TV presenters Fiona Phillips and Richard Madeley travel the entire length of Cornwall with experts Charles Hanson and James Braxton as they go in search of antiques.
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The nation's favourite celebrities...
What if we were to say 150 for the two?
You've got yourself a deal.
..one antiques expert each...
-# Da-da-dana-dana-da! #
-I like it, I like it.
..and one big challenge - who can seek out and buy
the best antiques at the very best prices...
I love it.
THEY BOTH LAUGH
..and auction for a big profit further down the road?
Potential for disaster.
Who will spot the good investments? Who will listen to advice?
What you've just come out with there, I cannot believe that.
And who will be the first to say, "Don't you know who I am?!"?
Time to put your pedal to the metal.
This is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
Welcome to gorgeous Cornwall,
the location of today's Celebrity Road Trip.
And examining the 1961 Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite...
-It is gorgeous, though.
-It is nice, isn't it?
..are two well-loved faces of British TV.
Say hello to the rather lovely Fiona Phillips...
And these doors are so thin!
..and the irrepressible Richard Madeley,
both firm admirers of the classic car.
Old cars, you know, they look great, but they drive like crap.
Well, that's polite(!)
Now, time to get these two on the road.
They have two days and £400 each to turn as much profit as possible,
which will go to Children in Need.
Hang on, I'm clearly doing something wrong.
-There we go.
This could be an exciting ride!
What's known as "riding the clutch". Oh, boy!
Ah, yes. Fiona Phillips has done it all,
from current affairs to starting our day for us from the GMTV sofa.
she's even been crowned one of Europe's sexiest vegetarians.
My passion is... Not you.
-This car's heating up!
-Yes, it is.
-That's all coming from the engine.
-It's not a happy engine, is it?
Don't worry, it'll be fine.
-I think we're going to be walking.
Richard Madeley is one half of that legendary showbiz couple -
Richard and Judy.
These days, you'll find him very much at home on Radio Two.
Thirteen minutes past eight o'clock on Radio Two,
this is the Chris Evans Breakfast Show,
with Richard sitting in for him. He's back on Monday.
They were so impressed, they gave him his own show.
-I just want to say, it's not me, OK?
-No, I can tell that.
Once they top three miles an hour,
our celebrities will each have their very own expert
to help them buy, sell and hopefully make a profit at auction.
And here they come.
Say hello to Charles Hanson...
Oh, Lord! ..and James Braxton...
I'll find second now.
..who are in a wee spot of bother
with this rather fun 1982 Citroen 2CV.
Oh, that's low gear!
-That's first gear!
-Right, push it up now.
-Oh, yeah, that's it.
James Braxton boasts 20 years' experience in auctioneering,
and says his passion for antiques comes from being dragged
through stately homes by his loving parents.
Charles Hanson, on the other hand,
has been in this business just over a decade,
but both his knowledge and his hunger for discovery
cannot be denied.
And his desire to be Fiona Phillips' team-mate.
We're not flipping a coin for this one -
you're dead set on Fiona, aren't you?
Well, Jim, you know, we must be fair.
-Who would you prefer?
-I can see your heart's...
-But sell it to me!
-I'm not going to be an obstacle for love.
Oh, get outta here!
THEY BOTH LAUGH
Our road trip today sees us on a whirlwind tour of Cornwall.
We're headed to the coast,
then going as far south
as it's possible to go,
and back up for an auction in Bude,
though, first, our experts and celebrities
will rendezvous in Lostwithiel.
But there's just one small problem.
-ENGINE SPLUTTERS AND DIES
-It's called the Sprite.
As I predicted, we have now broken down.
Let's just try it one more time. It's been misfiring.
But at least we've broken down in an antique.
No. The little Sprite isn't feeling very spritely this morning.
Fortunately, our celebrities are made of stern stuff.
Within seconds, Fiona's popped the bonnet,
and Richard's bringing to bear his VAST mechanical knowledge.
Um, I think we're screwed, actually.
So what they need now is rescuing.
MUSIC: "Theme From Thunderbirds"
Probably what they need to do is clean the sparking plugs,
and, for that, you need a socket.
Richard, that is about the tenth reason you've gone for!
I'm thinking on my feet here!
I did think you knew what you were talking about to start off with.
-Oh, here they are, look.
By comparison, that's practically a Rolls Royce compared to this.
It's prehistoric! Hello!
-Our rescue vehicle!
-You can stop now, if you want.
-How's it going?
-So which one's in the shining armour?
First and foremost, do either of you know anything
about cars of this vintage and fixing them?
Because it's misfiring and it keeps just cutting out.
You can see where our priorities are - we need to be rescued!
There's gratitude for you.
Car troubles aside, you also need to decide who's going with whom.
I thought you and I are from the, what, 1970s...
I sense an insult coming.
You have that collectability,
and these two guys, with their pedigree,
and slightly more worldly-wise thoughts...
Richard and I were at our prime, obviously, in the early '80s.
Yes, that's when we peaked, I think.
You've given me an almighty compliment,
because Richard and I are of the same vintage, aren't we?
-Just rub it in, Fiona!
-CHARLES: Really? I'm sorry!
-Are you still interested now, Charles?
Yes, I am.
Well, that's Charles happy, and once we get the Sprite up and running,
finally, this road trip can begin.
Better late than never, I suppose.
Lostwithiel is a small town
which, 700 years ago, was the undisputed capital of Cornwall.
Thanks in part to the Cornish tin industry,
this was a major port, second only to Southampton.
Now, while today, things are a LITTLE quieter,
the area is teeming with antique shops,
something that has James Braxton rather excited.
-We want to find something...
We want to find something that's going to profit, and we've got £400.
-Come on, Richard. Get in there.
-And we want to spend it all. £400.
-So do I.
Get in there.
While Team Braxton moves boldly towards its first purchase,
Charles is struggling just to park.
Thanks, Fiona, you're a strong lady.
With all that under control, they're off to Nanadobbie,
the shop that specialises in mid-century modern.
I need to wipe my feet!
This is a very stylish shop, isn't it? Hello, sir.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, thanks.
