Antiques Roadshow is a British television programme broadcast by the BBC, whereby antiques experts appraise antique and collectible items owned by members of the public who attend the show.
As a roadshow, the programme travels around the United Kingdom and occasionally overseas meeting local people who wish to learn more about items they own.
Each Christmas, a children’s version of the show entitled “Antiques Roadshow The Next Generation” is aired on the BBC.
The Antiques Roadshow was first broadcast in 1977 as a documentary about a London auction house touring the West Country in England.
The first stop on the tour was Hereford and the show was broadcast on 17 May 1977. The first presenters of the Antiques Roadshow were Bruce Parker and Arthur Negus. Negus remained a presenter on the show until 1983.
Most valuable item
The most valuable item to ever appear on the Antiques Roadshow was a 6 foot high model of the Angel of the North sculpture by Antony Gormley who created the 66 foot version which stands by the A1 motorway in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
The piece was bought in by a representative of Gateshead Council where the model had been on display for 13 years. The model had been used in the past to persuade councillors to commission the full scale sculpture in 1996.
Art expert, Philip Mould, of Philip Mould Fine Paintings, valued the piece at £1 million, making it the most valuable piece in Antiques Roadshow History.
The Antiques Roadshow has seen many valuable items besides the Angel of the North model over the years.
In 2003, Jack Swanston from Dumfries, Scotland bought a collection of 23 Beatrix Potter illustrations and watercolours onto the show. He was informed by antiquarian bookseller Clive Farahar that his collection was worth £250,000.
In 2010, Wendy Jones from Aberglasney, Wales bought a 22inch meat dish onto the show to be appraised. John Axford of Woolley & Wallis auction house informed Mrs Jones that the dish was part of a Royal dinner service and was worth over £100,000, making it the most valuable plate to ever appear of the Antiques Roadshow.
Over the years, many expert appraisers have featured on the Antiques Roadshow. For more information see:
Main article: List of experts who have appeared on BBC Antiques Roadshow
Since 1977 the Antiques Roadshow has seen only 5 presenters. In chronological order these are: Bruce Parker, Angela Rippon, Hugh Scully, Michael Aspel and Fiona Bruce who is the show’s current presenter.
The Antiques Roadshow is primarily based in the UK but has visited several locations overseas during its time on air. The show has also been recreated by other television networks in other countries
In 2005, the Antiques Roadshow visited Australia as a co-production between the BBC and The LifeStyle Channel. The show was presented by Michael Aspel with help from a team of experts including Hilary Kay, Eric Knowles, Paul Atterbury, Tim Wonnacott and Sotheby’s Australia expert Justin Miller.
In 2004, a Canadian version of the show debuted entitled “The Canadian Antiques Roadshow”. Following a similar format to the British version, the show is broadcast by CBC Television. The show is still running today and is presented by Valerie Pringle.
In the Netherlands the show is called “Tuseen Kunst & Kitsch” (Between Art & Kitsch) and is usually set in a museum in the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany.
The American version of the Antiques Roadshow was broadcast by the PBS network. The show was first broadcast in 2007 and follows a similar format the British show.