Stars of stage and screen Robert Bathurst and Amanda Donohoe compete to buy antiques to fetch the biggest profit at auction. They scour Norfolk and Lincolnshire, ending in Kent.
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-Some of the nation's favourite celebrities.
-Why have I such expensive taste?
One antiques expert each.
And one big challenge - who can seek out and buy the best antiques at the very best prices?
Answers on a postcard.
And auction for a big profit further down the road?
Start fondling the cash!
-Who will spot the good investments? Who will listen to advice?
And who will be the first to say, "Don't you know who I am?!"
-Well done, us.
-Time to put your pedal to the metal.
This is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip!
We're in Norwich for curtain up on a Celebrity Road Trip battle to create profits from antiques.
Treading the boards, two stars of stage and screen, Robert Bathurst and Amanda Donohoe,
each with £400 to spend.
They've been working on a new comedy series and although they've known each other a decade,
-there's something Robert hasn't factored in to this.
-I have a slight advantage.
My parents were antique dealers
and I did grow up surrounded by...antiques, which didn't interest me in the slightest.
Amanda Donohoe was more interested in acting and shot to fame playing opposite Oliver Reed
in the film Castaway. In a varied career, she's worked with Ken Russell,
won a Golden Globe for her role in LA Law and been the murderess, Natasha Wylde, in Emmerdale.
Her adoptive home is down the road from Norwich and her local ties include an honorary degree
from the University of East Anglia.
Much less of a local is this 1967 Chevrolet Camaro,
complete with left-hand drive and lap belts. It's more at home in sunny LA, I'd have thought.
It has a soft top, but...being midsummer...
It's obviously raining! Because it's England.
Rain apart, nothing could be more quintessentially English than Robert Bathurst.
He's been President of the Cambridge Footlights and pined for Lady Edith in Downton Abbey.
He's starred in a host of theatre productions as well as Cold Feet, Wild At Heart
and My Dad's The Prime Minister.
With no script, our thespian celebrities can't tell how the plot of this Road Trip will unfold,
but Robert's prepared for his role with extremely thorough research.
-We're meeting Philip Serrell...
-..and David Harper.
Philip's an auctioneer in Worcester.
Impressive fact-finding, Robert.
For the record, Philip's a qualified chartered surveyor who's bought some incredible items.
Incredibly BAD items!
And his tastes include Royal Worcester porcelain and old cars.
And David runs a business placing antiques around the country.
You sell through him and he places what you want to sell at the right auction house.
Thank you, Robert, but I usually do that bit.
I will add that David bought his first antique when he was nine
and is passionate about Oriental antiques, especially Japanese decorative items.
When it comes to the celebrities, Phil's relying on reminiscence rather than research.
-I can remember watching Amanda in Castaway. Remember that?
And Oliver Reed. Working with him, I think, could range from the best to an absolute nightmare.
I would have thought so! A bit like working with you.
-One minute it's heaven, one minute it's hell.
-Philip as the Oliver Reed of antiques?
There's a thought! Now before anyone beats me to it, our experts are driving a Mini Cooper.
Thorough research would link it to The Italian Job, Michael Caine and a gold bullion heist.
So this is the Norfolk equivalent of The Italian Job, isn't it? We're in a John Cooper special.
You're not going to take me down a sewer are you?
No sewers, thanks. Just a Road Trip from Norwich which trundles across the Norfolk countryside
into the Lincolnshire fens and then heads south to an auction near Dartford in Kent.
En route to their rendezvous, Philip has invented a rationale for pairing up with Amanda.
-I love the Yorkshire Dales and she appeared in Emmerdale.
-I love the Yorkshire Dales.
-I think that is just the worst excuse.
-We've heard them all now!
Norwich, the meeting point, has many historic buildings
including a magnificent Norman cathedral. It so impressed the local peregrine falcons
that they've taken up residence in the spire. The newest arrivals are noisier.
-Oh, my God!
-A Camaro! Hello!
-The Little and Large show!
-Don't be so rude!
-Hi there, Robert. Hello.
-Robert, good to see you.
-Amanda, hello. I'm David.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-It's a doubler.
-David. Nice to meet you.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Who's getting that car?
-There's a natural divide here.
-I think so.
-It's already worked.
