The Repair Shop star Jay Blades has defended ‘breaking royal protocol’ with King Charles III on a special episode of the BBC programme, with the pair praised for their camaraderie.
Some fans were so taken by the double act that they even dubbed the pair the new ‘Ant and Dec’.
On last night’s episode, which aired on BBC One as part of the broadcaster’s centenary celebrations, the royal presented two precious objects that required restoration – a piece of Wemyss Ware made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and an 18th century bracket clock.
Jay, who received an MBE in the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 2021 Birthday Honours, acted in a very friendly manner towards the then-Prince, touching his arm as they laughed together and explored The Prince’s Trust’s Dumfries House in Scotland.
While watching the programme, one viewer asked: ‘What’s the protocol about repeatedly touching the King?’, with it typically being understood that members of the public should wait to see if members of the royal family initiate physical contact first.
On Thursday’s Good Morning Britain, Jay, 52, was asked about this supposed break of royal protocol, insisting that if the King wasn’t happy with the way he was acting, ‘he would have said’.
‘I was touching him and he was returning the touch as well, so the royal protocol is by the person who is a royal. If he didn’t want me to touch him he would have said or someone would have told me, and he would have done that,’ he stated.
‘But I think the way that we have this mutual interest in heritage craft, that’s what bonded us together.’
‘I’m not sure about that,’ Jay replied humbly to the suggestion they had a ‘bromance’ and were akin to Ant and Dec.
Several people commended Jay and the King on their ‘natural’ and ‘warm camaraderie’, with one person stating: ‘The interaction between Jay & Prince Charles appeared to be very natural. Mutual respect.’
‘King Charles and Jay Blades the duo we never knew we needed!’ someone else wrote, while another added: ‘Don’t know about anyone else, but having just seen the amazing episode tonight, I would love to see a Jay and King Charles doing an antiques apprenticeship roadshow series together.’
One person remarked that the pair seemed like ‘old friends’, while another suggested that they should be a ‘regular fixture’ on The Repair Shop.
Before the special episode aired, Jay spoke about what it was like to find shared interests with the King.
‘You’ve got someone from a council estate and someone from a royal estate that have the same interests about apprenticeships and heritage crafts, and it is unbelievable to see that two people from so far apart, from different ends of the spectrum, actually have the same interests,’ he said.
The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.