Antiques Roadshow

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Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow title logo
Created by BBC Studios
Theme music composer Paul Reade and Tim Gibson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series42
No. of episodes827 (list of episodes)
Running time60 minutes
Original network BBC One
Original release18 February 1979 (1979-02-18) 
Related shows

Antiques Roadshow is a British television programme broadcast by the BBC in which antiques appraisers travel to various regions of the United Kingdom (and occasionally in other countries) to appraise antiques brought in by local people. It has been running since 1979, based on a 1977 documentary programme. [1] The programme has spawned versions in other countries with the same TV format, including Canada and the United States. As of 2020, it is in its 42nd series and has been presented by Fiona Bruce since 2008. [2]



Paul Atterbury examines an antique cricket bat AntiquesRoadshowPaulAtterbury.JPG
Paul Atterbury examines an antique cricket bat

The programme 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 and presented by contributor Bruce Parker, a presenter of news/current affairs programme Nationwide and antiques expert Arthur Negus, who had previously worked on a similarly-themed show, Going for a Song . 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 programme, various towns or famous places are advertised as venues. 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, 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. Since then individually-themed specials have been aired, though not every year.

A spin-off programme, 20th Century Roadshow, focusing on modern collectibles, aired between April and June 2005. It was hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. Two other spin-off programmes, 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 £1,000,000 by Philip Mould. [3] 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. In reality, the two most expensive objects to be sold as a result of being discovered on the show are the 1932 [4] camera found by Marc Allum, which realised over $600,000 (US) in 2013 and the Christofle et Cie Japonisme jardiniere filmed by Eric Knowles, which sold for £668,450 (including buyers premium).

Conversely, many items brought before the experts are without commercial value, if not outright counterfeits. They are seldom shown in the broadcast episodes, to spare embarrassment for the individuals involved, [5] although counterfeit objects are sometimes included, to give experts an opportunity to explain the difference between real and fake items. 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. An episode commemorating the end of the First World War and featuring personal mementoes, included no valuations. 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 ]

The Artist's Halt in the Desert by Moonlight, watercolour, by Richard Dadd The-halt-in-the-desert-richard-dadd.jpg
The Artist's Halt in the Desert by Moonlight, watercolour, by Richard Dadd

Some significant items have been acquired by museums after being sold once their owners were appraised of their true value. An example is the watercolour painting The Artist's Halt in the Desert by Richard Dadd, discovered and shown by Peter Nahum in 1986 and purchased the next year by the British Museum [6] for £100,000. [7] Another such item, later dubbed "Ozzy the Owl", is a Staffordshire slipware jug, valued by Henry Sandon on a 1990 show at £20,000 to £30,000, [7] and subsequently acquired by Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. [8]

The original theme music was Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (for several years in a Moog synthesiser version by Wendy Carlos), but was changed in the early 1990s to an original piece. This theme was written by Paul Reade and Tim Gibson and published by Air Edel. [9]


Visitors (predominantly from the local area) bring along their possessions to be evaluated for authenticity and interest (especially related to the venue) and an approximate valuation is given. The production team selects the items whose appraisal is to be televised. Often, the professional evaluators give a rather in-depth historical, craft, or artistic context to the item, 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.[ citation needed ] 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:

Programme experts for 2020

Antiques Roadshow has a team of experts numbering over 60. Many have areas of speciality, some of them are long tenuring experts on the programme. [11]

Arms and Militaria

Books and Manuscripts

Ceramics and Glass

Clocks and Watches




Pictures and Prints




Episodes are usually filmed during the spring and summer and aired the following autumn and winter (into the following year). Each location visited is covered by one or two (exceptionally even three) episodes.

Filming and valuation venues for 2020

Filming and valuation venues for 2020 are: [12]

Items reviewed

International versions


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. [13] A special was also made about the visit to Australia, entitled Antiques Roadshow Australia: Behind the Scenes.


In Flanders, the television channel VTM has been broadcasting a local version, [14] called Rijker dan je denkt? (in English: Richer than you think?) since 2012, which is hosted by Staf Coppens.


