BBC’s The Repair Shop helps grieving man by restoring dead partner’s toy monkey

A man’s childhood toy monkey has been restored by experts at The Repair Shop. Keith Jones from Cheshire brought the beloved stuffed animal, which belonged to his partner Peter but had apparently been lost for years.

Speaking to soft toy specialists Julie and Amanda on the BBC Restoration Programme, Keith explained how Peter died last year after the couple both contracted coronavirus. Three weeks after his death, Keith found Monkey in a small box among his possessions and has since sought solace in his company.

He said: “It was a great relief that I found him but also sad that Peter never found him.[…] I talk to him every night – it might sound a little silly but it’s still a connection to Peter.

Read more: EastEnders are about to ax Lola Pearce and fans are furious

“Life isn’t like it used to be. I sit down now and think about what was.”

But with Monkey suffering the effects of age – with frayed legs, damaged face and discolored fur – Keith decided to seek restoration. Experts sewed new legs from matching felt, patched his face, lined his back and gave him a new cleaning.

Amanda said, “We’re just stabilizing him to last a few more years. So Keith can hold him when he’s feeling a little down and Monkey is there to support him like Peter would have when he was here.”

Keith praised the work of the specialists, adding that Peter “would be delighted”. Observing the new backpack on Monkey’s shoulders, he said, “When I start traveling again, he can come with me.”

Reacting to Keith’s story on social media, viewers expressed their sympathy and respect for him finding solace in Monkey. Avril said: “RIP Peter. Such a sad story. Monkey was always meant to be found to comfort his partner.”

Andrew posted: “Oh no. I can smell it already. I’m going to be brought to tears by a refurbished toy monkey.”

Mick commented: “Still in awe of the people at #RepairShop. They are all amazing at what they do.”

Other items repaired during Wednesday’s episode included a motorcycle-style rocking horse and a suffragette autograph book signed by Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst.

The Repair Shop airs Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.