Repair Shop Presenter Jay Blades at Bolton Library

Millions tune in to watch him restore sentimental items, and he won the hearts of the nation when he confessed he couldn’t read.

And now Jay Blades fans will have the chance to meet the ‘fixer’ when he comes to Bolton next week.

Jay, who runs the BBC’s The Repair Shop, will be at Bolton Library on June 19.

He will share his reading journey and the importance of libraries.

Last year, Jay bravely shared his story of his decision to learn to read at age 51.

Jay said: “Libraries are fantastic spaces in the UK, anyone can come in, be welcomed and spend time there for free.

“Reading or learning something new can also be such a gift when needed, and for these reasons I am delighted to be part of the Manchester Library Festival this year.”

Jay revealed the coping strategies he’s used to cope over the years.

The repair shop

He said: “When I was trying to get a job, you know you have to fill in the application forms, I always said I didn’t have my glasses.

“I wasn’t wearing glasses at the time, and I would take them off and have someone else fill them.

“I remember once I got a letter from a doctor and I had to go out into the street and get someone to read it to me because I didn’t know what it said.

“It was quite strange walking up to someone at the bus stop and they look at me, you find lots of coping strategies.

“Working in the television world, there are a lot of emails, I haven’t read a lot of them, because I can’t do them.”

Jay, a restorer and furniture designer, was awarded his MBE honor by the Prince of Wales in May for his services to craftsmanship and in recognition of his work promoting craftsmanship and heritage restoration in the UK.

Lancashire Telegraph: Jay Blades receives his MBEJay Blades receives his MBE

He wanted to learn to read in hopes of being able to read his teenage daughter a bedtime story for the first time.

The TV star’s learning journey is also to be documented in a one-off BBC One film, Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51.

Cllr Hilary Fairclough, Deputy Head of Bolton Council, said: ‘I hope to go myself, the library and museum really do wonderful things for all ages and cover really useful topics like helping with business , leisure arts, etc.

“It really is a crown jewel, they really think outside the box and connect with so many different groups.

“Reading is so important and our library has a really exciting program to help and encourage people of all ages to read.”

Jay will be at the Bolton Library at 2 p.m.

For more information and how to meet Jay visit

Daniel C. Williams