guardian’ because it was passed down to her when her mother, who passed away last summer, became ill.

‘It means a lot to all of us,’ she said. ‘It just represents so much about the joy that we had in our family around music. Music is so important in my family. Growing up we were always dancing, always singing to lift spirits because life was tough.’

Sandra explained that it belonged to her parents but she is currently its ‘guardian’ because it was passed down to her when her mother, who passed away last summer, became ill. Pictured: her parents


The sisters explained they last heard it play in the late Sixties, but the turn table had broken and there was a large hole in it following an incident with a candle. Pictured left before and right after its restoration


On the sisters’ return, the pair were overwhelmed by its glossy new exterior, with Donna exclaiming through tears: ‘It’s got its legs back! It’s beautiful!’

She added that they came to the UK from Guyana ‘with nothing’ and would have had to have saved up to buy the stereogram. Their father opened the first black-owned record shop in Brixton, south London. 

Asked what music they’d listen to at Christmas, Donna recalled: ‘Nat King Cole. Mum would be up at the crack of dawn to get everything ready and as soon as you could hear it, you’d know it was Christmas.

‘I remember sitting on the stairs watching the adults dancing – my dad used to twirl my mum. When that record went click, you knew it was coming, everyone forget everything, we started dancing and had fun.’

The sisters explained they last heard it play in the late Sixties, but the turn table had broken and there was a large hole in it following an incident with a candle.

The sweet moment brought many of the skilled team to tears, while viewers at home admitted they too were reaching for the tissues

Becoming tearful, Donna added: ‘My mother’s heart would sing hearing this play music [again].’ 

Radio and electronics expert Mark Stuckey was tasked with restoring the mechanism of the player while Jay and Will worked on the body of the unit.

On the sisters’ return, the pair were overwhelmed by its glossy new exterior, with Donna exclaiming through tears: ‘It’s got its legs back! It’s beautiful!’

Mark then instructed them to press the phono button followed by a lever, and within seconds the player cranked up and began playing the Christmas classic.

It was tears all round as the women began dancing to their childhood favourite, with Will rubbing tears from his eyes and Jay admitting it ‘took him back’ to a time in his past.

It was tears all round as the women began dancing to their childhood favourite, with Will rubbing tears from his eyes and Jay admitting it ‘took him back’ to a time in his past

Many viewers took to social media to praise the heartwarming Christmas episode of The Repair Shop

Sandra said: ‘Thank you, with all my heart, I can’t thank you enough for this,’ as Mark acknowledged it was a ‘great team effort’ and a ‘great pleasure’. 

Many viewers took to social media to praise the heartwarming episode, which also featured the restoration of a rocking horse which belonged to a little girl who died from a brain tumour, and a treasured model carousel. 

One tweeted: ‘Just in awe at the skill of the team on #therepairshop Tonight’s episode’s been an absolute joyful blubfest. I’m a mess.’

The Repair Shop at Christmas is available to catch up on BBC iPlayer now.

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