-Green is my colour, you see.
-It must be because this one here, he wants Amanda
because he loves the Yorkshire Dales. Just because she's on Emmerdale?! What a rubbish excuse!
-I love the Yorkshire Dales.
-YORKSHIRE: I could speak like that.
Shall we go round talking like that?
Well, Robert, you can teach me how to speak properly.
I say! Rather, old chap!
With pairs and cars decided, it's on with the show.
-Phil wants to know if his new teammate is an antiques rookie.
-My parents were dealers.
-I've got a ringer! Get in there! Harper, look out. Really?
-I'll just sit back and let you do it all.
-The problem is...
It doesn't get better than that, Phil. Except you also get to ask the question you're dying to ask.
-Oliver Reed - that must have been just a dream to work with him. Was it?
-No, it wasn't.
-Oliver was a phenomenally good screen actor. There's no question.
-But he just liked the drink a little too much, as we all know.
But my main absolute joy was working with my favourite all-time director, Nic Roeg.
And Oliver came along with that.
-So it was buy one, get one free.
Mm. I wonder if they can clinch a BOGOF deal with their £400 at the first shop.
-Hello, nice to meet you.
-Pleased to meet you. I'm Pasquale.
Welcome to the Treasure Chest.
Treasure Chest Antiques has 36 stalls with an amazing variety of wares,
-but Amanda and Phil get waylaid at the very first cabinet.
-They're bookplates, aren't they?
-I think they probably are.
There's the name with the price for that one.
-19th-century authors by Max Beerbohm.
-Well sought after.
-I'm attracted to them.
The images are by Sir Max Beerbohm, the noted caricaturist and wit of the Edwardian era,
-probably taken from a book.
-Why do you like them?
I don't know. I've always loved prints. I have always loved drawing.
Do you know, that smacks that you were brought up in this business.
Because most people would shy away from prints.
-And prints are a good old-fashioned academic antique dealers lot.
Philip has reservations that the cost of mounting and framing might deter bidders,
but Amanda thinks they'll appeal.
I think they're really beautiful. Would look good in a contemporary or a non-contemporary setting.
-Yeah, I like that.
-Know what I mean?
I can see that looking quite cool.
It's a tough decision, so they decide to investigate what else the shop has to offer.
Phil finds a weird tribute to space exploration.
I think it's really funky.
This is a 1970s television.
Now, if you just said to me 15 years ago
that Philip Serrell would be looking at a 1970s lunar module space helmet television, I'd say you're bonkers.
Actually, it's said to be an '80s homage to the Space Shuttle, but what matters is what Amanda thinks.
It's horrible, but he likes it!
That's a no, then. They decide to buy four of the Beerbohm images.
-Ticket price is £15 each.
-I'm thinking, Pasquale, that at auction these will make
£20-£40 for the four.
Which means we've got to try to give you just under that to have a chance of making a profit. If you can.
-I think the best I can do on those is 30.
-I don't think we can give more than £20 for them.
-That's what I really think.
-I'll meet you halfway. 25.
-I honestly think 20.
-That's fair, isn't it?
-I'll leave it to you.
-If we sell these for £30, we don't make a shilling
because we pay our commission which brings us back to 25 quid.
I know I'm being really hard on you, but I honestly think they'll make £20-£40.
And we want to win this, don't we?
-£20, right, and if they make more than 40, come back and buy me coffee.
-I'll buy you two coffees!
Bargain! He gets a kiss for that.
-The deal is sealed with a kiss at £20.
Quite right. That's enough excitement. Well, perhaps not.
-Are you genuinely excited?
-I am. It's completely outside my understanding of...anything.
I've never done this before. I've been to a couple of antiques shops, so I'm in your hands
-and very happy to be guided.
-That's encouraging. No matter what I say, you'll believe it?
-Please say that's true.
-Indeed so. No, I'll pick up any old tat.
-That bodes well(!)
The first shop of the day is Elm Hill Collectables.
-Aha. Hello there. Hi. David Harper.
-Hello, David. I'm Paul.
-And I'm Robert. Hello.
-This is you, then, Paul.
-This is me.
-What do we specialise in?
-Good man! Love it!
A quick rummage soon leads to Robert's first lesson in antiques and collectables.