-May we browse your shop?
That's Mike, by the way.
Though, right now, Fiona's more interested in this little lady.
I don't know what the look on her face is.
She's almost in tears. She's terrified.
-She's quite flirtatious around the mouth still!
-Yeah, she is. Yeah.
Mm. She's not the only one.
And tell me, Fiona, are you a Fifi or a Fiona?
Oh, no, I'm not a Fi...
Although Richard calls me Fifi sometimes, actually, yeah.
-I think it's a bit overfamiliar.
-What should I call you?
-Fiona, OK. Maybe Fifi later.
-Yeah, maybe later!
-You are a Fifi sort of person, aren't you?
-Well, I could be.
-Yeah, I think you are.
Goodness me, those two are fresh.
Thankfully, back at Uzella Court,
James and Richard are focused on the task in hand.
You see, they're quite fun, these Indian porcupines.
-Is that what that is, that box?
-That box, yeah.
-That's a sort of country-housey sort of item.
-Yes, it is, isn't it?
-Something somebody would've brought back from Empire.
It's something you put on a tabletop,
and it... It's those little additions that make a home.
I must admit, that appeals to me.
Oh, good. That's £85.
The problem with these is they generally have losses to them.
-So it's the quills.
-In good nick, isn't it?
-It's quite fun, isn't it?
-You think it's from India?
-Yeah, they were made in India.
-And what period?
-Er...early 19th century,
so they're sort of slightly older.
They're not late-Victorian ones, they have a bit of age.
-So going on for a couple of hundred years then?
Well, in that... Now you've said all that, 85 doesn't sound...
-Can we knock her down?
Of course we can. I like it.
-I would like to buy it, if we can.
-Shall we hang on to that?
As for the competition, they're still flirting...
-It's vintage, so...
..with each other...
-I like your shirt as well.
-..and with Mike.
-Is that mid-century?
-No. I am, though.
THEY ALL LAUGH
-But the only... If you were looking to take a bit of a gamble...
-..but something that's maybe had a bit more mainstream appeal...
..you looked at it.
Well, yeah, I saw that - Zulu. And I said, "Oh, my goodness, Zulu!"
Because it's a classic film.
Released in '64, it was Michael Caine's breakthrough performance.
Though, being shot in South Africa,
cast and crew were told not to fraternise
with the topless tribal dancers,
as the penalty for interracial sex then was seven years' hard labour.
It's something which I think is not too expensive at 120, really.
-No, I think that's very good.
-For what it is.
But at the same time, it's something which...
is a gamble, as life is.
Well, Fiona's the boss, and while she thinks it over,
James and Richard have spotted another possibility.
-Keep going, keep going.
-Oh, it's a pencil!
-And it's silver.
-It's silver, and Sampson Mordan,
-he was sort of Paul Smith of yesteryear.
And he produced lots of fabulously-designed luxury goods,
quite manly goods.
So up until this time,
sort of Victorians had used pencils, but they were very thin and fiddly,
over-decorated, and horrid to use - they were sharp and angular.
-Whereas this is quite chunky, isn't it?
By the way, Sampson Mordan
were actually the co-inventors of the propelling pencil
and it first went on sale in 1823.
-What would it be used for?
Chap would have had it on his watch chain, and racing was a big thing,
-day at the races, and you would...
-You'd mark your card.
And the ticket price? £59.
-Is it dated?
-It says, "Silver pencil, S Mordan..."
Yeah, Sampson. "..London, 1911," so just before the Great War.
Yeah. That's 101 years old, and still in bright condition.
-Yeah. I love it.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
I'm getting a vibe from you.
I'm getting a sense that this could make money.
I don't know if it would make a huge amount of money,
but it's a REALLY nice piece.
-Is it a collectible? Do people collect this stuff?
-It is, yeah.
Shall we put...50, 59? What do you think we should...?
I think we should try and get it...
-I think we should launch in at 35.
So, it's that and the porcupine box to negotiate.
But hang on - the competition's arrived.
Nothing to see, nothing to see here, is there?
-Why are your hands behind your back?
-Exactly, what are you hiding?
-It's how we stand!
-What are you hiding?
In case you're wondering,
even though Fiona's moved on to this shop,
she's still pondering that Zulu movie print.
-Where's the big lump of furniture?
-Have you bought anything?
-No, we haven't. We've mentally noted a few things.
-After you, then. Let's bypass these...
We're finished now, Madeley!
Now, now, you two. Concentrate on your own shopping.
We've got two items here,
wondered whether you could do the two for £85?
I think that's a damn good offer, actually.
It's pushing it a bit.
-Well, that's our business, Judith!
-And it's my business as well.
-I know, I know.
It's two great sides meeting - the dealers and the auctioneers.
Nice try, James,
but I don't think Judith is falling for the old Braxton charm much.
How about 100 for the pair?
100, what does that break down at?
-I tell you what, 90. 90 and you have a deal.
Do you think she's being fair with us?
Considering the asking price of both,
and the quality, let's be honest, I think it's a fair deal.
I think it's a fair deal. Judith, thank you very much indeed.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Thanks a lot.
So £75 to the lady.
THEY ALL LAUGH
As for the slowcoaches out the back...
A late-Victorian, early-Edwardian cigar humidifier.
What's a humidifier, a cigar humidifier? I'm being ignorant.
See, I don't know either. Isn't that...?
No, it's where they're stored.
Of course, to keep them airtight. I like it.
Yeah, ten points, Fiona, good girl.
This device allows you to store and keep fresh a partially smoked cigar.
So how would it work?
That's your stand, then you've got your little sort of screw lid
for your cigar to go in there. Isn't that stylish?
I've never seen one before in my life, never.
In all my years of doing antiques.
And that, you know, well, for someone who smokes a cigar,
-that would be wonderful, that would be a gorgeous little present.
Now you're thinking!
If you were, you know, a fairly highbrow businessman
-and this was on your desk, "Have a cigar, hey, mate."
You know, impress your buddy.
And out it comes, take the cigar out and that's just a sweet object.
But it all depends on the auction.
