Actors Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb team up with experts Thomas Plant and Paul Laidlaw. Their road trip goes from Arundel and along the Sussex coast to an auction at Eastbourne.
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Some of the nation's favourite celebrities...
What if we were to say 150 for the two? Then you've got yourself a deal.
..one antiques expert each...
Come on, make with the cash.
# Da, da, da-da Da, da, da, da, dah!
..and one big challenge - who can seek out
and buy the best antiques at the very best prices...
Just a little punt on something mysterious.
..and auction for a big profit further down the road?
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 Sussex - proud home
to some of Britain's sunniest seaside resorts,
and temporarily home to our very own celebrity rays of sunshine.
It's curtain up for two actors plotting a drama
involving £400 each and the pursuit of antiques, but with no script.
At least you haven't got any lines today, Larry.
No, no lines at all today, dear.
Stage right is Larry Lamb,
the EastEnder who made the Mitchell brothers look soft.
Merry Christmas, Janine.
The man who's graced our screens in everything from Triangle
to Lovejoy and Casualty.
And in Gavin And Stacey,
he leaves his opponent today a satisfied woman!
I've got no complaints, put it that way.
-Oh, you're hard-hearted.
-You naughty thing!
So, stage left of course, it could only be Alison Steadman,
the ultimate class act.
Dressed to kill, she gave us
the monstrous Beverly of Abigail's Party...
Can you take a little bit of criticism?
..and today, more lovable Pam Shipman,
and Mr Darcy's nightmare future mother-in-law
in Pride and Prejudice.
And Alison herself aspires to better things.
-When we meet up with our experts...
-..they're going to have a car, aren't they?
-I think they are.
If it's a nice Rolls-Royce...
You're going in it, right?
-..I'll choose the guy that's got the Rolls-Royce, OK.
-There you go.
Oh, Alison, if only you knew!
Our experts have driven a fair few classic cars,
but this one takes the biscuit.
Yeah, I don't know what we did wrong,
but it must have been really bad!
Yes - so bad they've been allocated just 500cc in this Fiat Gamini.
-Oh, it's a lawnmower, it's a lawnmower!
-Engine in the back.
You can get a big grass box to stick on the back of this,
you know, it's an optional extra.
Shame about the transport! What about the experts?
In addition to being an expert lawnmower driver,
Carlisle auctioneer, Paul Laidlaw, confesses to being
an antiques geek since childhood.
His passions are arms and armour and the Georgian era. He's decisive...
I think that's a no brainer.
..and he'll stop at nothing in pursuit of a bargain.
This is where the nice young man turns into a...
-Oh, not so nice.
Can you drive a bit sensibly, please?
Can you smell that? That's the smell of fear.
Thomas Plant could never smell anything but manly and fearless!
After all, he's a seasoned auctioneer who knows a thing or two
about toys, jewellery, watches and more.
It gives him confidence.
We ain't got a chance!
-His strategy is to hope he knows more than the seller...
..and never give up.
That's it, it's over.
So, what will be the winning combination of expertise
-Alison or Larry?
-No preference at all.
-I'm quite relaxed as well.
They're both legends and I'm quite chilled, really.
I'll go with whomsoever's got the other car.
Clear as mud!
Do our celebrities have a better idea about buying antiques?
No, I'm good at bric-a-brac, but I'm...
-Me, I'm very good bric-a-brac.
-I'm no good at antiques.
No, and this is certainly not Bric-A-Brac Roadshow,
-that's for sure, isn't it?
Yes, there's a clue in the title, chaps, Celebrity ANTIQUES Road Trip.
Let's hope our experts are clear about the celebrity bit.
-Was he Dirty Den?
-He was the baddie in EastEnders.
-I've no idea, to be honest with you.
-And somebody bumped him off in the end.
-What, bumped him off?
-It was like Who Shot Jr, wasn't it?
-I can't... I don't know. I mean, I'm not...
-Did he shoot JR?
This doesn't bode well.
So let's at least get a few things straight, right?
Our celebrities each have £400, an expert and a classic car
to do two days' shopping and see who can make most money at auction.
Fasten your seatbelts, then, for a trip starting in Arundel
and weaving through the glorious countryside of West and East Sussex
to our auction by the seaside in Eastbourne.
But then again, it might all grind to a halt in a lay-by on the A27.
Even on television, your car breaks down! Come on, darling.
Larry, I'll be here forever, I can't undo my belt.
And I tell you what, there's no use me looking at this,
because it might as well be a bowl of spaghetti.
Waiting, oblivious, at Arundel Cathedral, Thomas has an idea.
Do you think we ought to go into the church
and pray for some good purchases?
I think a reliable car should be top of the wish list, Thomas,
and thank heavens for Tony the taxi!
We're at the cathedral.
I see a red car out the corner of my eye.
A red car.
It's like Noddy's car.
It is Noddy. Noddy's here to meet us.
So, which one's Big Ears, then?
-Larry. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Larry, how are you doing? Paul.
Nice to meet you, Paul. And there she is.
-Now, how come I didn't get a kiss?
I can't help but notice...
What happened to the car, that's what you're asking.
Never mind that. What's the plan now, then?
-And that's Noddy's car, there?
-That's it, and you're Noddy.
You're with me. Is that all right?
She was rather expecting something a bit more grand, I'm afraid.
I'm afraid... Thing is, you're actually quite tall.
There's no way you would ever get in that.
I'm the smallest out of all the guys,
-so that's why I'm in here, with you, Alison.
-You all right?
-It'll be fine.
That's what they call the short straw, Alison.
-Oh, brilliant, you're in!
-Oh, I'm in!
So, I suppose that's it.
It's you and I on our feet, I think.
Back to the taxi. Let's go.
Our trip begins in the market town of Arundel,
which used to be a busy port.
Nowadays it's best known for its magnificent castle.