How important is it for toys that they're in their original boxes?
In fact, one of the most fundamental facts in the value of a toy is its box.
-Do you still have it and is it in good condition?
-That's the trouble.
-Have you ever played blow football?
-I loved it.
-It's responsible for transmitting infectious diseases
to children over the years.
-It's most unsanitary, isn't it? Would you want to buy a second-hand blow football kit?
Stanley Matthews, I always thought he was a blow football player because he was a great dribbler.
-So, yeah, anyway...there we are.
-Do you remember this from childhood?
-Yeah, I do.
-With the little bits of spit...
-I think this is Arsenal versus Man Utd, probably.
We made our own fun in those days.
Also up for grabs is an old Monopoly set and a variety of other games,
some unusual and some more conventional. Robert and David think it's an appealing selection.
-Let me get a price off Paul. Paul?
The box of boxed old games. Could they be remarkably cheap?
-Yes. I want it out of the way.
-OK. How much is remarkably cheap?
-How many are there? Ten?
-Ten. Would they be a pound each?
-Have the whole lot for £10.
-The whole lot for £10.
Yeah, I reckon we can turn a penny, if not two, and put some disinfectant on the blow football.
-Shall we have a play?
-Shall we? Where's all the kit?
-Let's have a look.
So it's the first deal done at a tenner and time to see who is Premiership.
-TB or Cholera?
-Er, TB, please.
-An expert full of wind? Who'd have thought it?
Come on, Robert!
-Oh, that was an open goal. There we are.
-I think a draw.
-They think it's all over, but the Road Trip is a game of two halves.
Just up the road, Amanda and Philip are at the Bridewell Museum
to see its St Valentine's collection. Amanda's nearest city once had some local twists on this.
-Glorious, isn't it?
-Yes, I am.
Hi. Philip. Good to see you.
Helen Renton is the Assistant Curator of the museum, which celebrates the history of Norwich.
-What's in this cabinet?
-What does Valentine's Day mean to you?
-Who says romance is dead?
-Lots of cards, I imagine.
In Norwich, Valentine's is something quite different, or it was in the 19th century.
In Norwich, we celebrated Valentine's Eve, the 13th of February.
And we gave cards, but as well as cards everybody gave everybody else presents as well.
-Presents were given not only to your sweethearts, but everyone in the family, especially children.
The custom's origins aren't clear, but the presents were not cheap.
It was a post-Christmas boost for the shops in Norwich, which took on extra sales staff.
I can't get over what is now a relatively tongue-in-cheek,
perhaps fun - from a bloke's perspective - celebration, this was expensive.
-It was big business.
-That was only part of the story. I'll show you some more things.
Might get a card! Might get a Valentine's!
Laid out behind the scenes are more Valentine's cards and gifts.
-This gorgeous piece.
-That's like a little willow pattern.
-English scent bottle.
-You're good at hallmarks. I haven't got my glasses on.
Well, it's London. And I would think that it's back end of the 19th century.
-The present-giving tradition in Norwich developed a mischievous twist.
-People left the presents
on the doorstep. So little boys would wrap a present up, leave it on a doorstep, knock, run away,
and as the person answered the door and bent down to pick up the present,
the little boy would pull the string and the present would be whipped away and they'd end up on their nose,
which they thought was hilarious. So that was one of the ways Valentine's got a bad name.
-If you come over here, I'll show you some of the other ways.
Aw, look at these.
These are fantastic.
Now these are not your traditional Valentine's cards. They are Valentines, though.
And they were aimed at people that you didn't like.
You could send a Valentine's card anonymously. It was open to sending them to people they didn't like.
So if you had a neighbour who you thought was a bit of a scold or a butcher you didn't get on with,
-you could send them one of these and they'd be deeply hurt.
-I'm glad there's not one for an auctioneer!
I'm surprised there isn't.
"You think that you are pretty, But 'tis really not the case,
"It certainly's a pity That your teeth are out of place
"You're neither wise nor witty, And you wear a double-face."
Somebody that nobody liked. She's literally got two faces.
Can you imagine how upsetting that would be? And these kinds of cards became more and more popular
and actually put an end to Valentine's Day as we know it.
-So these are universal across the country.
-Up and down the country. Because they were so nasty,
by the end of the 19th century, the tradition died out altogether.