I'd hate to see your investment go up in smoke. Ha!
It's something which I really like.
-It could make 150 in the right audience.
-It could, couldn't it?
-But it could, could, could, it could make £30.
So, you know, maybe it's something to get your teeth round,
-but not quite a...
£75, yeah. It's, you know, it's worthy of thought.
So more pondering!
-We've got quite a few mental notes, haven't we, going on?
-Yeah, we have.
Still no actual buying!
James and Richard, meanwhile, are ready to hit the road,
but there's just one small issue...
Bye, thanks for nothing!
..and it's red. Their Austin Sprite is completely jiggered.
-It's dead, isn't it? I think.
-Dead as a door nail.
So a new mode of transport is required.
What about that boat, is that...?
Yeah, that's practical(!)
-Padstow's... Padstow's north, is it?
-That way, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Anyway, anyway. Hey, hold the phone, I see the 2CV over there.
Surely they're not suggesting stealing Charles' and Fiona's car?!
Let's go. I think we should hurry, Richard, I've got this terrible...
Do you feel guilty about this?
No, I don't feel guilty, but I've got this terrible concern.
-We'll ring 'em in a few minutes and tell 'em what we've done.
ENGINE SPLUTTERS AND GEARS GRIND
Yeah, yeah, we can't really scram,
-but we need the car more than they do.
We do, we've got someone to see.
ENGINE ROARS TO LIFE
Well done. We're clear.
And in the blink of an eye...
whoosh! They're gone.
So Charles and Fiona have no car...
-It's not the be-all and end-all.
So... There's so much stuff here.
..and no antiques.
But after a quick cuddle, they're thinking.
The cigar humidor!
-So, we like it.
-We do like it, Judith.
-I think we need to take a decision on this.
And it's your call. I would love to buy it for 50 or 55.
-That's my hunch, and...
-Judith's shaking her head.
-No, and that's...
-It's not going to happen.
-No, and that's business.
-That's our decision made.
-It's all about margins, you see.
At this rate, they're not going to buy anything.
But hang on, Judith's selling on behalf of another dealer,
so a quick phone call could change everything.
Go for it, Jude.
-And, Judith, the best price, please, is...?
-Golly. I think it's worth a gamble.
-I think, you know, we're smokin', man.
Well, perhaps smouldering at best,
because I'm afraid there's bad news afoot...
You have nicked our car!
I know, I'm sorry.
We felt really good... I mean, really bad.
'Yeah. The upside is a very good upside, you'll love it.'
We've booked a taxi for you,
so you won't have to sit with that awful driver of yours, Fiona.
-Oh, have you?
-Oh, that's so kind, Richard.
'And there's a nice restaurant we've booked for us for this evening.'
-Good, all right.
-Can't wait, OK.
'Fiona, you don't have to drive with him again.'
That's very kind of you, Richard, thanks for the great favour.
I've tweeted about you being a common thief.
I was only thinking of you!
-'See you later.'
-See you later, yeah, see you later.
At least the sun's shining.
-I think they took that rather well.
-They took that well.
They didn't have any choice.
But that leaves these two
plenty of time to do what they do best - ponder and flirt.
It's up to you, boss.
I personally would say, "Thank you, but no thanks."
But then, you know, look, if you feel it's got some stature...
-Clearly, people are buying...
-Sometimes, I'd say, "Go, girl."
He's come down from 120, his best price is...?
-And it's no less...
-THEY ALL LAUGH
I'm trying, Fiona!
Should we delay the taxi, perhaps?
She's going once. She's going twice...
What's the decision, Fiona? SHE SQUEALS
-Fiona... You've got to decide...
-No. Yes! Yes!
Orgasmic! Well, thank goodness for that.
Once it makes 150, I'll say, "Thanks, mate."
Once it doesn't, I'll say, "I'm really sorry."
-I know, exactly.
-And I'll be closed.
THEY ALL LAUGH
Having made the cleanest of getaways...
Luckily, you're a master of this car.
..James and Richard's destination is the town of Padstow,
named in honour of a Welsh missionary,
who lived, prayed and died here about 15 centuries back.
It's also home to Prideaux Place,
an Elizabethan manor with many a fine reception room
and a staggering 46 bedrooms.
Even more impressive, in the four centuries since it was built,
it's belonged to the same family, and Peter Prideaux-Brune,
who's the 14th generation to live here,
is going to give our boys a guided tour.
-Hello, welcome! I'm Peter Prideaux-Brune.
-I'm Richard Madeley. How do you do?
-James Braxton, hello.
-Nice to meet you. Come in.
-I hope you've had a good shopping trip.
-Ah, we've done very well, thanks.
-Very well, yeah.
Well, I'll show you some of my treasures.
Oh! There's an offer that's hard to refuse.
This house was built in 1588 by Sir Nicholas Prideaux, there.
So this is in the year of the Armada, isn't it?
In the year of the Armada, yes.
Another funny thing you might like to see here,
a carving of Queen Elizabeth I standing on a pig.
As for the Prideaux family,
their ancestry can be traced back to the 11th century
and, according to Peter, they've played a role
in many of Britain's most notorious periods of history.
This is rather fun.
This is my great-grandfather,
Colonel Charles Robert Prideaux-Brune.
Um, we've got one thing here.
This is his sword.
I think that might be beyond your £400...
-Go on, give me a price.
-THEY LAUGH AGAIN
Give me a price.
-It's very nicely balanced, isn't it?
Go on, how much are you offering me?
Er, well, it's got provenance, it's got history,
it's going to be very expensive, and we've only got £305 left.
Oh, dear, right.
Our next stop on this house tour is the Civil War of the 1640s,
when, to Peter's great regret, his family supported Cromwell,
who was determined to bring down the monarchy.
So, in 1660, when Charles II came back to the throne,
we were in political schtook.
We've got this wonderful pardon.
I mean it's wonderful words.
Things like, "I forgive you for lying in wait with murder aforethought
"for my sovereign lord, my father," and so on.
And this got them off all counts, this was a complete...?
Got them off all counts and this is 1660,
and by 1662, we were back as High Sheriff of Cornwall.