It's the home of the Duke of Norfolk,
and the oldest part dates back to 1068.
Alison and Thomas have only been on the road a matter of minutes,
but already he has a confession.
-So, little secret...
-The shop's just down the road.
-You like that?
-So we could've walked.
-We could've walked. We are going to walk, now.
-We are, OK.
A good bit of, sort of, exercise, getting in and out, and getting used
to the car, because we're going to have to drive it some of the time.
-I need a winch to get me in and out.
-No you don't!
-No you don't, you'll be fine.
-How about that?
-OK. OK, we've done it.
-Have you got any idea what you want to buy?
I love toys. I'm a bit of a sucker for teddy bears, tin toys,
dolls' houses, stuff like that.
Two toy enthusiasts - this should go like clockwork! Ha-ha!
Antiques market. How exciting.
Now, how do you want to do this? Do you want to buy things YOU like?
I would imagine that's what I'll do.
Good. Well, I'll be here to advise you.
But, you know, I've got to think, haven't I? Because it's not for me.
It's not for you, you're quite right.
It's to try and make a profit.
And I emphasise the word "try."
The market is a stone's throw from the castle,
with stock ranging from furniture to costume jewellery,
courtesy of David Mattey.
There's a vast selection.
There's a lot here.
But Thomas soon narrows the field.
It's a cruet set.
So, you have your... I'm getting nothing off Alison here,
because obviously she hates it already.
Well, hate is too strong a word, I think, but...
Doesn't it remind you of our Noddy car? Hmm?
Perhaps that's why I don't like it. No, erm...
Don't be nasty about the car, it hasn't done anything wrong to you.
"Don't be nasty about the Noddy car"!
I want to have a look at these toys.
Yeah, you like toys, don't you?
-I love toys, I love toys.
-Toys are great.
So you've got the trolleybus.
They're all a bit play-worn, aren't they?
-All a bit what?
-Play-worn, they call this play-worn.
What do you want for them?
For this grouping here, I'm thinking £30.
I would like to offer you 20 for those?
I'll meet you half way, 25.
-Shall we go for it?
-25 I think would be good.
-Do you want to go for it?
-Yeah, you like those?
-First purchase out the way.
Minus their classic car, Larry and Paul have a taxi for the trip
to their first shop just outside Chichester.
It's a precious 20 minutes for Paul to find out
what'll make Team Lamb tick.
Was acting always going to be your thing?
Never ever thought anything about it, but just by chance
got involved in amateur theatre as I made my way around the world,
and in the end, just took a punt and became an actor.
But I mean, I've worked every country in Europe.
I've worked pretty much all the way round the world.
Paul's keen to know if the hard man of the East End
can help him haggle for bargains.
The joke in my family is if they're asking for ten, I'll get them
to sell it to me for 11.
-You've too big a heart!
Looks as if the hard man act is down to Paul, then.
Here we are.
The first place to test his am-dram talents is run by Julie Mangan
and her Italian husband Rudi.
Importante. In tutte le lingue...
Mamma mia, eh? Larry picked up Italian on his travels.
Paul's had a tip about what might sell well
at the auction they're heading for.
-That's bad news, if I'm right.
Because the theme happens to be figurines, your Doulton ladies,
but at the same time I'm not going to say, "Let's look for china ornaments,"
because, frankly, I'd rather you stuck pins in my eyes.
Hmm...an Italian-inspired shop's not the obvious place for this mission.
Don't see a lot of Doulton figurines.
That's not a Doulton.
Certainly not a Doulton figurine.
It's not a Doulton.
The search continues, and soon goes off track.
I rather like this.
The young man there?
-Can I lift it up?
-Yes, you can. Yeah, it's quite heavy, careful.
Ooh, it is heavy, isn't it, eh?
I know where you've gone with that.
I really like it and I'm sure this certainly looks
-as if it might be Italian, is it?
-It could be.
-It could be, yeah?
It's a decorative lump.
-It is a decorative lump, a bit like me.
-I hate it.
-But it's not about that.
-It's about the psychology...
-I like it
-..that you've alluded to.
Are you feeling strongly enough to take our first punt?
Let's follow up this good cop, bad cop routine we've got going here,
-where I hate it and you like it.
Paul launches the double-act. He was born to play bad cop!
-I love it.
-There's no age to it. It's pre-cast, you buy it
down the garden centre and leave it in your garden for six months
-and it'll look like that.
-Well, not quite, but...
-But you know what I'm saying. It's not an antique.
-No, it's not an antique, no.
-There's artistry there, but is it 15 quid?
No. 20 quid and we'll shake on it.
This is the Antiques Road Trip and we're talking about a non-antique!
-There's this hole, and I'm at the bottom, still digging!
We've all got to make a living, come on!
-20 quid, here you go, 20 quid.
There you go, that'll do.
You're supposed to be playing good cop, Larry, not total pushover cop!
Back in Arundel, Team Steadman is heading down the road
to Arundel Eccentrics and Nass Interiors,
with its eclectic mix of decorative antiques and shabby chic.
Owners, Brendan and Nass, are on hand to help.
Rather like Larry, Thomas is drawn to a human form.
-I think that's great.
How much is it?
I think it's great, but it's whether anyone would want to buy it.
You see, Lucian Freud can get away with it,
and it is so brilliantly done, I mean, the proportions are great.
-It's a real body, isn't it? She looks like a real person.
A woman of that age, and I'm not saying a word, not saying a word.
-What? What? Erm...
Don't you say anything!
I'm not saying anything! I'm not saying I...
Alison spots something rather more - ahem - small and perfectly formed.
I'm liking this.
You like that, do you?
It's in miniature again, another small thing.
It's for a little sort of, little child's nursery, isn't it?
The proportions are there for a miniature tea service,
which you see quite a lot of.
I've got a china tea set at home that would be perfect on there.
-Well, you can't buy it for yourself.
