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Inside the life of The Repair Shop’s Suzie Fletcher

A new season of  is just around the corner and with its return comes a whole host of fan favourites.

Resident leather and saddle expert, Suzie Fletcher quickly became popular after joining her brother Steve on the second season of the show.

Steve shared a similar career path to his father and grandfather, specialising in horology but Suzie took a different route.

She has over five decades worth of experience in leather work and saddle making.

As another season of The Repair Shop is set to air, MailOnline takes a look at the TV presenter’s life.

Resident leather expert Suzie Fletcher alongside her fellow experts are making a comeback for another season
As the bubbly saddle expert is set to appear on our screens once again, MailOnline takes a look at Suzie Fletcher's life

Abusive Marriage

Although Suzie had already been married in her 20s, when she met her late husband James Allen Baker in her early 30s she was head over heels.

She made the move oversees only three months after she first set eyes on her husband, however the honeymoon period did not last long.

Writing for the Mail On Sunday, the TV presenter recalled how their relationship took a turn as they were moving into their third home together in Colorado.

Publicly, Suzie has always given James the alias of Rob, however recently MailOnline uncovered his true identity.

When their neighbour came to visit their new home, James began showing off about how he was going to put up centrefolds of nude women in his ‘man cave’.

Suzie wrote: ‘When we’d visited my family back in England, American-born James had been shocked by the pornography for sale on the top shelves of newsagents’ shops.

‘But today, in front of the bloke from next door, he was going on about having posters showing naked women on the walls.

‘It was as if he was trying to make me feel rubbish about myself by belittling me and battering my self-confidence.’

Annoyed and upset, Suzie remembered how she slammed the door in frustration with it accidentally hitting her husband.

She said: ‘The door scraped over his toes and took a layer of skin off. There was this frightening roar from him.

‘He was in a lot of pain, but I’ll never forget the pure fury in his face. I knew I was in trouble.

‘I raced to the hall and he came after me. But I’d run in the wrong direction, a place from which there was no escape. I was cornered.

‘That’s when he got me with his forearm under my throat. Rob had once been a competitive wrestler so he knew the move well. It was easy for him to lift me up until my feet no longer touched the carpet.

She continued: ‘I honestly thought I was going to die. He was choking me and could easily have killed me. I don’t know why but eventually he let go.’

Reflecting on other incidents when her late husband became violent, Suzie noted that James’ temper would often get worse the more he drank.

Suzie's abusive late husband James Allen Baker (pictured) - referred in her book by the alias of Rob - once held her by her throat in the air

Life After Grief

James suddenly passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, with the death coming as a shock to the entire family as no one knew he was ill.

Remembering an emotional conversation with her husband prior to his passing, the presenter remembered he hoped their union ‘wasn’t all bad’.

After his death, Suzie had no intention of starting a new relationship channelling a great deal of her energy into her creative skills.

Saying this brought her ‘joy and confidence’ on The Repair Shop, she added: ‘I don’t think any of that would have been possible without such a caring group of people around me.’

Her husband oilfield worker from Eaton, Colorado, died of pancreatic cancer at just 52 - Suzie has not pursued another relationship since

Dyslexia Struggles at School

Her marriage struggles weren’t the only difficulties the saddlemaker faced as she revealed on BBC Woman’s Hour in 2023 that she found school difficult due to her dyslexia.

Branding herself as not ‘terribly bright’ due to her dyslexia, said without her creative streak she would have ‘really suffered emotionally’.

Promoting her memoir  The Sun Over Mountains, the presenter shared with host Krupa Thakrar Padhy that she didn’t feel ‘terribly good’ about herself as a youngster because she was never perceived as academic.

Reflecting about her time in full-time education, unbeknown to teachers, Suzie battled with undiagnosed dyslexia daily.

Suzie added: ‘So I grew up thinking that I wasn’t terribly bright.

Time spent with horses provided an outlet for the presenter to feel better about herself.

In her memoir, Suzie shared that she became interested in animals from a young age.

She explained: ‘My dad used to joke that ‘horse’ was the first word I spoke. I was obsessed with these enormous, powerful creatures from the youngest age.

‘So it was no surprise to anybody when, at 16, I went off to train as a master saddler at Cordwainers College in London.’

Suzie also faced educational challenges, having to confront her undiagnosed dyslexia on a daily basis in school

Mother’s Post Natal Depression

The TV host also has an older brother named Stevie, who is also a host on the popular daytime show.

In previous interviews, Suzie has often described her brother with whom she was raised in Oxfordshire as her ‘rock’

In an interview with , she shared that her parents had a big influence on both her and Steve’s career paths.

Their father was a hydrologist and their mother was a very talented seamstress who could turn her hand to most designs.

Suzie also explained in the interview how their mother suffered with postnatal depression.

Suzie said: ‘For mum, I feel incredibly sorry because of course back then they didn’t really appreciate how devastating it was and the treatment that they offered her was barbaric.

‘I just look back at the whole thing and just feel even more appreciative of what they were able to do for us considering what was going on behind the scenes because of course families didn’t share.’

She and her brother Steve (pictured) are extremely close, with Suzie often describing him as her 'rock'