Antiques Roadshow opening title card
|Starring||Bruce Parker (1979)
Angela Rippon (1979)
Arthur Negus (1979–83)
Hugh Scully (1981–2000)
Michael Aspel (2000–08)
Fiona Bruce (2008–present)
|Theme music composer||Paul Reade and Tim Gibson|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||35|
|No. of episodes||(List of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||BBC One|
|Original run||18 February 1979
|Related shows||Flog It! (2002–present)
Dickinson's Real Deal (2006–present)
Antiques Roadshow is a British television show in which antiques appraisers travel to various regions of the United Kingdom (and occasionally abroad) to appraise antiques brought in by local people. It has been running since 1979.1 There are also international versions of the programme.
The series began as a 1977 BBC documentary about a London auction house doing a tour of the West Country in England. The pilot roadshow was recorded in Hereford on 17 May 1977 presented by Nationwide contributor Bruce Parker and Going for a Song antiques expert Arthur Negus. The pilot was so successful that it was transmitted and the format has remained almost unchanged ever since. (Negus appeared on Antiques Roadshow until 1983). In the original BBC series, various towns or famous places are advertised as venues. The original theme music was Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 3 (for several years in a Moog synthesiser version by Walter Carlos) but was changed in the early 1990s to an original piece, by Paul Reade and Tim Gibson, which has been used ever since. The show has since visited a number of other countries (including Canada in 2001 and Australia in 2005) and has been imitated by other TV production companies around the world.
In the United Kingdom, annual children's Christmas specials aired from 1991 until 2006. These specials aired under the title Antiques Roadshow: The Next Generation (except for the 1991 edition, which was titled Antiques Roadshow Going Live) and used a specially reworked version of the regular theme music. However there was no children's special in 2007; instead an edition was devoted to "antiques of the future" dating from the 1950s to the present day.
A spin-off series, 20th Century Roadshow, focusing on modern collectables, aired between April and June 2005. It was hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. Two other spin-off series, Antiques Roadshow Gems (1991) and Priceless Antiques Roadshow (2009–10), revisited items from the show's history and provided background information on the making of the show and interviews with the programme's experts.
In the 1980s a girl wrote in to Jim'll Fix It to ask if Jimmy Savile, would "fix it" for her to "accidentally" drop and smash a seemingly-valuable vase in an episode of the show. This was broadcast as part of a regular edition, as well as in the Jim'll Fix It episode, with many of the Roadshow spectators looking on in astonishment, until antiques expert David Battie explained the ruse.citation needed
The most valuable item to ever appear on the show featured on 16 November 2008. This was an original 1990s maquette of the Angel of the North sculpture by Antony Gormley, owned by Gateshead Council, which was valued at £1m by Philip Mould.2 Glassware expert Andy McConnell later valued a collection of chandeliers at seven million pounds (their actual insurance value), noting as he did so that this beat Mould's record; however these were fixtures of the building in which the show was being filmed (Bath Assembly Rooms) rather than an item that had been brought in. Conversely, many items brought before the experts are worthless. However, these are seldom shown in the broadcast episodes, to spare embarrassment for the individuals involved.3 Value is not the only criterion for inclusion; items with an interesting story attached, or of a provenance relevant to the show's location, will often be featured regardless of value, and counterfeit objects are sometimes included to give experts an opportunity to explain the difference between real and fake items. All items are appraised, although most appraisals take place off-camera, with only the most promising items (around 50 on an average day) being filmed, of which about 20 appear in the final programme.citation needed
Local people bring along their possessions to be evaluated for authenticity and interest (especially related to the venue) and an approximate valuation is given. Often, the professional evaluators give a rather in-depth historical, craft, or artistic context to the antique, adding a very strong cultural element to the show. This increases the show's appeal to people interested in the study of the past or some particular crafts, or certain arts, regardless of the monetary value of the objects. At the core though, the focus of the production is on the interplay between the owner and the evaluator.
Antiques Roadshow has been hosted by Bruce Parker (1979), Angela Rippon (1979), Arthur Negus (1979–1983), Hugh Scully (1981–2000) and Michael Aspel (2000–2007). Fiona Bruce took over at the beginning of the 2008 series.5
Many experts in the various antiques fields appear on the show either regularly or intermittently. Among the best known are:
- Marc Allum, miscellaneous, since 1998.
