The Yours Members site has all the latest from the magazine, including celebrity interviews like this honest and open chat with Suzie Fletcher, who tells us about how she went from bereft and still reeling from years spent in an abusive marriage, to finding her own fix on the popular TV show...
When The Repair Shop’s Suzie Fletcher (62) says, in all seriousness, that she’s not a celebrity, it’s hard to agree with her.
As the phenomenally successful BBC One show’s resident leather expert, her warm, friendly face is watched by millions around the world as she repairs people’s most trea- sured possessions and restores their happiest memories. Everyone loves Suzie. Surely that hasn’t escaped her attention.
“I don’t own a television!” she laughingly reveals while sticking to her story that she’s “only in the public eye” and definitely not a celeb.
She doesn’t live like one. Her wardrobe is filled with charity shop clothes and her “very modest” house in Witney, Oxfordshire, is furnished with used and preloved stuff in keep- ing with her green beliefs.
“I don’t need much in life,” she explains. “You never really know what it is you need and somehow it always seems to present itself.” That’s how she came to be behind a work- bench in The Repair Shop barn. Her clock repairer, brother Steve had appeared in the first series and suggested Suzie, a master saddler, for the second.
“I was really very reluctant to take up this amazing opportunity. Remember, nobody knew about the programme in 2017,” she admits.
But Steve said; “Come on it’ll be fine. You’ll only have a couple of items. It won’t be a big deal.”
At the time, Suzie had just arrived back from America, where she’d been living for the past 20 years. Much of it was spent in an abusive marriage with her husband, who’d died four years beforehand.
Initially it was her brother Steve and “wonderful, larger than life” Jay Blades who supported her, but soon the entire cast became like family.
Suzie does watch The Repair Shop on BBC iPlayer on her computer and remembers watching it back. “I look back at the first episode with the beautiful Louis Vuitton steamer trunk and I think “my goodness you are such an actor!” Inside I was quaking, yet on the outside I was saying “This is fine!”
“I had to be uncomfortable and face my fears and it’s important we all do that. You can’t keep running away from things you don’t like. If you have a good attitude anything is possible and the harder the fight, the bigger the reward.”