Behind the scenes: Celebrating Antiques Roadshow’s 40th anniversary
Antiques Roadshow, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, is back on our TV screens. Here, we go behind the scenes of one of the BBC’s best-loved programmes...
M ark has worked with antiques and collectables since leaving university. He joined the AR team of experts in 2007 and has many personal highlights from the show. And the new series is no exception…
‘My favourite find so far has been a Steiff clown [bear], brought in by a lady who bought it in the 1970s. She had no idea it was by Steiff and hadn’t even noticed the magic button in the back of the ear. She was absolutely delighted when I told her it could be worth £800-£1,000, especially as she’d only spent £6.’
Every object is special in its own right, says, Mark, but there is one item he’d love to see brought in for valuation. ‘My dream item would be a Dunhill Namiki fountain pen. They were produced in the 1920s and 1930s and lacquered with all sorts of creatures, like dragons, birds and fish. They’re fantastically detailed and took months to create. That for me would be an extremely special object.’
Reflecting on the show’s enduring appeal, Mark says, ‘It’s eternally popular because people love a good story. It starts when you’re young and being lulled to sleep by your parents reading a story.
You’re transported to other times and cultures – your mind drifts away and is expanded. Plus, we’re all a little bit greedy! So it’s about the money and stories combined.’
Between 15-20,000 items are scanned at each show by the experts with 50 filmed for inclusion in the two shows made at each location.
David Battie is the only expert who’s been on the show since series one.
A chat with expert Mark Hill