BBC’s ‘The Repair Shop’ is an interesting reality show that follows a group of experts as they travel around the United Kingdom, repairing and restoring family heirlooms for various clients. While most of the heirlooms depicted on the show have sentimental value for their owners, a disclaimer claims that the group does most repairs for free. However, such a claim led to several doubters who have wondered how the network can afford to restore so many heirlooms without taking a single penny in exchange. Besides, they even went on to question the show’s authenticity, with some branding it as completely scripted. Well, let’s delve into the details and find out if ‘The Repair Shop’ is real or fake, shall we?
Is The Repair Shop Scripted?
Ever since its premiere, the BBC has touted ‘The Repair Shop’ as an unscripted show, and we find no reason to believe otherwise. As the term suggests, for a show to be unscripted, it has to do away with pre-written or pre-planned scripts of all kinds. Moreover, while the production team is expected to behave like a silent audience and interfere in the narrative, each person appearing in front of the camera should have the freedom to be their real selves. On top of it, an authentic reality show also prohibits pre-determined or rehearsed events as it prefers spontaneity and improvisation.
Interestingly, ‘The Repair Shop’ does tick off several checkboxes in the unscripted show rulebook as the experts on the show are actual real-life professionals who make a living out of restoring antiques, old paintings, vintage furniture, and the like. As a matter of fact, renowned British furniture restorer Jay Blades acts as the foreman, and the group of restorers even use top-of-the-line equipment as the entire show is filmed at the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton, West Sussex.
On top of it, the experts involved in restoration have an immense amount of experience under their belt, and the show even promotes their real-life achievements. Meanwhile, readers will be interested to know that instead of a whole screening process, most people who need their heirlooms restored reach out to the experts over social media. The experts then choose the ones they want to work on before sitting down for a discussion with the owners.
However, this lengthy process does not include any exchange of money, as the restorers like the challenge that comes with each unique heirloom. Nevertheless, readers should note that ‘The Repair Shop’ is not an actual service as the Weald and Downland Museum do not offer repairs or restorations. Yet, many of the experts do have their own businesses, and one can approach them if the need arises.
Unfortunately, since the repairs are free, the production team, as well as Jay Blades, revealed that people would occasionally lie or give false information just to get on national television. However, show restorer Dean Westmoreland, who was propelled into the spotlight after appearing on the show, insisted that everything is real and there is no one acting in front of the cameras.
That said, every reality show is greenlighted for profit, and a network always benefits significantly from an increase in viewership. Hence, the production team has the freedom to make minor edits during post-processing to increase the dramatic impact. Yet, this rarely affects the unscripted nature, and we can confirm that ‘The Repair Shop’ is as authentic as a reality show can get.
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