It was only really WWI, when people were apart from their loved ones that they started again
-and manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon.
-In certain parts of Worcestershire,
-there is still no Valentine's Day.
-In your house.
-That's very sad!
-Thank you so much, Helen.
-Thanks, Helen. Thank you.
Come along, Philip.
Robert and David have left Norwich behind and are heading west across Norfolk to King's Lynn.
King's Lynn was one of England's most important ports from the 12th century onwards
and its prosperous mercantile past is evident in the buildings.
Whether Robert and David have a prosperous mercantile future is in the hands
of the Old Granary Antique Centre, home to a dozen dealers with items from coins to vintage clothes.
David's eye is drawn by something fishy in dealer Ruth's stock.
-What's that little fish carving there?
-Is it a brooch?
-No, it's actually just a little carving of a fish of some sort.
-Chinese, Japanese or whatever.
-Let's have a look at him.
-What do you feel...?
-It's a carving.
-It's quite lustrous.
The fish appears to be a Japanese okimono, a decorative miniature sculpture.
-This should be right up David's street.
-Would you say that's a carp?
-Ruth, would you say it's a carp?
-We've got koi carp and they don't look anything like that.
-Don't they? Is it a stylised carp?
-It's certainly stylised.
-I think it's representing a carp.
-It's an important fish in the Orient. The carp swims against the tide, a bit like a salmon.
People that own models of carps do so because they feel it represents their character.
-Strength, independence, doing it their own way. I think he's gorgeous.
-It's rather...rather fine, isn't it?
-If that was 18th-century and in jade
and Chinese with a nice imperial mark, it would be worth £200,000.
-What do you think of it?
-Well, I think we've got a choice here.
It's either a carp that is immensely valuable
or it's just an anagram of carp.
The ticket price is £39. Definitely something to carp about.
Robert takes the lead role in haggling, hoping thorough analysis will get results.
My deal-broking skills are legendarily awful. I'd hope to make a fiver on it.
I'd like to think that we could make a fiver on it. I would imagine - this is my informed opinion
from minutes of experience - that we could get £28 for it, maybe £25, £28.
-I would love to turn a profit, so if I say 20 we might make a profit.
-Yes, I think that would be all right.
-Thank you, Ruth.
-That's the longest bit of negotiating I've ever witnessed!
It was brilliant, though! It was just basically a lecture and you went, "Yes."
-It could be beginner's luck or a cunning plan. Either way, it's effective.
Inspired, David takes a closer look at the cabinet that yielded the fish and find a perfume bottle.
-Is that...uranium glass?
Uranium glass was most commonly made in the first half of the 20th century
when small quantities of uranium oxide were added during glass manufacture.
The glass has a yellow or green tint and glows under ultraviolet light.
-It's very substantial.
-And the shape of it.
-It's got a sort of... Here I go.
-Go on, go on. You've got it.
It's got sort of 1930s sort of fluting...
-With Joan Collins, 1980s shoulder pads. It's rather unusual.
And what I like about it is it's got a chunky feel to it.
It's solid. It feels substantial.
It's got a rather interesting colour. If you hold it up even to the pink light,
it almost looks as though it's full of some elixir.
I think you've got it. It's got weight, colour, design.
-It's got absolute quality. It's screaming quality.
-I think it's earlier.
-You were closer...
-I think it's '20s, '30s.
-It's definitely got a Deco feel.
Look at some hallmarks. We've got... Oh.
-It's Sampson Mordan. OK.
-Sampson Mordan is the maker.
Top end quality. And it just now proves it.
You've got the style, the look, the quality, the feel. Now you've got the maker.
-It's an interesting piece, but at £75, it might take more than a monologue
-to get it down to the right price.
-Shall we use your tactic of talking her to death?
It's a failsafe device!
But what we want is to get Ruth before she keels over.
-Better not do that.
So I think... you...you exercise...
your wiles on Ruth.
This little perfume bottle, Ruth. What could that be to Robert and I as a trade deal?
We're both in the trade. Robert's been in the trade for two minutes,
but he's getting there, learning quickly. Can we get it at 30, Ruth?
-He's doing the...
-I got the teeth suck.
-It's got to be 50. If I was taking that to London, I'd expect 120 for it.
