Those Antiques

By now most of the English-speaking world is familiar with the Antiques Roadshow. It started in the UK (in 1979 in fact, had no idea it had been running that long) and filtered over to the US. And it can be fun, can’t it? Educational, interesting, and a bit funny to see someone’s surprise when it turns out they have some hidden treasure that’s been parked in the attic.

And then spawned Cash in the Attic, another British show. You call them up and tell them you need to offload antiques, they send an expert and, best of all, show how well it all does at auction. And of course, that was the thrill, wasn’t it? No more mere appraisals, now the experts have to put their money where their mouth is and be judged in the auction room. Then came Bargain Hunt. Why waste time on people hoarding old garbage? This just takes contestants, gives them cash, sends them with an expert to a flea market or whatnot, and then those go to auction. Cut out the middleman, let’s get to the selling!

Eventually the BBC execs figured it out. Who gives a crap about the lowly people. Let’s cut them out of it. Let’s just get the antique experts doing all the work. Thus began the Antiques Road Trip.

Found this show not long ago and it’s pretty fun. Two of the assorted British experts that have ended up evaluating stuff on TV, but this time stuffed in an old car and sent on a week long road trip. Each day they go through towns to buy whatever they think will do well, and at the end of the day an auction. They start with 200 pounds and get too spend their winnings each week. Some cases they earn in the multiple thousands.

But because they’re the experts they look for deals everywhere. One found a small racing stable and asked if they had any old saddles they wanted to sell. They did, and it sold well for him. They get to go looking for the stuff that interests them, which is way better than dealing with the collected trash of unwashed “contestants”. As an added bonus, the banter between them all is really quite funny. 

I’m really hoping it ends up on BBC America. It’s pretty good stuff.