-Really? And did you have to pay anything for this?
No! We had to marry our daughter to an extremely ugly man.
We'll need some torches for this,
-because there's no electricity up there.
The most recent conflict to involve the Prideaux family,
and indeed this house, was the Second World War,
when American soldiers were stationed here
for the 12 months leading up to D-day.
Yes, they were 121st Combat Division,
and they were a suicide squad.
They were the second wave into Omaha
and over 400 were killed in the first two days of D-day.
All up, 100 men lived and worked in this part of the house
and, to this day, the rooms remain virtually untouched.
The soldiers, they stayed and slept in here,
and there was such security about when D-day was going to be,
that one morning, they were just woken up,
"That's it, lads, you're off!"
Their deployment was so fast, some left possessions behind,
from humble objects, to the more poignant.
It's a United States postal money order.
"February 24th, 1944.
"Darling, enclosed in this note you will find the money,
"five dollars, that I told you about in my letter of yesterday..."
-This is from a mother, so she was writing every day...
..every day to her boy.
I think I'm actually going to break up!
"And please don't try to make me believe that you can't use this,
"and bless you, darling. All my love, Mom."
Backtracking just a little,
our next stop on this road trip is the small town of Wadebridge.
Originally, this settlement was called Wade,
as it is said people once waded across the river,
resulting in centuries of animals and residents drowning.
The Reverend Thomas Lovibond - great name -
commissioned the building of a bridge
and thus it became known as Wadebridge. But, more importantly,
just past the fish shop and the man in that playful T-shirt,
is Victoria Antiques, owned by the lovely Sylvia and Mike.
What a great shop you've got!
You're a very attractive couple, actually!
Fiona, stop flirting!
-Nice start, I like your start!
So, three floors, THOUSANDS of antiques, what do you choose?
If I could click my fingers and buy you anything...
I don't know, this is the thing. It's really difficult.
Yeah, look around, take it all in.
This is, you know, this is antique paradise.
Gosh, I was at those Silver Jubilee celebrations.
-I remember, my friend and I...
the Union Jack got stolen from our street
and my friend and I were prime suspects.
-So, you were at the Coronation?
-Not the Coronation!
-The Silver Jubilee, 1977.
-Oh, I was going to say, sorry.
-I wasn't at the Coronation!
Uh-oh, I think the romance is officially over.
What's the best price on the Silver Jubilee lot?
You can have that for £25. There's 35 on it.
Nostalgia, isn't it?
And what are these little figures made of? Are they lead, or...?
-I believe they are.
-Are they really?
They usually are. They're Britains, which is the best...
Yeah, I can remember.
I used to work in a toyshop on a Saturday
and Britains was the huge thing then, farmyard stuff and everything.
They've been going for years.
Since 1893, in fact,
when William Britain Junior invented
the process of hollow casting
and revolutionised the production of toy soldiers.
What you could do, Fiona,
is you could buy these Scots Guards and Yeoman Warders,
and the Lifeguards from this great period of 1977,
and, for Queen and country,
leave me maybe a lot tomorrow to buy the bigger one.
What if you find a big one and you're £25 short?
Well, I'll say, "C'est la vie, Hanson,
"things happen for a reason."
And the best price, sir, is...?
-And between friends, look at us...
THEY ALL LAUGH
Right, it's your decision, boss, you know.
Well, no, you said it. Oh, let's do it, I think.
Yeah, we'll do it.
And on that royal note, I think it's time to call it a day.
Though, with the Citroen still at large,
Charles and Fiona might need another cab.
Day two, and the good news is the Sprite's been fully repaired - ha!
And the chances of it breaking down are really rather minimal.
-How are you finding Charles?
-Oh, I LOVE him!
-He loves you!
-He thought I was the same age as him and he's only 36.
What did he do when you told him you were actually 67?
-He didn't believe it, Richard.
Actually, Charles is still smitten
and he's insisting on telling James all about it.
Fiona has just been a dream.
She's had the passion, she's had the energy to pursue the antique,
and she has a real interest...
She's a lady who likes a good dust
and she doesn't mind getting her furniture wax out
because she appreciates art for art's sake, you know?
As for the competition at hand,
Fiona's so far spent £180 on three items -
a Silver Jubilee toy set,
a cigar holder, and that "Zulu" movie poster.
I personally would say, "Thank you, but no, thanks."
That appeals to me more than a bit of old silver, I have to say.
Have the money. Count it out.
100 years old?
Richard, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be in much of a rush.
He's only parted with £95 for a porcupine quill box
and that Sampson Mordan racing pencil.
That's 101 years old and it's still in bright condition.
Yeah, yeah, I love it.
Judith, thank you very much indeed.
Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
Right, our experts and celebs are about to reconvene.
Next stop, the coast.
-Big day today.
-Yeah, it's going to be wonderful, James.
-It's going to be lovely.
You know, and look at this early morning mist, look at it.
Oh, sugar! JAMES LAUGHS
I just... Sorry about that.
I've just taken off the, erm... Sorry, James!
The French have a great eye for quality, I've noticed, with this car.
I'm so embarrassed about that, sorry.
What a vandal! Anyway, round two starts now,
taking us south to the historic
market town of Penzance.
Being at England's southwesterly tip,
Penzance is one of the first towns you come across
when sailing from Europe and beyond,
which historically has meant many a pirate,
major ransacking and the odd invasion.
As for its latest invaders, that would be our experts,
who are still waiting for Richard and Fiona to arrive.
To be honest with you, I enjoy sweets on my ice cream.
I'm not mad about the hundreds and thousands.
If they got here sooner, Richard and Fiona,
-they could have enjoyed them with us.
-They could have tucked in.
It just shows you our old car - OK, it's old, hasn't got the look,
but it's speedier, efficient,
-we've learned the gears, you know?
-Look at these two!
-While we've been driving!
This looks suspiciously like fraternisation going on here.
I thought you were meant to be deadly enemies!
-No, we're good mates. Good mates.
Come on, we've got lots of things to do.
Fiona, we're going this way.