-It's got to go through auction.
-He's so cruel.
-I'm not cruel.
-You are cruel.
I'm not cruel, I'm a realist. Now, come on, what do you think?
I want it.
At £350, the ticket price isn't child-sized,
-but Nass is prepared to think small. Well, smaller.
-What can you do?
So, what are you saying, 150?
150, that's the bottom price, that really is.
-You want to do it?
Come on, make with the cash.
Crikey. Maybe Alison could give Larry some "bad cop" lessons.
Back in Chichester, Paul's spotted something,
though it still doesn't look like a Doulton figurine.
I defy anyone not to see the workmanship in that.
-Little salon or bedroom chair.
-Even the caning is superior. That's lovely work.
Beautiful. Is it English?
There's no reason why that shouldn't be English, in all honesty, yeah.
The chair has fine bone and satinwood marquetry inlay,
and it dates from the late 19th century.
-I do, and I'm glad you spotted it,
because I certainly didn't.
It's interesting, because it's really been used,
you can see the wear in it here.
Look - people have sat and put their heels up on here.
Yeah. It's sitting at the moment at 75.
At auction, on a bad day, they're hard work and they're £20-£40.
On a good day, it's worth 40-80.
Two people fall in love with it, it's worth 120.
Shall I ask about the price or not?
-That's the wrong answer, Rudi.
-And that's not game-playing!
I'll tell you, what sells the chair is the seat.
-Ah, yeah, isn't it?
-The seat is in the original condition,
and it's been sat on it by a very light lady.
-Una donna leggera!
-Due o tre volte.
30 quid...we've got a deal.
Split it - 35 and we've got a deal.
It's up to you.
Larry's still playing the pushover.
Archie Mitchell must be turning in his grave.
But at least he is mindful of the possible demand
for twee figurines at auction.
-This theme thing has led me to look again at this...
It's got a very Dickensian feel to it, doesn't it?
But I don't know, what story's unfolding there?
She has been having a pop with the old boy, right?
And she's twigged, right?
-She knows she's twigged, and he isn't wise to it yet.
That's what's going on there, right? Little bit of Victorian soap opera.
Right there. That'll go nice with the figurines.
Go nicely in Albert Square, more like.
My problem with pictures is every wall in the country
that needs a picture has got a picture on it.
Is it good enough to get the buyer to go,
"Oh, I love that so much, it's going above the fireplace,
"and I'm getting rid of the one I've got?"
-What is the price on that?
-We had 45 on it.
But I can go down to 35.
I think this one needs to be 25.
-I cannot go to 25.
I'll split with you again - 30, and it's yours.
I don't think we should split with this one. I'm not a gambler.
I AM a miserable Scot.
Let me dig my heels in on this one.
Yeah, all right. OK.
Rudi, you've been really fair.
Fantastic. Thank you, yeah. Thank you Rudi.
At last, the bad cop gets his way,
and for £80 Larry has a chair, a sculpture and an engraving.
Alison and Thomas are headed for Worthing
and their final shop of the day,
but she's got her doubts about getting there.
The Noddy car I'm slightly ambivalent about.
It's a bit quirky.
Is that the station? Ah, yes.
That's Arundel Station. Do you want me to drop you off there?
Are you that shocked with my driving?
Get the train to Worthing instead?
Well, assuming she doesn't let the train take the strain,
the journey from Arundel to Worthing could be ten miles of terror,
so Thomas wisely tries the distraction technique.
What do you prefer: studio, theatre or film?
-Cos you've done it all, yeah?
-Well, I do enjoy filming,
but theatre has always been my first love,
but now I'm getting a bit older, I'm beginning to think,
"But how much theatre will I carry on doing?"
It gets harder to learn, and more tiring.
I haven't got quite the same sort of courage
that I used to have to get out there
and play an enormous part on the stage.
Having said that, I've just been doing a radio series
and a radio play - thoroughly enjoying that, because on radio,
I can play any part I want, doesn't matter what I look like.
So ten miles and some successful distraction later,
they're in Worthing.
It's been a seaside resort since the 1790s,
and the pier has the dubious distinction
of having been blown down, burnt down and blown up over the years.
The last stop of the day is a furniture and fine art specialist.
Owner, Frank Wilson, is the second generation to run it.
Now, Alison's toying with the idea of a miniature tea set
to go with her miniature dresser.
Well...I don't know, but Thomas is distracted by an old bag.
This is a suitcase which was once owned by Nancy Astor,
the first woman to sit as a member of parliament.
"I recently repurchased it from my original customer."
There we are, in 2012.
So this lady was given the suitcase by her employer, Nancy Astor.
-Very trendy now.
-Very trendy, but not...
-How much is it?
-I'm liking it.
-You're liking that, are you?
It's got the provenance, hasn't it?
The provenance of the suitcase is critical to its value.
Frank has a book written by the woman who came to own it,
backed up by personal knowledge.
She was a customer of ours for many years,
and she used to travel all over the world with Lady Astor.
I definitely want to go for it.
-Definitely? You definitely want to go for it?
What's the very best on the suitcase?
-We'll make it 35. There we are.
-To give you a chance.
With the suitcase in the bag, Alison has £195 left.
She's still on the lookout for miniature china
to go on her miniature dresser. Well, that was the plan anyway.
-I like this.
-Bit of Poole, there.
-They're very Fifties, aren't they?
-Pretty, really pretty.
-Mmm, they're lovely.
These Poole free-form vases have classic 1950s shapes.
The floral decoration is a nod to traditional motifs,
but with a distinctive post-war twist.
You could buy this feeling, "I want to be slightly avant-garde,
"but I also want to be slightly traditional,
"and not offend the in-laws too much,"
or the outlaws, whatever way you look at them.
-What can you do for these two?
-Um... We can do those for £15.
-Wonderful. I think we should go for that.
