Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell are delighted to be known as the 'Teddy Bear Ladies' after capturing the nation's hearts on BBC's The Repair Shop.

Their restoration of much-loved, damaged soft toys has often brought viewers to tears, but one occasion it even left them moist-eyed.

Speaking during a filming break for the latest series, Amanda says: "I always remember sad dog who was damaged in a house fire.

"The owner brought him in, he was hers, and her son had taken to him, but this awful fire had burned away one side and left it hard and crispy.

"We had one half and had to recreate the other. She came back, bringing her son and we were nervous because children are tough customers who will tell you if it's right or wrong.

"But when we lifted back the cover he just grabbed him and hugged him.

"That moment broke me. He was so adorable, and we had brought back something that meant so much to him, and given them something back out of that tragedy."

Amanda and Julie's book Bartie Bristle and Other Stories is out now published by Walker BooksAmanda and Julie's book Bartie Bristle and Other Stories is out now published by Walker Books (Image: Walker Books)

The duo, who will be running a special event craft workshop at The Toy Project in Junction Road, Archway, on Sunday, June 23 to promote their children's book Bartie Bristle and Other Stories, (Walker Books £14.99) say they weren't surprised by the success of the show.

"Amanda and I had already experienced what it meant to people to have precious items restored, not just high end antiques, but anything that held that special meaning," says Julie.

"We weren't at all surprised at the reaction to the Repair Shop. It's the most wonderful platform to showcase what crafts people can do. We usually work on our own in little workshops, so to bring us all together with that camaraderie, all having the same goal, it never ceases to amaze us how experts from all parts of the country create such a lovely atmosphere it's a pleasure to work together.

"We call them our Barn Family."

On the set of The Repair ShopOn the set of The Repair Shop

The pair originally worked together repairing toys in their teddy bear shop in the New Forest, when they got a call from producers.

"We were sat working one day, the phone rang and Julie said 'good morning' in her best telephone voice then started flapping her arms at me, and saying 'could you put that in an email and I will get back to you.'

"Then she put down the phone and screamed 'Amanda we are going to be on the telly!'. A month later we were filming the pilot."

The duo have charmed audiences with their friendly banter, and admit they are "a bit of a double act."

Amanda and Julie call the rest of the cast their 'Barn Family'Amanda and Julie call the rest of the cast their 'Barn Family'

"We are the slightly naughty ones in the barn but both of us are passionate about people understanding the skills and time it takes to make Teddy Bears."

Julie first drew their book character Bartie Bristle as their business logo before asking Amanda to turn him into a 3D character.

"She did two prototypes before I was happy," she says. "The character in his face had to be right."

"When you are making something for someone you have to try to get inside their head, she's very fussy!" adds Amanda. "Tiny little details had to be spot on."

Now Bartie is the hero of six adventures in his magical world with his friends inside a teddy bear shop in a village in the 'Old Woods'.

The books reimagine Julie as Mrs T, and Amanda as Rose.

"He's a youthful bear, slightly cheeky always interested in other people," says Julie. "He will ask lots of questions and just wants to learn."

"Some stories are real, some imagined," says Amanda. "As the face of our business he was quite a local celebrity. He did a lot of charity work and even a bungee jump. Once he met Pudsey and formed a human teddy bear chain around the village. He is a very busy bear, in fact he's getting a bit big-headed."

As well as writing stories Amanda and Julie are currently filming the new series of The Repair Shop.As well as writing stories Amanda and Julie are currently filming the new series of The Repair Shop. (Image: Walker Books)

As for them, The Repair Shop has brought them fame - but they don't mind.

"We definitely struggle to go out shopping but we love chatting and meeting people they are always so kind and lovely. Repair Shop fans are so adorable."

Bartie Bristle and Other Stories, illustrated by Elke Boschinger, is published by Walker Books. To celebrate publication, Julie and Amanda are holding a special event at The Toy Project in Junction Road, Archway, including a craft activity to make a bookmark.