-We've got that big purchase to make.
-See you later, Fiona, good luck.
-I would say good luck, but I don't really mean it!
-Hope you fail miserably!
But do you know where second and third gear is now?
I've had a lesson on the way here with James.
-Reverse, no, not yet.
-Reverse is still a problem.
I hope I'm not reversed, well, up against a harbour wall,
but we'll be fine, we'll be fine. We're going to drive...
How exactly are we going to get out of here without reversing?
Well, watch, OK? Seeing is believing.
-We've just walked past it, haven't we?
-Charles, you're awful! This is it, isn't it?
-Is this it?
-Is this it? Is that it?
Is that our car?
Yes! It's your car.
This is our car.
-Yes, I forgot. Sorry, it's our car! Sorry!
Not the most encouraging of starts.
Meanwhile, the competition is already en route to...
..the town of St Just,
which sits between the rambling moors
and picturesque north coast.
Way back when, this was one of the major hubs
of the Cornish tin industry,
telling a story which easily spans 4,000 years.
Mind you, we're just here for the shopping,
and hopefully, Vicky has something that will appeal.
That's quite quirky, the servants bell,
and I could do you a good deal on that.
-Servants bell. People love those, don't they?
Would these have worked on electricity, or cable pull?
-Yeah, probably, or cable.
-I don't know! Cut that bit out! Cut that bit out!
-Leave it in!
That's my kind of answer, "probably!"
-It was a cable pull. A cable pull.
-Cable pull, I thought so.
Well, my guess would be electric, actually.
Vicky, did this come from a local house?
It did, it came from a local country house, just outside of St Just.
-Large and rambling?
It can't be that large!
Vicky, I think you're... I'm not sure about these answers!
Well, large enough to have servants, that's for sure!
-Front drawing room.
-Sitting room, dining, bedroom.
So this is in the era when quite modest families had servants.
And did you know, the first servants bell system was introduced
early in the 18th century?
Before then, servants would either be stationed in the room
or just outside the door, listening in.
Well, she wants quite a lot for it.
No, it's... rather ambitious, that.
Make me an offer I can't refuse.
You say that to all the boys, don't you?
Look at the hand, Richard!
Look at the hand!
OK. We like this, but we do think
I mean, WOAH, overpriced!
So don't be insulted, but would you take, in cash,
would you take 30 for it?
I can do 40, that's my least.
I'll look to the headmaster for the response. 35?
Well, I know what these auctioneers are like.
They're going to put £30-50 as an estimate on it.
The nearer we can get it down... 35?
That's three purchases for the boys, well done.
And back in Penzance, Charles Hanson is in love...
with a sideboard.
Amongst other things.
You've got the sort of matte ground,
you've got the aesthetic... almost glass centre panel.
Look at those little tendrils, look at the copper panels,
that would date this at the dawn,
to the birth of that great last century, the 20th century.
All of the bits are there, so the little pediment at the top,
which is dowelled in above the cabinet, is detachable,
-but so often, pieces like that get lost.
Well, Jeff makes quite a sales pitch.
Got to make sure we don't lose things like that, they can fall off.
Yeah, I mean, they're easily lost, aren't they?
-As you say, they're all in tact.
The Arts and Crafts movement, which kicked off in the 1860s,
was a cry for social and economic reform,
a rebellion against mass production.
But more importantly, it inspired a celebration of handmade furniture.
It's also really important, Fiona...
I've never seen Charles being manly before!
I'm from Derbyshire.
You know what they say, strong in the arm... You know?
Charles, that's very impressive!
Thank you. And that's a good dresser.
Matter of opinion.
Let's talk cold, hard cash.
Now, sir, we... Tell me the price. I expect it's
well out of our league, really.
As I say, it's just come in.
How does £200 sound?
I can't possibly comment.
You know, we are shopping together, and, you know...
I think that's a good sign, if you can't comment.
No, well, I don't know, do you like it?
You've gone all fidgety.
Oh, I've gone all fidgety!
Your energy's zapping back through your body.
Oh, I know, because...
I think we should buy it and then go and have some fish and chips!
-You did say you wanted to buy big,
and that you wanted to see something, and I think you've seen it, cos I can tell.
-And the best price, sir?
-It is 200.
So, your decision is...?
-Do you want to shake his hand?
-Yes, I really do.
I will guide you...
You see, if it was up to me, I would give you 200.
-Yes, we've done it!
That's one big ticket item.
Now all Charles and Fiona have to worry about...
I heard it click. I think that's it.
-..is finding reverse.
-Let's try it now.
Plan B, as always, is to push.
Where's the handbrake?
If you just put your foot on clutch...
Look at me. I'll look at the road, OK?
I know you can do it.
You're a man, Charles, you're a man!
Even now, they're still flirting.
Oh, my goodness!
He's going to rupture himself.
-I think you're in gear.
-No, I'm not.
I think you are. Now, this could take a while.
As for James and Richard, they're popping down the road to
St Buryan, taking their remaining £270 to The Boathouse...
Do people buy portholes?
..which, in turn, has inspired...
..you've guessed it, a nautical theme.
-It's a beauty, isn't it?
-Yeah, it's got some quality there.
That's a masthead lamp.
So it would have gone at the top of the mast.
-I like it.
-That's nice, isn't it?
-It is very nice.
You know, it's always going to have a following down here, isn't it?
Made in Edinburgh, some time between the Wars, according to Martin,
the lamp still works.
-Just regular lamp oil? Nothing special?
And he's happy to demonstrate.
The thing is, though, it's not just an object,
it's a working object, a thing of beauty, that still does what
it was designed to do not far off 100 years ago, and it looks new.
That is a beautiful piece.
-That's great, isn't it?
-I want it.
In that case, time to strike a deal.
Now, nutty price, Martin, can you really make our day?
Because we are taking this to auction in Bude.
We are going the wrong way round.
You are. I don't envy you your task.
I know, it's always a tricky one, isn't it?
So how can you help us with it?
Could you do anything really dramatic on it?
It's on 265 at the moment, isn't it?
Yeah, yeah. Like...