-I think we should go for that.
-I really like them.
So, with two vases reduced from £20 to £15,
and a unique piece of political history,
Team Steadman is making good progress.
The same, however, can't be said for Team Lamb.
No sign of the taxi.
A road trip without wheels is proving a struggle.
Italian antiques dealer, Rudi, and his trusty Swedish car - ha! -
- come to the rescue.
There we are, that's the Roman Palace.
The chaps have decided on a detour
to the Roman Palace at Fishbourne on the outskirts of Chichester.
So, Rudi, how fitting that we should be escorted to the Roman ruins
by an Italian gentleman!
-Tostare. Mille grazie.
-Piacere il mio. Arrivederci.
-Alla prossima volta.
-Alla prossima volta, ciao.
Fishbourne contains the remains of a vast first century Roman palace
that was accidentally discovered in the 1960s
during excavations for a new water main.
Hello, welcome to Fishbourne Roman Palace.
Thank you. I'm Paul, hi.
-Paul, nice to meet you, I'm Jaane.
-And I'm tumbling down.
Excuse me dear, nice to meet you!
It's really nice to have you here.
Director, Jaane Rowehl, is keen to give Larry and Paul
an idea of its true scale.
We have four of these enormous wings, each around 100 metres long,
which makes the entire footprint of the palace
roughly comparable to that of Buckingham Palace today.
It's not clear who lived in the palace,
but whoever it was had grand designs.
Fishbourne is noted for its stunning mosaics.
So we're looking now at one of the best of our very early mosaics.
They date from the first century AD,
from the same time as the palace itself got designed,
and we're looking at the absolute height of fashion at the time.
This black and white geometric theme
is trying to give you a false perspective,
and the idea is that because it will never actually be up or down,
it flickers and gives you movement.
Is it possible that the people that did this would have come from Rome?
The person or the residents that lived here
must have actually imported the labour force,
either from Gaul or from Italy at the time,
because there is just nobody here
who could lay something on this scale
or at that level of craftsmanship.
It wasn't just interior decor, either -
later parts of the palace had all mod cons - well, some of them.
This is a hypocaust, or the Romans' famous underfloor heating,
and the way it would have worked is we would have had a big furnace
just outside the room itself.
It would have created a lot of heat
that was sucked through the channels, not only to heat the floor
but also through hollow tiles in the walls.
Fascinating, huh? 2,000 years ago.
We must always remember
-that this is only the richest that can afford to do this.
It's possible that the local community's life
wouldn't have actually changed that much.
Well, they'd have been out cutting the wood
-so that they could be lighting the fire to heat this!
Having gained an overview of the building,
Team Lamb meets up with Rob Simmons.
He's the owner of a magnificent beard -
could that be first century AD, too? -
as well as curator of a load of rubbish.
Everything on the table that we've got here is rubbish,
and everything in the store, really,
is mainly stuff that people threw away.
-What's that wee dude there? That looks like lead.
he's lead. I love him actually,
because he tells a little part of the human story of Fishbourne.
We think he's associated with a magical process called defixione.
He's not quite like a voodoo doll,
but he'd have been used in a sort of little personal, private ceremony
to either try to help you win a bet or try and break up lovers,
or get together with somebody.
-A little talisman, yeah?
-Yeah, a talisman's exactly what it is.
Are they pagan? Pre-Christian, are they, or what?
Pre-Christian, yeah. But they are very, very rare.
I mean, I don't know of another one from this country.
-Do well at auction?
-In-house joke, that yin! THEY LAUGH
-And what have we here?
-I think the amazing thing about this
is how similar it is to the modern equivalent.
Oh, my word. A die?
-Yeah. Playing dice was outlawed by the Romans.
And you could be fined if you were caught,
but the number of dice we find,
-it was clearly...
-They flouted the law.
..one of those rules you don't take too much notice of.
But the most amazing thing, I think, about this is,
you know when you add up the numbers of dice
-that it always comes to seven.
Same on this one. 2,000 years and it's the same.
I'm sure I can speak for Larry -
-three of us could do this all night, couldn't we?
No, you can't. You've got a road trip to finish.
-That was magic.
-It's been brilliant. Brilliant.
Though without a car, I'm not quite sure how.
Well, Paul, we're supposed to be fixed up with some transport here.
-So we're supposed to be.
Ah... This isn't a set-up, is it?
Our chariot awaits! THEY LAUGH
Ha-ha! It's the BBC!
I have to say, once again, no expense spared!
Jump aboard, eh? There we go.
I'm riding shotgun.
There we go. It certainly beats a broken-down sports car.
Get up there, you!
What have things come to, eh?
One horsepower, or 500cc of Noddy car,
when you finally get to your beds tonight, nighty night.
Day two begins with three good things - a rare 1969 Triumph 3000,
so Larry won't be reduced to cadging lifts for the rest of the road trip,
a chance for Alison and Larry to compare notes,
and a theatrical surprise.
-I don't know Worthing at all.
Oh, look, there's a theatre. The Connaught.
-Yep, that's a very famous old theatre.
-Have you played the Connaught?
-I haven't, darling, no.
No, I certainly haven't.
I always think of Noel Coward when I think of Worthing.
So do I, my dear. So do I.
Larry, I'll tell you, what a man.
What a man.
Slipped into the Italian with Rudi just effortlessly.
Bought three things, one shop.
And who did the deals?
Larry professes not to be a killer negotiator.
But he is?
At the end of the day, we have a show and tell.
I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
Ha-ha - naughty, but true.
Somehow, Larry "The Soft Touch" Lamb
has managed to spend only £80 so far, on a rustic youth,
a refined chair and a chunk of Victorian soap opera,
leaving him with a generous £320 to hand over today.
Alison's been spending big on small things,
with £220 gone on Dinky toys, a miniature dresser,
plus a piece with political history, and two vases.
