Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.
This type of problem is often caused by a contaminated laser lens. You can attempt to clean it by blowing out the disc tray/slot area with a can of compressed air for dusting computers (keep the can upright only so you don't get chemical propellant on the lens).
If this doesn't help, you can try a specialty cleaning disc (Allsop 23321 Ultra Pro Carbon-Edge DVD and CD-Drive Cleaner) which has little brushes that clean the lens more thoroughly.
If neither of these cleaning steps help, then this is more likely a hardware fault, which could include a bad laser emitter or pickup, faulty spindle motor or laser transport, bad d/a converter, etc. Any of these issues would require repair/replacement.
I tried the lens cleaning disc with no result so I guess the fault is more along the lines of your other suggestions. I will need to find a repair shop that deals with this. Any ideas for a UK facility?
I can certainly try to help you find a nearby shop, but in general this type of issue usually isn't repairing. You'd spend more on labor costs alone than you would to buy a whole new player. So unless you have a sentimental attachment, you'd be better off just replacing it entirely. I can offer recommendations for that as well, or finding a shop (let me know your post code)