There you are.
Is there a rack available?
-No, we don't go that far on this!
-It's 50 or nothing?
-OK. My vote is...we have it at 50.
-What do you say? You can have the casting vote.
I shall be excited selling that. Let's go in at 50.
-Let's have it. Ruth, thank you.
Very happy with that. Very happy.
So our thespian antiques novice ends his debut with a fish,
a footie game and a fancy bottle. It's been quite a performance. Night night, teams.
It's a new day and Amanda is digging for information on the opposition.
-So what did you get up to yesterday?
-In the shops?
-Yes, Robert! In the shops.
In the shops, well... It was good.
-We're getting them crated up.
-He's not a successful actor for nothing, don't you know.
I think they're on the low loader and we'll be winching them down to the auction house.
What a fibber! Robert and David's supposed lorry-load of goodies has cost them £80
-and amounts to the selection of games...
-TB or Cholera?
..the carved stone fish and the rather posh perfume bottle.
-Is there a rack available?
..leaves them with £320 for today.
-Phil was immediately impressed by Amanda's savvy.
-You're sharp. I like you.
But they waited in the wings, buying only the four Max Beerbohm images.
The deal was sealed at £20.
-He gets a kiss for that.
-It means they have a whopping £380 left to spend.
But to use it all, Phil might need to update Amanda's ideas about what to buy and sell.
-I think she's got an old-fashioned antique dealer's eye.
-Which isn't today's market.
-It's totally not the market.
-It might not be easy.
He did steer me towards something very peculiar yesterday, which was the 1970s television.
And it looked like a helmet.
-It was as far from an antique as you could possibly get.
-NASA written in felt tip.
The teams have left Norfolk behind them and made their way to just south of Boston in Lincolnshire.
-Well done. Excellent driving(!)
-No comment on my driving, please!
-You look frozen!
-You look frozen.
-A little chilly, perhaps!
How are you, partner? We're going to knock 'em dead today.
-Well, good luck!
-Have a lovely time.
-I think we're in here.
-Are you ready for it?
Very kind. Nice and warm in here.
-See you, guys. See you later.
-Don't buy too much!
Clutterbugs is a general antiques and collectables shop with the wares spread over two floors.
-What's your name?
-Nice to see you.
There's lots to look at, but deciding what will do best at auction isn't easy.
With £320 still to spend, they discuss a buying strategy.
Something quirky is always a winner in an auction. It can bite you, but it can also...
-We've got to take a risk.
-I love taking a risk and on odd things.
-Odd? Here goes.
-What would you feel about a little miniature house made out of matchsticks?
-I'm thinking of that little beastie down there.
-Obviously made out of matchsticks.
It's not the kind of thing I dream about. It's not the Chippendale table that I'm lusting after,
but it's odd. Let's drag it out. It's very cobwebby.
-It's been here... Look at the cobwebs. It's been here forever.
Are you listening to this, Alan?
Cobwebs show demand is slow. It might mean a bargain.
Right, OK. Who on earth made this?
Who lives in a house like this?
-Peering through the keyhole reveals the answer.
-You've got dead wasps here and beetles.
-That's added value.
-I think you're right.
It's built from thousands of matchsticks.
-Age-wise, I suppose it's 10, 20, 30 years old or something.
-Who can tell?
-It's a bit bonkers.
-What are you thinking?
-Well, I just... It's...
It's odd. It's not particularly fine.
-That's very polite! They're not architectural things.
-Crikey! There are two!
No one has employed an architect to make a model of their dream home.
-No, it's the sort of thing you might have on a Thunderbirds set that gets blown up.
-Maybe that's it!
I think it would be something that someone would...
-not want to spend more than a fiver or tenner on.
-You might be right.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is just matchwood, but the effort that's gone into it...
-I'm sort of tempted, I've got to tell you. I'm tempted. I think they're mad.
-Yes, they are.
I tell you what's really appealing about them is the endeavour.
There's no doubting the effort that went into both houses, but although they're £25 each,
Alan's happy to wave goodbye to the pair for £10. Strike a light!
Have them for a tenner.
The deal's done. Whether it's matchless is debatable.
Amanda and Phil are making their way from Boston through the heart of fen country to Long Sutton.