That leaves £180 for today.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
-You going to drive?
Our fab four rejoin their rightful partners in Worthing.
And they're raring to go,
but as Team Lamb heads for the first shopping spree of the day,
Paul's plagued by thoughts of his passenger as Archie Mitchell.
Does it do anything to your head,
having to be such a heinous villain as Archie?
Er... The average actor's got, you know, like a few funny corners,
-so you work on what you know.
And the writer was pretty quick in saying, look, you know,
"If he's a nice guy, he ain't going to be in this show very long."
-"If he's a nasty guy, you might get a bit of a run for your money."
So, "How nasty do you want him?"
Paul and Larry are making their way from Worthing, 12 miles east
to the Regency wonders of Brighton.
It may be a seaside town, and only 12 miles east,
but its iconic landmark took inspiration from much further east.
The Royal Pavilion was completed in 1823 for King George IV.
Brighton is familiar territory for one half of Team Lamb.
-Have you worked here?
The wonderful old Theatre Royal Brighton is a really famous theatre
on the number one circuit.
When plays are on their way around the country,
it's very often you finish up here before you go on into London,
so yeah, I have, I've played here twice.
Larry and Paul's first stop is an antiques shop run by Peter Barratt.
It specialises in Parian Ware,
a type of porcelain designed to look like marble
from the Greek island of Paros.
It's either neo-classical or it's high Victorian.
Paul thinks there's a chance to snap up a bargain
and a tidy profit at auction if Larry wants to buy Parian Ware.
If I gave you this for Christmas, are you going to stick it
in the next car boot sale or are you going to...?
It's not me at all. Not at all.
Hmm. No Greek legends, then.
How about showbiz legends?
A collection of Barbra Streisand.
This was something that Barbra Streisand wore, yeah?
Well, I mean, it was something she sold for the foundation.
It's a good quality coat.
It's a beauty.
The auction value of the coat depends heavily
on proving it really belonged to Barbra Streisand.
There's a certificate, but can you trust it?
At £200, it's too high a risk, even for Larry.
Paul, though, still fancies the Parian Ware. He's obsessed.
See, I like scantily-clad neo-classical females.
That's Clytie there. It's one of the classic Parian busts.
In Greek legend, Clytie was a water nymph
who unrequitedly fell in love with the sun god, Helios.
After nine days of pining for him,
she turned into a sun-worshipping flower, called the sunflower.
It's missing its socle, its little base or stand here.
From a purist point of view, that's fatal,
but from an interior decorator's point of view,
you didn't know there was anything missing from that.
-But you hate it!
It just doesn't do anything for me at all, I'm afraid.
We know, Larry, but you do need to make some money.
What's the price? But I need it to be nailed to the floor, what's the...?
-Half price. But bad cop's not done.
Have you given me the bottom line or...?
I have given you the very bottom line.
So it's never going to be double digits, not even by a shade?
-Larry, in my opinion you're making money.
Yes! HE LAUGHS
But Larry's still got £230 left to spend, and a bee in his bonnet.
-That Barbra Streisand coat there...
-That's an amazing thing.
That's really doing numbers on me.
You're not going to start negotiating, are you, Larry?
Well, I'll tell you what, if he would sell that to me for 100 quid... What d'you reckon?
-Nail it. Just do it.
Seriously, if you think you can do it, do it.
-I've just been talking to my consigliere, here,
and if I gave you £100 would you let me have the Barbara Streisand coat?
Go on. Yes.
-Fantastic. Thank you.
-Quite all right.
-And wear it yourself.
Well...I'm not quite sure about wearing it myself,
I think I know one choobie who it might suit a little better.
Suits you, sir.
Once again, lovely.
Speaking of which, Team Steadman plans to check out
the remarkable collection of historic costumes at Worthing Museum.
Good morning. Welcome to Worthing Museum.
-My name is Gerry.
Curator, Gerry Connolly's first treasure relates to Princess Amelia,
the daughter of George III.
After coming to Worthing to take the air in 1798,
she left her slippers behind.
These are beautiful. They're soft kid leather, and they're printed,
so this is a very fine, and quite rare, leather-print fabric.
-And the colour as well!
-It's amazing. It's really intense.
And what does that say on the inside on that?
-That's the maker.
Tiny, aren't they?
It is like a Cinderella slipper. It is, isn't it?
There are lots more on public display,
but next, for the actress who spends much of her time in costume,
there's a privileged peek behind the scenes.
The first thing I want show you is Victoria's cape.
It's a cape that came into the collection in the early Fifties.
The person who donated it said that it had been worn
by Queen Victoria on the occasion of her diamond jubilee,
at the garden party at Buckingham Palace.
We had no proof of that till quite recently.
Historic Royal Palaces did some research,
and found an image of Queen Victoria wearing it.
It's weird, it looks kind of...modern.
-It's very Oriental-looking, isn't it?
-It is, with this.
-Yeah, with the knot.
-And it looks quite comfortable, kind of loose.
Yes, Victoria was very renowned
for having simplicity in design of her clothes, but what was key,
was that the quality of the fabrics were always the best.
I always imagine Victoria to be quite a big woman,
but she's not really. It's very narrow, isn't it?
Well, she was very short, wasn't she?
Yeah. You get a lot of Victoria's bloomers.
You do! They come up quite often.
We have got a pair of Victoria's knickers.
You see, I told you! I told you!
So these are a big pair of...
they're big, aren't they?
You could fit two of you in there!
And here, Alison, look, you can see just here,
that there's the monogram. "VR". Can you see that?
Some things should be kept private.
-A girl needs to keep some things private.
-Her knickers, definitely.
Yep. Even Bridget Jones would keep those big knickers to herself.
Best to move on.
There's not many complete garments of this period.
What is it again?
It's a jacket, and it's blackwork, so it's a type of embroidery,
so black embroidery on a linen,
and this is incredible detail.
