MBE for Repair Shop presenter Jay Blades in Queen's Birthday Honours

He is best known for one of the surprise hit shows of the year, The Repair Shop, now Midlands-based Jay Blades, 51, has been made an MBE in the Queens Honours for services to craft.

Jay Blades MBE
Jay Blades MBE

The furniture restorer, designer and presenter is leading the movement to save dying crafts in the UK.

Jay left school at the age of 15 after struggling due to his undiagnosed dyslexia combined with a tendency to fight back against the racist abuse he was experiencing. It led to him being labelled as 'disruptive'.

He spent his 20s working in factories and as a labourer before going to Buckinghamshire New University to study criminology as a mature student.

After university, he set up a charity encouraging young people who struggled, like himself, academically to get involved with practical jobs and in 2000 he co-founded Out of the Dark, teaching young people how to restore and sell old furniture.

However, funding for that charity dried up in 2015, forcing it to close. His marriage broke down, and he became homeless.

He then moved to Wolverhampton to set up Jay & Co, a social enterprise that helps disadvantaged and disengaged groups.

Jay, who now lives in Ironbridge, Shropshire, has made it his mission to bring traditional crafts back to other areas of the country, having been inspired by High Wycombe's place as the centre of the chair making industry.

As well as The Repair Shop, the popular primetime show now watched by over seven million people, he also presents Money for Nothing and Jay Blades' Home Fix.

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