It's a small market town through which they say the highwayman Dick Turpin once passed.
I wonder if the dealers at Long Sutton Antiques Centre will stand and deliver.
Amanda and Phil have £380 to spend. I'm guessing a cash transaction is what John Roe would prefer.
-How are you?
-Nice to meet you.
The Antiques and Craft Centre is spread over two floors, selling everything...with a few surprises.
-It's like a body massager, which is just what it is.
-Oh, is it?
-So if you wanted to be Miss Whiplash, not that you would want to be...
-Try. Give us your shoulder.
-It does the job.
-You've got to get the wife to...
..to do this! Don't tell the wife.
My lips are sealed. Back to business and for Phil old habits die hard.
The reason why that has split is because this lot here...
-all shrinks and warps at different rates.
-Because it's not sealed.
-Why am I telling this to an antique dealer's daughter?
-It's all right.
-Come on, get on with it.
-Amanda's instinctively traditional eye is drawn to some mahogany furniture.
We've got a little toy... A little toy bed here,
-which is rather sweet.
-It's a piece of doll's furniture.
Ah, we've got a slat missing.
-You've also got the canopy missing.
-It's a four-poster.
Ah, yes. You've got little... You can see the little holes.
-A canopy on there.
-What a shame.
-I think that would hold it back.
-But doll's house furniture is quite sought after.
-I think so, too. And it's mahogany.
-Beautiful little castors.
-They're worth 50 quid. At auction that's £40-£60.
So I can't see us getting that for £30, £40. I really can't.
The ticket price is £110, so hard bargaining would be needed.
It's a maybe while the search continues.
-What do you reckon to this little crib?
The sort of thing that doll and teddy bear collectors like.
It's quite unusual because most of these are in oak and quite rustic.
-This is slightly finer, isn't it?
-It says there it's oak, but... Is that oak?
It's not easy to be sure.
-Dealer Jimmy lends a second opinion.
-I think it's mahogany, Phil.
It's just unusual in that it's mahogany. You're spot on.
Doll collectors and teddy bear collectors buy these, but the other thing that's really cool
is you either put all your magazines in it or they're a log basket.
It's an attractive piece, but it's £125.
-And Phil's expert eye spots some suspect marks.
-If you look here,
can you see those run lines there?
-I would think...
-To put a false age on it.
-When they put a false age on it, it's just wrong. Not a right thing.
It's not, is it? It's been altered. You can see the base of it's not quite what it was.
-But it's still an interesting little piece.
You've got different timbers because that there is oak.
That's mahogany. But at the end of the day, it is what it is what it is.
Despite its flaws, it's appealing and is added to the shortlist.
-The next find is Phil's.
-It's an old gramophone horn.
-The ticket price is £40.
-What I think you would do is one of two things, right?
-I think you'd mount it on a piece of wood.
-Or polished steel.
Put a piece of flex up there, put a bulb in there, then you've got a great, really trendy light.
-Or you put a speaker in there and you've got a really great, trendy speaker for an iPod.
-Inventive? Or barking?
-I need to get out more!
-It's, "He saw you coming, madam".
-I know, I know, but...
-Nice try. If you think that will sell, I have to bow to your greater knowledge.
OK. I need to get out more. I really do need to get out more.
Ha! More importantly, you need to make some decisions.
-They depend on price. The doll's bed is £110.
-Would 35 be any good for you?
-That would be our best shot.
-40, go on.
-What's the very best you can do on the horn?
The very, very best on that.
That's quite saleable as it is. I'd still say 35.
-OK. And you couldn't do any less?
-You couldn't have them both?
No... Well, we might do. I don't know. We might do.
£70 the pair.
-OK, I think we need to sit down and think about this. Can I borrow a pen and paper, please?
-Some calculations quickly clarify the options.
-John, can we give you £60 for the horn and the bed?
-You're a gentleman.
-No problem. Thank you.
So the doll's bed is reduced from £110 to £30
and the horn from £40 to £30,
-leaving the crib still on the wish list at £125.
-You take a lady shopping, she goes shopping!
-We decided we just like this.
OK? We think it's lovely, but we see it at 60 quid.
-And that, for us, is the end of it.
-Can you do that?
-This often helps. This is a ploy I learnt...
-Get the cash out.