I can do...
You couldn't take 100 off, could you?
I couldn't do it. 200, I could do.
-200, I could do. Yeah.
Sounds like a very fair offer, actually.
-Do you want to do it?
Our Richard is a man of action.
That still leaves James and Richard with £70,
but I wonder how Charles and Fiona are doing?
Make a name for yourself - three, two, one, let's go.
-Thank goodness the natives are so friendly!
Thank you. We don't know how to open the window!
Tatty-bye! Next stop - probably about half a mile down the road.
Or, if all goes to plan,
the small village of Porthcurno
which, I'm reliably informed,
is Cornish for 'the port of Cornwall'.
It was in this glorious spot that am-dram enthusiast Rowena Cade
built her home, then, in 1932,
created the most famous
open-air theatre in Britain, just next door,
on the side of this cliff,
so she could stage The Tempest. And incredibly,
she did much of the work herself.
That opens your mind up, doesn't it?
-What a marvel.
Here's our man, I think.
-Hello, Philip. Fiona.
-Fiona, nice to meet you.
-Hi, Philip, lovely to see you.
I'm Phil Jackson, theatre manager here.
-You lucky man.
-I am lucky, I've got this view every day from my office.
-Pretty good, isn't it?
Indeed! This was the view that inspired
Rowena's dramatic ambitions,
and today, Charles and Fiona are getting the tour.
Oh, my goodness. Wow!
-Don't fancy working here in winter, as she did.
Imagine doing that! How long did it take to do it?
Well, she spent 40 years of her life working on it,
but actually, the original stage, I mean,
it's exactly the same size and shape as it is now,
and the terraces are the original terraces from the '30s, but she created the terraces
and the stage in one winter.
At that time, it didn't have any of the border on it,
none of the concrete was down there, so it was just a grass terrace,
nothing to stop you falling over the back.
It was a straight, sheer drop for the actors
if they stepped backwards.
Ooh, lovely. Real drama!
It was a real drama.
From its first performance, which was lit by car headlights,
the Minack Theatre proved to be a great success.
It was even mentioned favourably in The Times, so every year,
Rowena would stage a new production and chisel its name into the stone.
You can see the names of the plays, and all the designs,
-there's hardly a flat bit of concrete anywhere.
If you look over your shoulder, you'll see the dates, everything she's built,
she's put a bit of design in it.
She was very creative, and she used whatever was around.
Oh, what is that?
The magic screwdriver. You wouldn't open much with that.
That's the tool she used to engrave all these names.
-Did she, really?
-It's a pretty ordinary screwdriver.
-With a very steady hand!
-Yes, it's got a lot of history on it.
And there's lovely stories, because when she was making the concrete,
it had to be engraved at just the right texture, so whether it be
too hard or too soft, so the fishermen that fished on the cliffs
used to see a torch wandering around in the early hours of the morning,
and it would be Rowena up here with a torch finishing off the engraving.
In fact, Rowena's involvement
with the theatre carried on
until she was in her eighties, at which point,
she gifted the Minack to the people of Cornwall, then carried on
as a trustee until she passed away at the ripe old age of 89.
We're on the stage now where the first play, The Tempest,
And this is the programme of The Tempest.
-With original cast.
-Including my great-aunt.
Oh, right, Marianne Jackson, OK.
A lot of local people involved in this one,
because the first play was, she was using the community, basically.
Isn't that wonderful?
You keep talking about your auction voice and how it carries, and I just
want to see how his auction voice will carry on your stage, Philip.
-I think we should try that. I think we should find out, really.
You know you want to, you little tease!
Where would I stand, Philip?
Ladies and gentlemen, Charles Hanson is...
I'm going to impress you, OK?
-Are you, finally?
Just imagine, if I took you back to the year 1932,
you're an Art Deco lady.
-You were in your jazzy evening attire, OK?
I might read you this...
"Now my charms are all overthrown,
"and what strength I have's mine own,
"which is most faint,
"now 'tis true, I must be here, Fiona, confined by you."
Do you know what? Don't call us, we'll call you!
Since the first performance of The Tempest,
this stage has seen everything, from Gilbert and Sullivan
to popular music, but more importantly, Rowena Cade's dream
of bringing live entertainment to Cornwall lives on...via Charles.
As for James and Richard,
they're now purchasing a set of 1920s brass portholes.
As you do!
Could you do 50 on the pair?
Yes. I think so.
Which leaves them just £20 still in the kitty.
Well, hold on, we've still got £25.
Keep looking, keep looking, sir.
-I like the man's spirit.
-So do I!
Well, this is our last shop, you know, I mean...
I know, let's shop till we drop.
They may not be able to count,
but I love their enthusiasm!
I've just found an anachronism.
Now, drinking and driving...
Now, who would you expect to be in the forefront of the message
not to drink and drive, other than the police and the law?
-I mean, the RAC?
The AA, support services.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, AA.
-This is a little drinks flask, issued by the AA.
While the flask is circa 1950, the AA itself was formed in 1905,
their main aim - to help people avoid speed traps. Ha!
Would you let us have it for 25? It's on for 35.
-Go on, then. Just for you.
-You happy with that?
Yeah, it's...very quirky, isn't it?
-Totally my call. It may go for a tenner...
..but I just think it's calling out to be bought.
-An AA hipflask.
Excuse me, excuse me, what else does AA stand for?
Alcoholics Anonymous. I want this hipflask!
And with that, James and Richard have officially gone over budget,
spending £5 of their own money.
Very kind. Thank you.
But we'll get to that soon enough.
Right now, it's time for a little show and tell.
-Shall I do the honours?
-I think you should start.
OK, three, two, one...
Here we go.
Oh! Oh, OK!
This is Richard's top item.
I like it, Richard, I like it.
It's clean, it's tidy, it's in good order.
There's a few indentations, it's been knocked around,
but it's a good thing for the area, to sell, isn't it?
And it works. You should see it when it's lit, it's gorgeous. Fabulous.
It's a real work of art.
-It is lovely, actually.
-It's a beautiful object.
-That's your biggest spend, isn't it?
