“And here’s an excellent example of…”

Published June 22, 2011 by Claire

…”early Edwardian pokerwork, worth in excess of £60, ooo. Did you know you had such a valuable item down the back of your sofa?”

What’s she blethering about now? I hear some of you ask. 

Daytime TV, that’s what – one of the perks (or drawbacks, if you prefer) of working from home. I have my daily viewing schedule, you know. In between bonks, I watch Ironside, then Poirot, then I suffer a couple of hours of Heartbeat and Monarch of the Glen before switching over for ‘Secret Dealers’. And that’s what my opening line referred to.

Have you seen ‘Secret Dealers’? Oh, it’s fab. You’d like it. It’s the most obviously staged ‘reality style’ show I’ve ever seen. The basic premise is that a trio of antique dealers (hand-picked for their ‘quirkiness’, obviously) get free rein to plunder some poor soul’s semi-detached in search of valuables, which they then place ‘secret’ bids on. The patsy is then told the bids and decides whether they want to part with Great Aunt Agatha’s silver plated denture case or hang onto it in the hopes that one day it’ll be worth enough to pay for their Saga Cruise.

Well, who’d credit it? These ordinary folk almost always turn out to have oodles of lovely antiques hanging around the place gathering dust – and they had no idea! They do a cracking job of looking surprised, I grant you – in fact, I strongly suspect that more than half the surprise is due to the fact that they’d never seen the item before it arrived  on the production company’s van that morning.

Cynical, moi? Maybe. All I know is that if they pitched up here and started rooting around in corners, all they’d find worth mentioning is enough dog hair to knit a king-size blanket – and the only antique in the place is me!

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