Start fondling the cash.
-Look, look! He's like a moth to a flame.
-Oh, it's a great ploy, but...
-60's a little bit low, Phil. I'd need another brown one.
-I've got a blue one.
-A blue one.
-Is that all right? Actually, it's green.
-That might give me a slight profit.
-You're a gentleman. Thanks.
-Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
-I'll rush this lady off now.
With £60 off the ticket price, Amanda and Phil have their fourth lot in the bag.
-Robert and David are just outside Boston, considering their carbon footprint.
-It's a gas guzzler.
-It looks the business, but I bet we're not doing more than eight miles to the gallon. I bet.
-But it's quite possibly worth it.
-It's red and it's not green.
-That's for sure!
Not to worry, chaps. There are far more modest ways of motoring
-which you can explore with help from Paula Ashleigh-Morris.
-Hello, I'm Paula.
-How do you do?
-This is Robert.
-Welcome to the Bubble Car Museum.
-We're very excited. One followed us in. He beeped us!
Paula runs the Bubble Car Museum, a celebration of micro cars.
That's cars with engines smaller than 700cc. They come in an extraordinary range of designs.
There are British bubble cars dating from the 1950s to the 1970s.
And overseas rivals including Heinkel and Messerschmitt.
-Were the first bubble cars German?
-They were more or less the same time. In England, Bonds and early Reliants.
Germany did the Messerschmitt. Most were three-wheeler, so you can drive them on a motorbike licence.
So what you did was you drove a motorbike with your Brylcreemed hair and then you got a sidecar
and a wife and then you got children and they couldn't all cram in,
so these little three-wheeler cars people could buy without taking another driving test.
It got people from motorbike owners into car owners. A big social climb.
Paula and her other half, Mike, hadn't planned to start a museum, but their own collection just grew.
-One of the stars is a Messerschmitt three-wheeler. Lovely.
-Isn't that delicious?
The original colour - aero silver - with a red interior.
-A Dan Dare pod.
-How cool would you be in that?
-I'm not entirely sure.
-You would be cool. You're cool in anything!
-You would be cool.
-The first version of the car in 1948 was an invalid carriage
designed by aeronautical engineer Fritz Fend. He went on to collaborate with Willy Messerschmitt
on a two-seater that owes something of its looks to the fighter planes. It was a new venture for the company
which was not permitted to make aircraft in the post-war years.
-How fast would this go?
-That would cruise at 60, comfortably.
-It's a little Sachs engine.
-What's that? Is that...?
-That's that tiny thing down there.
But it will do 60 comfortably. My husband's driven all over Europe.
Europe's ambitious, but there is time for a micro Road Trip.
Oh, gosh. We've got battleship grey and a bright red, guards red. Almost like a Porsche colour.
-Which one do we get?
-And we have two racing drivers?
At the wheels of these two Heinkel Trojans are Paula's husband Mike and Trojan enthusiast Gary.
David seems to know something.
Goodbye, Robert. It's been really nice knowing you.
-Robert seems a fairly laidback sort of chap and David is Mr Competitive.
-I wonder what on earth might happen next.
-I do feel a bit like a fighter pilot.
You just want to get him. You want to get him, Mike!
-What are they like on hills?
-Drop to 10mph and go in first gear.
Is there any way you can get him? Can we sneak up? What do you reckon?
Dilly-dallying like a pair of girls!
The race concept seems lost on Robert.
Losers! Look at them. Gossiping away like a couple of old fish wives.
-And we're in the lead. Doesn't it feel good, eh?
-Much better in the lead.
It's Mini rather than micro for Amanda and Phil as they arrive at their final shop in Spalding.
-I reckon this is just the slot.
-Look at that, eh?
-Look at that!
-The Italian Job!
-Yes, it is.
-How cool is that?
Rush out and shut the doors.
-The Italian Job comes to Spalding.
-"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
Come on, Michael.
I'm not sure they stock gold bullion at Spalding Antiques, but there might be other treasure to find
-with help from owner John and his friend Peggy.
-Hi, this is Amanda.
-Nice to see you, Phil.
-How are you?
-I love that.
-Isn't it beautiful? How much?
-How much is it?
Well, it could be £400 to you. Shall I wrap it?
Dream on, John! They've only got £255 left.