-Would have been quite a wealthy person,
we don't know who it was, but obviously somebody who was
showing their status, to have the time to embroider such a jacket.
-It's tiny, whoever the person was, isn't it?
Mm. It's lovely. And what date are we talking about?
We're talking 1612-1615 on this jacket.
-We can date it through the styling of the imagery,
so the types of flowers that were used,
so flowers were being used probably as they were being discovered
in botany, as new flowers were coming in they became fashionable,
became available in books for people to copy.
-This is just incredible.
You've got to keep saying to yourself,
"They did not have machinery to make this,
"this was done by a person, sewing."
-Yes, hand done.
And when you keep reminding yourself of that,
you realise how extraordinary it is.
The Museum of Worthing is also home
to a large collection of dolls and toys,
so no prizes for predicting Alison would get sidetracked.
Why do you like Punch and Judy so much?
Well, from childhood, from when I was little.
In Liverpool, the Punch and Judy used to be there every week,
so if you went into town for shopping,
"Please take me to the Punch and Judy."
-How old is Punch and Judy?
-300 years old?
We don't know about Judy, but Punch is 350 years old this year.
He was first spotted in Covent Garden by the diarist Samuel Pepys.
When did the crocodile come into play?
Well, the crocodile came into play we think some time around the 1870s,
but there's been other characters as well,
so over the years, depending on what was happening in the world...
During the late Victorians, it was a skeleton,
cos they were very into spiritualism.
During World War II, we had Hitler, was being used as the evil villain,
so there has been always a character working with Punch.
Oh, dear, oh dear! It's all your fault.
It's all your fault.
It's all your fault, Punch, it's all your fault!
I told you not to play with them!
I don't think it's an award winner, do you?
Over in Brighton, Larry and Paul have £130 left to spend.
Larry knows he's lucky to have an expert shopping companion.
It's a nice sort of feeling of, sort of, security, really.
You're not going to make any rash decisions, as I would do,
and then be proven to be completely wasting your time.
Wise words, Larry. Remember them.
Look at that.
That funny little glass vase in there.
Purporting to be a dug archaic piece,
like something we might have seen at Fishbourne.
-Because if you bury glass long enough, of course,
you get this encrustation. Typically you get iridescence coming about,
-which can be absolutely beautiful.
-But don't ask me to warrant that as a Roman glass vase.
-Do you want to have a look at it?
-There you go.
You'll know nothing about its provenance, its background,
-in the middle of all this, will you?
-You're the expert, you see!
We're querying whether it's Roman on the ticket.
If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
It's just like something...
I suppose it's where we were yesterday. I really like that.
One trip to a Roman ruin and Larry's all fired up about antiquities.
But Paul knows there's a big trade in fakes.
There's a lot of people out there
can work wonders with glass and chemicals.
Many a glassblower will turn that out for nothing.
-You get your chemicals, and your fiver's worth of glass,
and turn it into £120, you can see why I'm cynical here.
But I'm not saying yea or nay.
Well, I'm going to go on instinct.
Remember those wise words about not making rash decisions, Larry?
That's all but £10 of your budget spent.
I just think it's, you know, just the time to take a little...
just a little punt on something mysterious.
-The dulcet tones of Monsieur Lamb.
...somebody maybe decides, "I want that."
-What are you doing here?!
-What are YOU doing here?
This is our shop!
I just came in here and picked the thing that you should have picked.
I've never seen a bargain like that in my life.
- Really? - Unbelievable.
Don't let them get to you, Team Steadman.
Hmm...except you've got £180 to spend,
and virtually no time left to spend it in.
Alison, what are we going to do?
-I don't know.
-We're looking like headless chickens. SHE SQUAWKS
So get a move on!
What's that? That's unusual, isn't it?
-Oh, this is nice.
-I love that.
-How much do you think? Did you see the price?
-How much do you think that would be?
-Oh, I'm having that!
-It's like a splash, isn't it?
-Yeah, it's great.
It's the same period as that Poole, 1950s art glass,
splash bowls you call them.
You put them on table pieces, and what's nice is it's colourless.
-It will go with anybody's colour display.
-I think that's smashing.
-I love glass, you see,
and it's signed on the base here, can you see that?
"France, art glass". And this is a Vincennes.
-I'm having that, I'm buying that.
-We're having that, is it?
-Is this going to be our item?
And have it you shall, at a snip.
-50, please, yeah.
-There you are. It was a good-looking thing.
-Good luck with it.
So that's all the shopping done,
and a chance to head for the beach, where it's time to reveal all.
Reveal the treasures, the treasures.
-Wow! What have we got here?
-Eh? What have we got here?
They've got a coat! I want to know about the coat.
-Yeah, look, come on, Larry.
-The coat, there's the provenance.
-See that name there?
-An evening coat of Barbra Streisand's.
-Oh, my God!
All right, don't worry! How much?
# Don't rain on my parade! #
THEY LAUGH How much?
We paid £100.
PAUL: Victorian, Parian, Clytie, lovely large specimen.
-Do you like it?
-I love it. I think that's really lovely.
You see that coming out of there? The diaphanous robes?
- How much, how much? - You tell me.
- That is worth 120. - 90.
- Get in there, good profit. - It needed to be.
-What's that thing?
-That thing is...
-PAUL: Yeah, well...
-..possibly ancient glass.
It's either the oldest thing we've bought, or the youngest.
-THEY LAUGH Yeah,
-THOMAS: How much was that?
Right, OK. Then we've got a print.
-That's rather fun.
-Yeah, that's nice.
And then a lovely bedroom chair, lovely...
You got a good price on that, 35 for that.
Well, you should have him with you, right?
I wouldn't want to go shopping in Sainsbury's with him,
he'd just leave them all weeping in the aisles! It's terrifying!
That's all very well, but can Team Steadman make Larry weep?