Yeah, by a long way?
-By a long way.
-What's it worth?
My instinct is, if you really haggled, you may have paid about 180.
-OK. Good thought?
-Good thought, it's on the money.
-What did it cost you?
Oh, it did cost 200?
Oh, really? Good thing, it's a good object.
Then, of course, the boys have everything from portholes to
-that Sampson Mordan pencil.
Oh, that's good.
That's good. That's very nice.
-Is it heavy?
It's nice to hold, it's got a nice feel to it.
That's nice, tactile feel. I like it. I like it too much, Richard, I like it too much.
I'll have it back, then! Thank you.
Yeah, that's going to make money, definitely. Yeah, like it.
Something for someone's kitchen.
Look at that - country house, elegance,
you know, you're harking back to the golden age of B&Bs.
Except it just shows how small houses could be to have a servant,
there's only four rooms in that house.
-They still had a servant.
And it's in good condition. I think you've done very well.
That's very kind of you.
We are all in, all out.
-I'm feeling upbeat.
-Yes, I am.
After surveying their wares, I'm happy.
-All right, come on.
-Let's see yours.
Look at that, guys. Just look at that.
-And we thought with this, we really can't go wrong.
-It was cheap.
-How cheap? Name your price.
50, 50, I'd say 50.
The lady had to buy it.
It's my fault, I had a sort of a gut thing, I just liked it.
-No, we like it. It was cheap, it was £95.
-It's well presented, isn't it?
In other words, they don't like it! So, how about this?
No, no, no, it's a cigar humidifier.
-Isn't that very good?
Absolutely. Sometimes, you buy things for quirky value and we feel this,
to a gentleman of the South who wants a really good
humidifier for his evening port and cigar, this is it, Richard.
That's a lovely gift for someone who loves cigars, like you, James.
I think it's lovely.
You know, you watch it race away, you know.
You know, you watch!
And let's not forget that Silver Jubilee toy set.
They're very smart, they're smart as paint, actually.
They're very sweet.
Is that good? I think it's collectable...
People obsessed with the Royal Family would want that. They'd want a piece of it.
You're impressed, aren't you?
Yeah, I think you've done very well.
But is that it?
Well, you bought the big one, we've bought the bigger one.
-An invisible bigger one? I can't see it.
-The bigger one, Richard,
is going to send us into stardom with a huge profit.
Exactly. Right. One minute. Watch, mate, one minute.
You wait till you see this. Go on, Charles!
DRUM ROLL James and Richard,
prepare to be impressed, OK? Look at this!
-Watch the spindles.
-Look at that!
Look at that!
-What is it?
-It's a sideboard.
-Look at this!
This is a dawn of the 20th century Arts and Crafts, Richard.
It's stylish, James. It wasn't £400 or £500, was it, Fiona?
No, it wasn't £400-500,
although that's what he said he would put it on sale for...
..and we got it for...
Got it for...?
-And if this doesn't make money
and take Fiona and I to the summit, nothing ever will.
-What do you think? It's a nice piece, isn't it?
-It is a nice piece.
-It's a lot for £200.
-Is it? Yeah.
We're ready, James, we're ready for the auction now.
Steady on! First, I want to know what our competitors really think.
-They've done very well.
-It's an imaginative collection.
-Do you think that their big gun,
which is that piece of furniture, compared to our big gun,
-is a bigger gun?
-It's a great piece of furniture and,
you know, even to a layman, £200 seems on the low side.
-That big copper...
-I love that, actually.
I think that's quite good.
-But at 200, it's a big spend, so don't worry about it.
It's a huge spend.
We've bought well and if we've bought well, we ought to sell well.
Ours is a real winner. And I could see that possibly making
anywhere between 200-350.
Oh, well, we'll see at the sale.
-We will. The proof is in the eating, isn't it?
-Good luck, partner.
-Yeah, you too.
-Come on, we'll be fine!
-Thank you, thank you.
-We'll go for it. To auction, we go.
After first experiencing engine problems just outside Lostwithiel,
this celebrity road trip comes to an end
in the seaside town of Bude.
But forget the beach, it's here we've come to do battle
at the auction house of James F Kendling,
and at this very second, both teams are filled with confidence,
-and raring to go.
That sounds like Charles. High revs, first gear.
Both teams began this journey with £400 in the coffers,
and two days on, Charles and Fiona have spent all but £20 of it,
staking their reputations on four eclectic lots.
James and Richard, meanwhile, have spent every penny,
splashing out on six items, though before we proceed,
I'm afraid to say they have a confession to make.
-We... We... We've overspent.
It's in your power to disqualify us and declare yourselves the winners.
So you've overspent? I don't believe it!
-We overspent by £5.
-We did the sums and...
-Well, we're a decent pair, really, aren't we?
-Yeah, we are.
-So, you'll let it go?
-We wouldn't like to fall out.
-We're really rather fond of you.
-OK, thank you.
-We're happy, we're happy.
I actually loved your stuff.
Well, isn't that nice?
But how does auctioneer James Kendling rate their chances?
Could £5 make all the difference?
It's open season, really, isn't it?
Richard and James' porcupine and ebony box -
that could go either way. Could make £10, could make 30.
Charles and Fiona, we're liking the cigar humidor.
If the question is - what do you buy the man who has everything,
then the answer is - an individual cigar humidor, isn't it?
Richard's lamp, I'm liking that, that's a nice thing,
so we're quite hopeful of that.
As for Charles and Fiona's big-ticket item, the dresser.
That's typical of something that,
if it does well, it will do really, really well, and if it doesn't,
it could be a bit disastrous.
So, I don't know. Charles and Fiona have made some plucky purchases.
Richard and James have made some shrewd purchases.
Could go either way.
Frankly, the suspense is killing me, so let the auction begin!
It's Richard's mahogany servants' bell,
which may or may not be from a rambling country house.
£10 upstairs, at 12, 14. 16, 18, 20,
two, four, 24, 24. 24.
It's quite crucial to a few people here!
30, here. 32, all done at £32.
All done at 32, then.
Not the best of starts.
That's a £3 loss, even before commission.
