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‘Hit me like a tonne of bricks’ The Repair Shop’s Suzie recalls grief struggle on show

The Repair Shop's Suzie Fletcher recalls family bond to rocking horse

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The saddle maker and restoration expert is part of the team that makes up the hugely popular The Repair Shop on BBC. The programme is often classed as a tear-jerker because it sees sentimental items seemingly beyond repair restored by the experts so owners can cherish the memories associated with the items. But Suzie herself was overcome with emotion during one episode as she worked on a rocking horse and uncovered a signature of the owner’s late husband.

Fixing up an old rocking horse, Suzie unearthed a long-hidden element of the item, which was brought in by guest Julie Yates.

Julie had informed her that she believed her late husband Paul had signed the horse after fixing it up decades before and was hoping to see his name.

As she restored the wooden horse, Suzie took a breath as she prepared to remove the saddle.

When she spotted the name scrawled inside the horse, she dissolved into tears.

Talking about the moment on ITV’s Lorraine on Monday, the 60-year-old explained why it was a “pivotal” moment for her.

Lorraine commented: “That was very, very special and I know that was very special to you as well.

“That brought back a lot of memories for you, I mean you can see you there having a cry.

“And I don’t blame you, you’re not alone. We all have a bit of a weep at The Repair Shop.”

“Yes,” Suzie replied. “And it was a pivotal moment for me, in as much as I hadn’t actually recognised the fact that I hadn’t grieved the loss of my husband, my mother and my aunt – we lost them in a very close timeframe.

“And I had just automatically gone into ‘cope mode’ because I then had to change my entire life and close down my life in America, re-home animals.

“The whole thing was incredibly emotional, and that moment hit me like a tonne of bricks.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all, so it was a really, really good moment in helping me open up and move forward.”

The BBC star continued: “And it’s so relatable to many of the viewers because everybody goes through loss.”

During the episode in question, Suzie explained: “I too, lost my husband to cancer. It seems so insignificant, someone’s name that they wrote

“It’s so personal. I’m really pleased for Julie that it’s here – and really pleased for the children.”

Julie was unable to talk later as she was overcome with emotion.

Her brother Steven, who also works as a restorer on the show, came over to comfort his sister.

After a long hug, Julie said: “Oh, I didn’t think that would happen.”

She added: “So, this is going to be a very emotional job to do.

“But incredibly worthwhile. I’ll get on with this now.”

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV, while The Repair Shop is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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