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Restoration nation

Restoration nation

We take a look at Yesterday’s new restoration series and examine what makes such shows so wholesome to watch

By Virgin TV Edit

The whiff of T-Cut, the sound of a small metal hammer tapping out dents from an old toy and skilled, smiling 50-somethings explaining each step as they go… We don’t know about you, but restoration shows have well and truly become our jam over these last few months.


And, with Restoration Workshop, Yesterday’s brand new Repair Shop-esque restoration series, there’s a new show for fans of the genre to sink their teeth into.

Gary Wallis in Restoration Workshop

Meet Gary Wallis, antique dealer and fixer-upper extraordinaire who, in Restoration Workshop, works alongside a team of equally skilled restorers to lend long-forgotten objects a new lease of life in the hopes of then selling them for some serious dosh.


As is often the case with these programmes, the objects and the stories behind them really take centre stage. From tuneless grenadier drums to vintage motorbikes, there’s nothing Gary and his team can’t fix, modernise and sell on.


If cramped, softly lit settings with an accompanying soundtrack of rattling and tapping and an occasional glimpse of an auction house sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll absolutely love Restoration Workshop. But why have shows like these come to dominate the nation’s screens of late? Read on below to find out…


More stories than a skyscraper…

Sure, architectural “storeys” is spelt differently, but hear us out… Brilliant as the restorers always are (more on them soon) the stories each object can present are extraordinary. Even the most cynical of viewers would be hard-pressed not to raise an eyebrow at an old, rusted set of wire-cutters suddenly revealed to have saved the life of the owner’s grandfather!


They’re environmentally conscious…

In a time when recycling is more important than ever, shows like Restoration Workshop are, you could argue, good for the environment. In having restorers prolong an already ancient object’s longevity even further or chopping and changing it to fit a new purpose, they prevent such objects being chucked into a landfill and adding to an already almost unconquerable waste problem.


Seriously talented restorers…

Steven Fletcher from The Repair Shop

These types of shows have also created a new breed of telly superstars: ­restorers. There’s something insatiably watchable about middle-aged craftspeople bringing objects back to life. They’re ridiculously talented individuals who can now present their exceptional skills to millions. Equally impressive are the younger restorers who, with the help of their older colleagues, ensure an incredibly niche but wholly necessary skillset isn’t lost.


When is Restoration Workshop on TV?

You can watch Restoration Workshop on Yesterday (CH 129) on Tuesday 18 August at 8pm. It's then showing weekly until Tuesday 20 October. 


The show is also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > Yesterday.

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Image credit: Restoration Workshop © UKTV