But moving along, Fiona's hoping her nostalgia for the Queen
will make her and Charles a wad of cash.
Somebody has made a studious purchase
of something that's not only timely,
but esteemed in quality, history, pomp and circumstance.
Well said, sir, well said!
So, let's start at £2, then.
Four, six, eight, 10, 12, 14, 20.
£20 here, £20 here. 22. 24...
That's more like it!
40, here. At 40, here. All done at £40, then.
In the room, front and centre...
Well done, Fiona. For now, at least,
you're firmly in first place.
But perhaps Richard's porcupine and ebony box could change everything.
It's our Achilles heel, that one. I think it is.
-I don't like it.
-You don't like it?
Well, let's hope these good people don't feel the same way.
I can start this at, er...£12.
Oh, yes, that's good.
16 in the door.
18 upstairs, 20 anywhere? Against you in the door.
-All done? At £18, then.
Oh, dear! That's roughly another £30 down the old gurgler.
Then there's the commission. Oh, dear. So, don't worry.
I'm sensing an air of excitement, around James and Richard's next lot,
the Sampson Mordan racing pencil.
I can start this at £20.
22, 22 in the room.
24, behind you. 26, here.
28, here. 30, here. 30, here. At 30, here. All done at £30?
-£30 in the middle? All done at £30? Bargain of the century.
32! 32, just gone.
-There's life in this lot yet.
-38! 38, in the middle.
All done at 38, then?
And so, just to recap, three items in,
James and Richard are losing money hand over fist.
Charles and Fiona, meanwhile, are filled with confidence,
and up next is their silver-plated cigar holder.
-It cost only £60.
-60? You're going to make a loss.
-You're going to make a loss.
And now, the moment of truth.
-£30 for it, then?
-Come on, keep it going.
26, here. One could make a difference. 28.
28 online, come on!
Down to you. Do you want 30, sir? No, sure?
32 online, 34 anywhere?
I'm worn out. Absolutely worn out.
My goodness, I need a cup of tea and a lie down after that!
But, I'm afraid to say, it's still a loss.
I'm absolutely worn out.
-I'm hot, I'm sweaty...
Indeed, you are, Fiona.
But it could be worse. James and Richard are down £42.
Let's see if heir AA hip flask can revive them.
£10, at 12 here, 12. 12, 14, here.
Keep going. Keep going.
Well done, sir, well done!
22, anywhere? £20, upstairs. 22, anywhere?
All done, then? First and final time, all done at £20, then...
Let's be honest, here. It's not looking good, is it?
No, so can James and Richard's 1920s brass portholes
help save the day, or are these two all at sea?
£20... 22, here. 24, here. 26, with you. 28, here.
-30! Come on! Yes!
-Never say never!
All done at £32, then...
Minus 18, Richard!
Yes, that's James and Richard's fourth loss in a row,
but this auction is far from over.
Next, the purchase that Charles and Fiona didn't quite agree on -
that framed Zulu movie poster.
20, then, £20 for it, then, £20, surely.
I'm interrupted, 24, here. 26, 28. 28, 30.
This is going well.
Go on! 60, here.
But we're still not in the black.
64, 68 if you like. All done at 66, then. Fair warning, then.
That's your man!
Sold for £66. So, that's another loss.
I think it's fair to say
this auction has been a disaster. But at least our competitors
are keeping their chins up.
-This is not happening!
-And each team still has one big ticket item left.
-It's not really about profit, it's about who loses less.
Yes, that's the spirit!
Up first is James and Richard's bold £200 purchase of the masthead lamp.
Now, this should do well.
Here we go. This could be the big one.
Start you in the room at £20. 25 over there. 25, 30.
Going up in fives.
35, 40, five,
Obviously, the bidders aren't in the room.
..55, 60. At 60. At £60. £60. At £60.
All done at £60, then?
-I'm not hearing this!
-In the room at £60... 65? 65?
-Hopefully, they knew what we paid for it!
-£70. £70, I have.
Fair warning, then. At 70...
We're going down. THEY GROAN
It was a brave purchase, but it looks as if
James and Richard are officially sunk!
There's been a certain consistency about our lots, Richard.
Let's hope the bidders are a little kinder to Charles and Fiona.
And if anything can get them going, it'll be
this Arts and Crafts jobbie, which, like the lamp, cost £200.
Take a tenner, for the sake of it!
This is close to rabbit hutch territory, here!
£10 for it, then?
At 12, here. At 12 here. 14, anywhere?
At 12, here.
-Get your coat!
-This is terrible. I can feel the pain!
-It cost 200! Oh!
Gosh, it's a tough crowd, and the dresser is struggling
to find a good home. In fact, any home at all.
-£40, we've matched your investment.
-I don't believe it, I don't believe it. 42.
-Fair warning, then...
Someone has just got an incredible deal!
Sadly, for Charles and Fiona,
it means their big purchase didn't pay off.
-Our competitors have risked it all and lost it all.
So it comes down to who lost the least and, even then,
it's the closest race we've ever seen.
There's only 40p in it.
'It's very tight, James, it's very tight.'
To get the final figures, after auction costs, they're calling HQ.
'Richard and James have made a total loss of £232.80.'
You big losers!
'Fiona and Charles have made a loss of £232.40.'
Hee-hee! So, Charles and Fiona are the winners!
By the way, if Richard and James hadn't gone £5 over budget...
..We would've won!
-It's Shakespearian, isn't it?
-It's a play of tragedy.
Just to recap, after commission,
Fiona and Charles have made an overall loss of £232.40.
Meanwhile, Richard and James
have made a loss of £232.80.
In other words, this contest was won and lost over just 40p.
-Oh! We were robbed. Robbed!
-We robbed ourselves.
See you there. Bye!
So, thank you, everyone, especially today's winners,
Charles Hanson and Fiona Phillips.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
TV presenters Fiona Phillips and Richard Madeley go head-to-head with the help of experts Charles Hanson and James Braxton as they go in search of antiques. They travel the entire length of Cornwall, starting in Lostwithiel and ending at an auction in Bude.