The Repair Shop was watched by 6.7 million people in 2020 and now occupies a prime time BBC1 slot. It's presenter, Jay Blades, is a modern furniture restorer, up-cycler and eco designer, however his cheery, sympathetic demeanour masks an upbringing full of challenges. In this event, he will be talking to Multi Award-Winning Artist and Producer Dawinder Bansal, about his moving memoir, Making It, which outlines an adolescence marked by violent racism at secondary school and brutalisation by the police. He will be sharing these experiences among others, and his inspiring journey, supported by community, from a council estate in Hackney to his success in a TV programme that has been a highlight of our Lockdown TV viewing.

About the guest - Jay Blades

Jay is the face of BBC1's The Repair Shop and Money for Nothing. He also co-presents Jay and Dom's Home Fix.

Though a recognisable face across much of the country today, Jay grew up a struggling young man in eighties East End London. His dyslexia proved severely challenging throughout his education, in addition to bullying and police brutality. He eventually became an upholsterer, fixing furniture and other complex household objects, and so cultivating the skills that would later secure him the role of welcoming people into the BBC’s repair workshop.

Five years ago, however, at the age of 40, Jay was homeless, and living out of his car. He talks about community, the importance of making and fixing things, resilience, and the art of asking for help in a society that pressures men to cope alone. His autobiography is called Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped Me Repair My Life.

About the Interviewer - Dawinder Bansal

Dawinder Bansal is an award-winning British artist and producer who was born and raised in Wolverhampton. She creates and shares stories using theatre, film and immersive art installations. Fascinated by people’s lived experience and their stories, her work is informed by her cultural heritage as well as contemporary stories. Dawinder unearths hidden stories to entertain, inspire and subtly provoke audiences to rethink people’s experiences, both the commonalities and the differences.

In 2017 Dawinder re-created her family’s Indian Kenyan living room and shop in an evocative art installation at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Jambo Cinema was subsequently shown at New Art Exchange, Nottingham and a specially commissioned film was screened by Barbican Centre for Leytonstone Loves Film Festival and the BFI Film Festival. Dawinder will bring the installation back home to Wolverhampton as part of British Art Show 9’s off site programme, commissioned by Creative Black Country, which will be located in the Mander Centre from January – April 2022.

To find out more about Dawinder’s work, visit

Date: 5 February

Time: 1pm

Venue: Light House WV1 1HT

Price: £12 + Booking Fee

Book here