THOMAS: So this case was owned by Viscountess Astor.
-Yeah. - The first lady MP,
and this was her lady in waiting, who was given the case.
-Alison saw it, fell in love.
- How do you put a price on that? - Oh, how do you?
It's just a suitcase at the end of the day, but with the provenance it makes it interesting.
-Right, and then...
-..we come to -
Larry, this was a big spend, come and have a look.
-It's lovely, isn't it, eh?
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-Cost a bit of money.
-No, oak, it's oak, it's oak, it's oak.
- What did you pay for that? - £150.
PAUL GROANS It could be a black hole, but it might not be.
- It's an auction. - It's an auction!
It's a good piece of work.
It's a really good piece.
-It's a good piece of work. Pine is what it is.
-It's not pine, it's oak!
Oh, have we got a third expert suddenly?
That is pine, without any shadow of a doubt.
-Right, OK, it's pine.
I've worked with a lot of oak and that is pine. That grain is pine.
That's you told, Thomas. Anyway, what's important here?
Well, we like it, don't we?
-Exactly, that's the main thing.
-We like it very much, yeah.
-Be interesting to see what happens tomorrow!
I think that coat's going to be the one.
-That's going to be the one, dear. You'll be after that, won't you?
So it's all smiles, but will they give each other good reviews?
I love the bust, I love the Clytie coming out of the flower.
-I've always liked those, they're great things.
-She looks so serene and beautiful.
I can imagine everyone will just go "Oh wow! I want that."
-Their dresser, if I'm being harsh...
-The dresser, the dresser - two bob.
It's modern. There's no antiquity to that.
Nope. At all, at all.
The Roman vase, I think, could be a deep black hole.
-British Museum, on the other hand...
..in a head to head battle with the V&A over our antiquity!
-There you go. We can both retire on the proceeds, yeah?
Confident, eh, Larry?
We'll put that to the test at our auction in Eastbourne,
a 22 mile hop eastwards along the coast.
Eastbourne has been described as a town
planned by gentlemen for gentlemen,
as it was developed largely by the seventh Duke of Devonshire,
a big local landowner.
As auction day dawns, Thomas and Paul are rueful that
Larry and Alison lured them into some duff deals.
Oh, she's hilarious, because when she wanted it, "I want it."
So I was there, sort of, "Oh, it's 35,
"are you sure we can't have it for 30, are you sure?"
-And she says, "No, I want it."
-Larry's similar in a sense.
I'd be in there doing my damnedest, working this dealer over,
and Larry would just be, "I love it." But I've just started!
-I haven't even got my pliers out!
I've just softened them up with the gloves!
Alison's never been to an auction,
and she's suffering first night nerves.
is that one of my things won't get anything, nobody'll bid.
Of all the things you've bought, which one are you worrying about?
Well, I'm not worried about any of my purchases!
Not a convincing performance, Larry.
Eastbourne Auction Rooms holds general auctions
and two-day fine art antiques and collectibles sales.
Today is partly for collectible figurines, but also a general sale.
45, 48, 50, and five...
Paul Achilleous, the man on the rostrum,
is well placed to judge whether the teams have invested wisely.
My favourite item would be the dresser.
It's a good example,
possibly made by an apprentice or a shop presentation piece.
I think they paid a little bit too much for it.
I would imagine it's going to make 80-120.
The Barbra Streisand coat, if the provenance turns out to be good,
then possibly could do quite well.
I have my doubts, but I would imagine £50 or £60.
The Roman vase, obviously a very old example.
Age isn't always connected with rarity, I'm afraid.
This is my least favourite item,
and I think that's possibly going to make £30 on a good day.
Larry's luxurious retirement could just be out of reach.
Our teams started with £400 each.
Larry and Paul splashed out £390 on six auction lots,
while time-strapped Alison and Thomas only spent
£270 on five auction lots.
How much is the dresser?
So which team will get the rave reviews and who will bomb?
Let the fun begin.
First up, Alison's Dinky cars, but will they get beyond a dinky profit?
Who'll start me at £40 for this lot?
40 straight in. At 40, and five,
50, and five,
60, and five,
-It's on fire! It's on fire!
65 is the lady's bid, at £65. Do I see 70 elsewhere?
At £65 only. Lady has it then at 65.
It's a confident debut then for Alison and Thomas.
Get in! That's what you want, isn't it?
Next is Larry's decorative lump.
Technically a composition sculpture of a young man.
And how about £30 to start that? 30 straight in, thank you.
At £30 only, at 30. Come on, it's worth more.
At £30 only, who else is in? At £30 only.
At £30 the bid, worth more I feel.
At 30 and five I'm bid, 40 I'm bid, at 40, and five sir?
£40, here in the middle then at £40 only.
Any further bids then at 40? And five is bid on the net now.
And 50 is bid in the room, at £50 in the room.
Come on, somebody go with her, she's keen to bid. And five.
And 60, and five, and 70, and five.
70 has it, the lady's bidding generously there at £70.
And five, and 80 back in, and five, madam, and 85, and 90, and five.
Oh, beautiful job.
At 95. Yes, I'm bid. 100 is bid, at £100.
-Is that yes or a no?
No at 100. 95 with this lady then.
-I've changed my mind.
-Changed your mind, 100.
At £100 only.
At £100, are we all done on that bid of £100?
Larry's choice makes a hefty lump of a profit for a non-antique.
Get in there! Well done you two!
Now Alison's 1950s French art glass centrepiece.
How about £40 to start this lot? 40 straight in.
And five, and 50, and five,
60, five, 70,
five, 80, five,
90, five, 100,
110, 120, 130? No.
-120 has it.
-At £120 only.
Gentleman standing has it, then, at 120.
That's really made a splash. Well done, Alison and Thomas.
Easy as that.
Next up is the 19th century chair spotted by Paul.
