David & Jay’s Touring Toolshed
Born From The Same Stranger
Back when he was running a stall down Peckham market, the only Trigger that David Jason had to worry about was the roadsweeper played by Roger Lloyd-Pack, pushing his magic broom.
But teaming up with Jay Blades from The Repair Shop as their Touring Toolshed (BBC2) hit the road, Sir David swapped his Reliant three-wheeler for the cockpit of a 1950s Victor jet bomber — complete with nuclear trigger.
In the pilot’s seat was retired aircraft fitter Gordon Talbot, talking him through the procedure for opening the bomb bay and unleashing an atomic blast. David is 83 himself. Beloved for playing Del Boy in Only Fools And Horses, he really was a lad compared to 94-year-old Gordon.
Maybe it’s a smart idea, to put blokes their age in charge of the nuclear deterrent. With a bit of luck, by the time they’ve scrambled and got airborne, the international crisis might be over and another holocaust averted.
Jay Blades and David Jason. Much of the banter is rehearsed, with the star slipping effortlessly into his Del Boy persona. In a lovely closing routine, he gave us a hint of Granville from Open All Hours too, licking an ice cream cornet with a dab of Mr Whippy ending up on his nose
Jay Blades and David Jason. Teaming up with Jay Blades from The Repair Shop as their Touring Toolshed (BBC2) hit the road, Sir David swapped his Reliant three-wheeler for the cockpit of a 1950s Victor jet bomber — complete with nuclear trigger
This V-bomber hasn’t flown for decades and is on display at the Midlands Air Museum, where volunteer Gordon helps to restore the exhibits. But the experience of pressing the red button left David uneasy.
‘I don’t like the sound of all this,’ he murmured. ‘It’s terrible, the technology we have and what we’re still doing to our fellow man. We’ve never learned anything, have we?’
He was happier tinkering with mechanical puppets, such as a skeleton bird with flapping wings, brought to the mobile workshop he shares with Jay. Unlike the Repair Shop barn in Sussex, this one can be towed around the country like a low-budget Roadshow — and if the concept is a little forced, that didn’t bother either of them.
Sian Gibson supplies the commentary for a series of half-hour episodes that airs nightly for three weeks. The duo don’t do much actual engineering themselves — the closest they came was when Jay tried his hand at buffing a metal panel with a power tool, while David peered over his work and offered lukewarm praise.
Much of the banter is rehearsed, with the star slipping effortlessly into his Del Boy persona. In a lovely closing routine, he gave us a hint of Granville from Open All Hours too, licking an ice cream cornet with a dab of Mr Whippy ending up on his nose.
Jay was content to play second fiddle — there’s not much else to be done, with such a consummate scene-stealer at his elbow. But full marks to model-maker Becky, who brought along a wooden head with eyes that rolled as moving struts set the jaw chattering. Asked what she called it, she said, ‘Rodders.’
In his autobiography, serialised by the Daily Mail, Jay has revealed that he refuses to call his biological father by name — preferring the dismissive formula, ‘the man who contributed to my birth’ or TMWCTMB.
This four-part documentary, narrated by Davina McCall, stretches the Long Lost Family format beyond its limits. Pictured: Liam, 28, who was conceived by a sperm donor father
That phrase might sum up the sperm donors whose adult children were trying to track them down in Born From The Same Stranger (ITV1). Most of these men didn’t want to be found, and why should they? They never even met the women who went on to bear their babies, never mind being in a relationship.
This four-part documentary, narrated by Davina McCall, stretches the Long Lost Family format beyond its limits. Anonymity was guaranteed to the donors, back in the 1990s and 2000s, when they could not have foreseen advances in DNA technology and online genealogy services that make it possible to identify almost any blood relative.
Researchers did manage to bring together four half siblings, all sperm donor babies. They seemed happy to meet, but their encounter in a pub was about as emotional as an office lunch.