Eastward Ho! (1857) by Henry Nelson O'Neil was appraised on Canadian Antiques Roadshow Henry Nelson O'Neil - Eastward Ho! - 1857.jpg
Eastward Ho! (1857) by Henry Nelson O'Neil was appraised on Canadian Antiques Roadshow

In Canada Canadian Antiques Roadshow – a programme based on the British and American versions [15] - 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 Henry Nelson O'Neil's "Eastward Ho!" oil on canvas. Recommended insurance: CDN$500,000, later sold at Sotheby's in London for GB£164,800 (about CDN$300,000 at the 2008 exchange rate).


The Finnish version, known as Antiikkia, antiikkia , [16] which just means Antiques, antiques, has been running on YLE TV1 since 1997.


In Germany, various versions are broadcast regularly on the public regional channels of the ARD, 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?) and Echt Antik?!, shown on SWR (in English: Genuinely antique?!).


The show Tussen Kunst & Kitsch has been aired in the Netherlands since 1984. [17] This programme, translating to Between Art & Kitsch, is based on the BBC-format Antiques Roadshow. [18] Shown on the public broadcaster AVRO (since the end of 2014 by AVROTROS), 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 in which 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 (in English: The Little Lacemaker) was discovered with an estimated value of 250,000 euro, which is the highest validation ever in the show. [19] The programme has been presented by Cees van Drongelen (1984-2002) and Nelleke van der Krogt (2002-2015), celebrating its 30th series in 2014 and has featured a new presenter, Frits Sissing, as of September 2015.


The Swedish version started out as a co-production between SVT Malmö and the BBC, where the Antiques Roadshow would visit Scandinavia for two programmes. [20] Antikrundan, its Swedish title, premiered in August 1989 on TV2. Since then, it has been shown on SVT every year.

As of 2019, 30 seasons have been shown and most of the experts have been with the programme since its start. Jesper Aspegren was the original host. He left in 2000, and from the 2001 season Antikrundan is hosted by Anne Lundberg.

The BBC original is also shown regularly on Swedish television, under the name Engelska Antikrundan ("English [ sic ] Round of Antiques").

United States

American public broadcaster PBS created a show in 1997 inspired by the Antiques Roadshow. [21] 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 programme, though it is called Antiques Roadshow UK to differentiate it from the PBS version. Values of items in United States dollars are often superimposed over the pound sterling values given in the original broadcast.


Overseas specials

Hugh Scully hosted a Beaulieu based show on 3 January 1993, [22] a Jamaican based show on 14 February 1993, [23] a Cork based show on 13 February 1994 [24] and a Brussels based show on 16 April 1995, [25] all on the BBC.

Antiques Roadshow Detectives

Fiona Bruce together with individual Antiques Roadshow appraisers investigate the history of significant items, uncovering the stories that form the history of family heirlooms and finding out about their origin and authenticity. [26]


This one-season programme was broadcast in 2015 and comprises 15 episodes. [27]

In Sweden it was shown on SVT in Autumn 2018 under the name of Engelska Antikrundan: Arvegodsens hemligheter ("English Round of Antiques: The Secrets of the Heirlooms").


The first episode, about a Cromwellian escutcheon, was given three stars (out of five) by Christopher Stevens of Daily Mail , while Ellen E Jones of The Independent called it "a welcome addition to the schedules". [28]



The BBC published a monthly Home & Antiques magazine until 2011, which offered behind-the-scenes insights into Antiques Roadshow, as well as offering tips and advice on buying and evaluating antiques. [29] This magazine still exists, currently published by Immediate. [30]

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 programme itself.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

<i>Bargain Hunt</i> television series

Bargain Hunt is a British television programme in which two pairs of contestants are challenged to buy antiques from shops or a fair and then sell them in an auction for a profit. It has aired on BBC One since 13 March 2000 in a daytime version, and from 22 August 2002 to 13 November 2004 in a primetime version.

Arthur George Negus, OBE was a British television personality and antiques expert, specialising in furniture.

<i>Flog It!</i> BBC television series

Flog It! is a BBC television series that has been broadcast since 27 May 2002, presented by Paul Martin.


Antikrundan is the Swedish version of the original BBC format Antiques Roadshow. The show visits different locations in Sweden and lets people bring their antiques to be valued by experts. It has stayed popular throughout the years, often with more than two million viewers in a country with 8-9 million inhabitants. The 30th season was shown from November 2018 to April 2019. Most of the experts have been with the programme since the start. The show has been hosted by Anne Lundberg since 2001.