Enough to get bidders out of their seats?
Who's got £30 to start that? 30 I'm bid. At £30 only.
Come on, it's worth more than that, surely?
At £30, 32,
35, 38, 40, 42,
45 has it, at 45. 48. 50.
And five, and 60, and five. 70, and five.
No? At £70 only.
It's a respectable profit, thanks to the lady in pink.
-We're even stevens now, aren't we?
-What did you pay for it?
-We're even stevens.
-Indeed you are, neck and neck.
Alison's Nancy Astor suitcase is next,
a unique piece that could fly at auction.
Rare item, start me where?
I would imagine a couple of hundred pounds,
but put me at 100 to start it, who's in?
Come on, £100 for it, surely?
Who's in at 50 then? 50's bid.
At 50. At £50 only.
Opening bid has it then, at £50 only, lady in the centre then at 50.
Anybody else coming in?
All had a chance to buy this then at £50?
-Thank you, 474.
A modest profit makes it look more like excess baggage.
Now it's Larry's Victorian soap opera shenanigans engraving,
bought at Paul's bargain basement price.
£30 to start that. 30 I'm bid.
Who else is in? At £30 only, at £30 the bid.
35 I'm bid, and eight I've taken. 40 now, and two, 45.
45, 50 may I say? 50 is bid with the lady.
Are you bidding sir? Anybody else then at 50?
Are we all done and I sell it to the lady at £50 now?
A thoroughly honest profit puts Larry and Paul in the lead.
It's Alison's Poole free-form vases now.
Who'll start me at £30 for these?
Who's in at 30?
Who'll start me at 20 then?
Must be worth 20, I'm bid at £20 only.
Opening bid has it then at £20. I'll take two, two I'm bid now,
at 22, five bid, at 25, eight is it?
At £25, I'll take eight elsewhere. At £25 then.
At £25 only then, we all done then? 25, thank you.
It's another modest profit, but I'm not sure
the slow and steady approach will be enough to thrash Larry and Paul.
Paul's taste for scantily clad ladies comes to the fore
with the Parian bust of Clytie.
We'll start this at £90.
At 90, I'll take 100 from you, bid 110, 120, 130,
170 has it, commission, do you want 80?
170 it is then, still on commission at £170 then.
Well done, you.
Against you in front then at £170 then, we all done on that bid? 170.
She's not Larry's type,
but Paul knows his stuff when it comes to profit.
And Larry knows who he owes for a massive leap into the lead.
Well done, Paul.
Alison's prized miniature dresser now, and the stakes are high.
Who's in at 100? 100 I've got,
waving his arm there at £100.
At £100, do I see 10? I've got now, 110,
120, 130 sir,
140, 150, 160 now.
-160 will you? Yes, no?
150 it is, 160?
He's saying, "Go on!" Go on, one more!
150 has it then, at 150. No!
At £150 then, letting it go on that bid of 150, we all done at 150?
Ooh, not even the tiniest of profits!
After commission, it's a sizeable loss, far worse than feared.
Ooh, a whole lot worse!
The Barbra Streisand coat is next.
Paul's worried it won't sell, so Larry hatches a devious plan.
In the event of the winning bidder being in the house,
I'd be happy if they put it on,
and we have a lovely photograph taken together.
-There we go!
-As a souvenir!
Did you hear that, ladies and gentlemen?
Larry, that's cheating!
Who'll start me at £1,000 for this?
Ooh! It's Barbra Streisand, ladies and gentlemen!
OK, seriously, it must be worth two or three hundred pounds,
start me at a couple, who's in?
Come on. Couple of hundred pounds. 150 then. £100.
Come on, who's going to start me? £100 only. Come on, it's worth 100.
We'll put me in at 50, let's put it on sale. 50, 60, 70,
80, 90, 100,
110. Surely worth a bit more. It looks like it's your size, madam!
At £100 this side, go ten. At £100 then.
Well, the gavel's up, and I'm selling at that bid of £100 only.
See, Larry? Your comeuppance is a loss after commission.
The Roman-type vase is the final gamble for Team Lamb.
Will it make a fortune or be passed over as a fake?
Start me at 30. 30 I'm bid.
At 30, and five.
40. And five. 40's in the seat,
and five, on the internet at 45.
I'll take 50.
At £45, 50's bid.
At 50, is there five?
Internet out, at 55 in the room. 60, and five.
60 in the room. At £60. You out?
No further bids then at 60, and I sell it to you.
No faking that, then - it's a crushing loss for Larry and Paul.
-We're not going to retire off that one!
No one's retiring today, Larry.
But by a miniature margin, Alison and Thomas win,
and put up their feet before you.
Our celebrities began with £400 each.
Larry and Paul made big profits and then big losses
after commission, leaving them nevertheless with a profit of £61.
So, with £461 overall,
this is not ruinous, but it leaves them in second place.
-Because Alison and Thomas played it steady.
Or should that be Steady Woman? Making a profit of £66.20,
so they end the trip victorious with £466.20,
and all the funds generated by our celebrity teams
go to Children In Need.
-Oh Larry, you poor thing!
-Well done, my man.
-Good man, good work.
-Really good fun.
Well done, Alison, my hat's off.
Mwah! Mwah! Luvvies.
That's enough of a curtain call.
Let's hit the road, Jack.
Yes, there's one final automotive adventure,
as our two pairs of Roadtrippers have the last word.
You're doing very well with these gears, Larry.
I can't for the life of me understand why anybody would want to do this for pleasure, you know?
-It's like they've invented a postal service,
and you decide you're going to use pigeons.
You can actually touch the ground!
You can actually touch the road!
I'm just going to do my nails.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Actors Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb add a touch of drama to the hunt for profits as they team up with antiques experts Thomas Plant and Paul Laidlaw. Their road trip begins in Arundel, then cruises along the Sussex coast to an auction at Eastbourne.