A chat with Fiona Bruce

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Tv Celebration -

What has been your high­light from work­ing on the show?

‘I feel lucky to have pre­sented An­tiques Road­show for nearly 10 years. I love do­ing it and have had so many high­lights over the years. My per­sonal favourite is when a man of the cloth ar­rived with a paint­ing, which he thought might be a Van Dyck. I was mak­ing a pro­gramme about Van Dyck at the time and thought it looked like the gen­uine ar­ti­cle. My hunch was cor­rect and it’s now be­ing ex­hib­ited as a Van Dyck.’

Why do you think the show is still so pop­u­lar?

‘Prob­a­bly the rea­son I love it. We all hope that we could have some­thing gath­er­ing dust on the man­tel­piece or in the at­tic which turns out to be very valu­able or has an amaz­ing story.’

What’s your ear­li­est mem­ory of An­tiques Road­show?

‘Watch­ing it with my par­ents in our 1970s liv­ing room. I dipped out of it for a while when I started go­ing out, but be­gan watch­ing it again later on. I was thrilled when asked to present it. It’s not of­ten that you’re asked to work on a pro­gramme you’ve watched for so long your­self.’

Has the ex­perts’ knowl­edge rubbed off on you?

‘I’ve cer­tainly learnt more about an­tiques and have my own col­lec­tions of paint­ings. I col­lect things called “sam­plers” which are Vic­to­rian pieces of needle­work usu­ally done by chil­dren in a work­house to show that they had a skill which could be used in ser­vice.’

What is the most sur­pris­ing item some­one has brought along to a val­u­a­tion day?

‘Per­haps the man who turned up with an at­taché case full of loo chains, just a small sam­ple of his col­lec­tion, or the lady who brought a potty which had a pic­ture of Hitler on the bot­tom. When you did a lit­tle “tin­kle” into it, it played a tune. Be­ing rare, I think it was worth over £1,000!’

Do peo­ple go on and ob­tain sec­ond opin­ions of their ob­ject?

‘Oc­ca­sion­ally peo­ple are a bit dis­ap­pointed with our val­u­a­tions on the show. One per­son was fu­ri­ous when an ex­pert con­firmed that their book con­tain­ing au­to­graphs of Hol­ly­wood stars wasn’t gen­uine. So they went to a lo­cal an­tiques shop and re­turned telling us that the shop owner didn’t agree with our opin­ion, even though our ex­pert was Bri­tain’s premier spe­cial­ist. It hap­pens rarely, though.’

Will you ever leave the show?

‘Who knows. I love do­ing it and will con­tinue do­ing it for as long as I can.’

The high­est au­di­ence fig­ure for a Road­show was 15 mil­lion in the 1990s. To­day, a loyal six mil­lion watch the show.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.