Going for a Song is an antiques quiz show broadcast by the BBC from 1965–1977. It was a forerunner of the Antiques Roadshow. The original television series was hosted by presenter Max Robertson, with Arthur Negus appearing as the resident expert and antique valuer. Revivals of the programme were made in the 1990s, hosted by Michael Parkinson (1995-1999), and Anne Robinson (2000), with Eric Knowles as the resident antiques expert, and in 2001 by Michael Aspel.

Henry Sandon British antique expert

Henry George Sandon, MBE is an English antique expert, television personality, author and lecturer specialising in ceramics and is a notable authority on Royal Worcester porcelain. He was curator of the Dyson Perrins Museum for many years.

Hilary Kay British-Australian antiques expert

Hilary Marion Kay is a British antiques expert, author and lecturer, probably best known for her many appearances on BBC TVs Antiques Roadshow programme on which she is a member of the team of experts.

Clive Farahar is a British dealer and expert on books and manuscripts. He is best known as an expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, which he joined in 1986.

Jon Baddeley is a fine art auctioneer, an authority on scientific instruments and collectables, a broadcaster and an author.

Graham Charles Lay was a British antiques expert specialising in arms, armour and militaria, and military history, probably best known for his many appearances on BBC TVs Antiques Roadshow television programme, where he had been one of the team of experts since 1988. He was regularly seen wearing a 'Blue Peter' badge.

<i>Auction Kings</i> television series

Auction Kings was a reality television series produced by Authentic Entertainment for the Discovery Channel. The series premiered on October 26, 2010 and the Atlanta auction house Gallery 63 in Sandy Springs, Georgia, located on Roswell Road immediately north of the Atlanta city limit. The gallery has since moved into the City of Atlanta. The series capitalized on the success of the History Channel's widely successful Pawn Stars. The auction house employees often rely on experts to appraise items of which historical background is provided to the viewer. Sellers offer comments regarding the merchandise at hand both before and after the auction. At the second commercial break, a multiple-choice question about the auction house or the items is presented. The show ran its final episode on May 16, 2013.

<i>Antiques Roadshow</i> (American TV program) American television program

Antiques Roadshow is an American television program broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Public television stations. The program features local antiques owners who bring in items to be appraised by experts. Provenance, history, and value of the items are discussed. Based on the original British Antiques Roadshow, which premiered in 1979, the American version first aired in 1997. When taping locations are decided, they are announced on the program's website raising the profile of various small to mid-size cities, such as Billings, Montana; Biloxi, Mississippi; Bismarck, North Dakota; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Rapid City, South Dakota. Antiques Roadshow has been nominated 16 times for a Primetime Emmy.

Antiques Roadshow is a British television series produced by the BBC since 1979. Series 27 (2004/05) comprised 25 editions that were broadcast by the BBC from 5 September 2004 – 20 March 2005

Antiques Roadshow is a British television series produced by the BBC since 1979. Series 28 (2005/06) comprised 25 editions that were broadcast by the BBC from 4 September 2005 – 19 March 2006.

Antiques Roadshow is a British television series produced by the BBC since 1979. Series 29 (2006/07) comprised 31 editions that were broadcast by the BBC from 3 September 2006 – 22 April 2007

Antiques Roadshow is a British television series produced by the BBC since 1979. Series 30 (2007/08) comprised 27 editions that were broadcast by the BBC from 2 September 2007 – 30 March 2008

Antiques Roadshow is a British television series produced by the BBC since 1979. Series 26 (2003/04) comprised 25 editions that were broadcast by the BBC from 7 September 2003 – March 2004

<i>Market Warriors</i> television series

Market Warriors was an American reality television series that follows four professional antiquers as they buy assigned items at flea markets and antique shows on a budget. The items are then sold at auction, where the antiquers compete for the highest profit, which is most often determined by the lowest loss.

Gary Sohmers

Gary Sohmers, also known as the "King of Pop Culture", is an American appraiser and fan convention producer. He is widely known as an appraiser of collectibles, pop culture items, and toys on the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow, and is recognized by his long gray ponytail, and preference of Aloha shirts and orange Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.


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