Dame Judi Dench enlists The Repair Shop to fix her late husband’s pocket watch

Dame Judi Dench will have a sentimental pocket watch belonging to her late husband repaired in a special live session of The Repair Shop.

he BBC One show sees members of the public bring in worn heirlooms to be repaired by a team of experts led by furniture restorer and entertainer Jay Blades.

As part of this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival, show producers Ricochet will mark five years of the program with a special appearance by Dame Judi, 87, alongside Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, 57.


Dame Judi Dench with her late husband Michael Williams (Peter Jordan/PA)


Dame Judi Dench with her late husband Michael Williams (Peter Jordan/PA)

Dame Judi will bring a pocket watch which she gave to her late husband, actor Michael Williams, in 1972 – a year after their marriage – but which no longer works.

The veteran actress would like it to be heard again as a reminder of the times they shared before her death in January 2001 at the age of 65, and watchmaker Steve Fletcher will be on hand to help.

Earlier this year Dame Judi appeared in a sketch spoofing the show for Comic Relief.

She played a character struggling with her memory who wants her old doll from her childhood fixed to help bring back memories of her youth, but sees it shattered by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

Revel Horwood’s item will be a lifelike chimpanzee from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, given to him as an opening gift.

He’ll need the help of furniture restorer Will Kirk and so-called The Teddy Bear Ladies, Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell, who specialize in stuffed animals.

The two special guests will join Blades on stage in Edinburgh to reveal their fixes live.

The session will also be available via the festival’s YouTube channel.


Jay Blades with Craig Revel Horwood (Guy LevyBBC/PA)

Jay Blades with Craig Revel Horwood (Guy LevyBBC/PA)

Guy Levy

Jay Blades with Craig Revel Horwood (Guy LevyBBC/PA)

Ricochet General Manager Joanna Ball said: “The team, on and off screen, did an amazing job and our sincere thanks to Dame Judi and Craig for sharing their valuable stories with us.

“As always, we’re a little nervous to share the finished patches, but we hope they enjoy the work our experts put in as much as we enjoyed working on it.”

Festival Creative Director Stewart Clarke said: “It’s the perfect opening piece of entertainment and we’d like to thank everyone involved for bringing some The Repair Shop magic from the barn to Festival TV, it’s going to be an absolute must-see.”

Daniel C. Williams