- Paul Atterbury, journalist, art and design of the 20th century
- Jon Baddeley, nautical antiques
- David Battie, Japanese and Chinese artefacts
- John Benjamin, gems and jewellery
- John Bly, furniture
- Penny Brittain, furniture and miscellaneous
- Simon Bull, clocks, watches and scientific instruments
- Bunny Campione, miscellaneous, toys
- Alastair Dickenson, silver
- Dendy Easton fine art
- Clive Farahar, books and manuscripts
- Bill Harriman, arms and militaria
- Hilary Kay, toys
- Eric Knowles, ceramics
- Graham Lay, militaria and military history
- Victoria Leatham, eastern ceramics6
- Rupert Maas, art critic, Impressionist and Pre-Raphaelite paintings
- Andy McConnell, glassware
- Judith Miller, expert and author
- Will Farmer, ceramics and 20th Century Decorative Arts
- Steven Moore, ceramics
- Philip Mould, British portraiture
- Geoffrey Munn, jewellery
- Peter Nahum, appeared between 1981 and 20027
- Christopher Payne, furniture
- Ian Pickford, silver
- Mark Poltimore, paintings8
- Henry Sandon, ceramics
- John Sandon, ceramics and glass, son of Henry Sandon
- Clive Stewart-Lockhart, pictures and "miscellaneous"
- Chloe Taylor, wildlife figurines
- Lars Tharp, pottery
- Tim Wonnacott, fine and decorative arts (also presenter of the BBC's Bargain Hunt)
Episodes are usually filmed during the spring and summer and aired the following autumn and winter (into the following year). Each episode is filmed at a different location, although some locations feature in two episodes.
For an itemised listing of the items reviewed in each episode – See the List of Antiques Roadshow episodes
|This section requires expansion. (April 2010)|
In 2005, part of the BBC team visited Australia and produced six one-hour episodes in conjunction with The LifeStyle Channel (XYZnetworks). These were titled Antiques Roadshow Australia. A special was also made about the visit to Australia, entitled Antiques Roadshow Australia: Behind the Scenes.
A Canadian version – called Canadian Antiques Roadshow – debuted in January 2005 on CBC Television and CBC Newsworld. It is hosted by Valerie Pringle. The show has also been aired on CBC Country Canada.
The most expensive item featured was O'Neil's "Eastward Ho!" oil on canvas. Recommended insurance: $500,000 CDN, later sold at Sotheby's in London for £164,800 (about $300,000 CDN at 2008 exchange rate).
In Germany, various versions are broadcast regularly on the public regional channels of the ARD, notable the eldest being the BR production Kunst und Krempel (in English: Art and Junk), which came into being in 1985. Other formats include Lieb & teuer (in English: Near & Dear), shown on NDR, Kitsch oder Kunst?, shown on HR (in English: Kitsch or Art?) or Echt antik?!, shown on SWR (in English: Genuinely Antique?!).
Since 1984, a version has also been aired in the Netherlands under the name Tussen Kunst & Kitsch, (in English: Between Art & Kitsch). Shown on the public broadcaster AVRO, the programme is usually set in a museum in the Netherlands or sometimes in Belgium and Germany. It has become so popular through the years that even specials have been made. The experts take the viewers on a "cultural-art-trip" to places of great importance in the history of art. In 2011, a painting of Joost van Geel with the title 'Het Kantwerkstertje' was discovered with an estimated value of 250,000 euro.9
The Swedish version started out as co-production between SVT Malmö and the BBC where the Antiques Roadshow would visit Scandinavia for two programmes. Antikrundan, its Swedish title, premiered in August 1989 on TV2. Since then, Antikrundan has been shown on SVT every year.
American public broadcaster PBS created a similar show in 1997. The American version of Antiques Roadshow is produced by WGBH, a PBS member station in Boston, Massachusetts. Mark Walberg is host and Marsha Bemko is executive producer.
PBS also airs the original BBC series, though it is called Antiques Roadshow UK to differentiate it from its own version. Values of items in United States dollars are often superimposed over the pound sterling values given in the original broadcast.
The BBC publishes a monthly Home & Antiques magazine, which offers behind-the-scenes insights into the Antiques Roadshow, as well as offering tips and advice on buying and evaluating antiques.
There is also a spin-off magazine of the American version of the show called Antiques Roadshow Insider, which gives fans an inside look at the show as well as offering special features about antiques and collectibles from the series itself.
- BBC – Cult – Classic TV – BBC – Title Sequences – The Antiques Roadshow
- "Antiques Roadshow's Highest Valuation Ever", BBC Channel on YouTube. Retrieved 25 August 2009
- Antiques Roadshow: Collector left embarrassed after told his expensive 'antique' came from Tesco, Daily Mirror. Retrieved 25 August 2009
- Frequently Asked Questions at pbs.org
- "Bruce to host Antiques Roadshow". BBC News. 22 June 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- PBS: Victoria Leatham
- In 1987 a long-lost watercolour by Richard Dadd, The Artist's Halt in the Desert, was discovered by Peter Nahum on the Roadshow. Made while the artist was incarcerated, it is based on sketches made during his tour of the Middle East, and shows his party encamped by the Dead Sea, with Dadd at the far right. http://www.leicestergalleries.com/art-and-antiques/detail/11795) It was later sold for £100,000 to the British Museum.
- PBS: Mark Poltimore
- "Duurste vondst ooit bij Kunst en Kitsch: kwart miljoen". Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- Hugh Scully, Fiona Malcolm, and Paul Atterbury (1998). Antiques Roadshow: A Celebration of the First 21 Years. Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 1-84000-072-4.