‘Thank you so much’: Judi Dench emotional as The Repair Shop team restore late husband’s watch

‘Thank you so much’: Judi Dench emotional as The Repair Shop team restore late husband’s watch

Dame Judi Dench has said having her late husband’s pocketwatch fixed on The Repair Shop was “more than she could possibly hope for”.

The veteran actress had the sentimental item mended as part of a special live session of the BBC One programme held at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Wednesday (24 August).

The Repair Shop is a BBC programme in which a team of craftspeople work to restore special items for their owners.

During the session at the annual TV event, a video was played showing Dench presenting The Repair Shop team with the pocketwatch, which she had given to her late husband, actor Michael Williams, in 1972.

Dench told presenter and furniture restorer Jay Blades that she had given Williams the watch one year after they married while they were starring in a play together, adding that he had used it during the production.

The actor said that he carried it in his pocket and “treasured it” until he died from lung cancer in 2001, aged 65.

Dench described her late husband as “wonderful” and said it would be “lovely” if she could hear the pocketwatch work again as a reminder of the times they shared.

Dench and Williams in 1970 (Getty Images)
Dench and Williams in 1970 (Getty Images)

Another clip showed horologist Steve Fletcher dismantling the watch so he could thoroughly clean it and repair its mechanisms.

As Dench was presented with the repaired watch live on stage at the TV festival, she appeared emotional and described the work as “sublime” as she held it to her ear to listen to it ticking again after many years of silence.

The team also pointed out that they had engraved her husband’s initials on the back of the watch for her.

“Oh my word, that is more than I could possibly hope for,” she replied. “Thank you so much.”

She added that she was “full of admiration” for the work they do and is an avid viewer of the show.

Dench has previously appeared in a sketch based on The Repair Shop for Comic Relief.

Additional reporting by Press Association.