There's lots to look at, but some of it leaves even Amanda puzzled.
-What is it?
-A wool winder.
-A wool winder?
-So you put your wool...
These pull out and this... Well, it's almost not metamorphic, but almost telescopic.
-These pull out. I don't want to just force it.
-Oh, I see, yes.
You can extend these one way or another. Put your wool on there.
-And then you just wind it.
-I think it's lignum vitae.
Lignum vitae is an exceptionally durable wood from a rare species of tree found in the Caribbean.
The name derives from the Latin for "wood of life" as it was believed to have medicinal properties.
-This at auction is going to make between 40 and 60 quid.
We need to try and get it if we can for around £35. I don't know what the price is. What's the price?
-Let's see if I can read that without my gla... Yeah.
You'll have to start smiling. What's the very best you can do it for?
-The very best would be 60.
-I think at auction it's £40-£60.
-55 would be the very best.
-We'll put it back.
Phil's determined to play hardball so the duo look for an alternative buy and find his long-lost twin.
Look, a perfect match.
Where do these people come from?
Phil's not impressed so the wool winder is back at the top of the list.
-John, our best shot on that would be 45.
-That's cash, is it, Phil?
-Cash in hand, sir.
-Done, thank you.
-Patience pays off. The winder is reduced from £85 to £45.
With that final purchase it's time to see who gets wound up and who unravels as the teams reveal all.
Hey, look at this. Right, where do we start?
- The prints. - That was the first thing we got. Some lovely prints. That's Ibsen.
-So it says.
-Then the Regency-style bed.
-A little doll's bed, missing its canopy, a couple of slats are missing.
-We just thought it was a bit of fun.
-They're not laughing.
-That, I think, is rather nice. Don't you think?
-I'd like to know what it is.
-A lignum vitae wool winder. So you pull the arms out.
You put your wool on there, spin it and wind the wool into a ball.
-We've got four very traditional, old-fashioned antique lots.
-And I got the horn.
-Moving swiftly on!
-Right, OK. Here we go.
-Here we go. This is ours.
What is it with toys? We like our toys and stuff, don't we?
-Good grief! You've got a whole South Fork!
-A property business!
-This is one lot. About ten boxed games from the 1950s, '60s.
-Possibly trickling into the '70s. We had a bit of fun.
-Are they complete?
-They're pretty good.
-I'm not sure "pretty good" is an answer.
There are bits missing?
-What do you want to talk about next?
Hello! These are hand-made. These are crafts... Well, let's not say that.
-That's a loose term!
-Not much art, let alone craft.
-But a lot of time.
Yeah, wasted. Absolutely wasted.
-What did you pay for those?
-£5 each. We bought them together, but will separate them.
-One lot each.
-Their opponents are confused.
-Did you not get the title of this programme?
-Yes, Antiques sort of comes into it.
-Antiques Road Trip.
-Do you want an antique?
-Not salvage hunters.
-I'm going to show you what I think is the best antique.
-If that was bought for you as a gift, would you or would you not be delighted?
-You'd dump him.
You would dump him. If a bloke gave you that.
-Come on, Amanda. You've got style and elegance.
-Is it even silver?
- Our final one is this piece here. - Should I get my glasses out?
-I think you should.
-There you go.
-What is it?
-A little carved carp.
Oh, I see. There's the tail of the fish.
-It's quite sweet.
-It's a pretty little thing, it really is.
-How much was that?
-I don't think they were trying very hard, Philip.
-What do you think?
-Antiques? I've had enough of this.
-We'll see when we get to the auctions.
-Gosh. If it's no holds barred now,
what will they say in private?
-I tell you, I think they spent too much money.
-So do I.
On old-fashioned stuff.
I made a special effort to remain tasteful and in the category of vague antique.
And they come up with a matchstick house!
And discarded children's toys.
I'm feeling really quite confident. I always do, then it all goes terribly wrong.
-I wouldn't swap our purchases for theirs.
-No, I was encouraged.
-We've enjoyed it.
-And we've given the viewers a visual feast of antiquity.
I love this lady. She is the new love of my life. She's brilliant.
-And you mine.
I hate to interrupt a budding romance, but right now it's about lucre, not love,
as our teams head south to the auction just outside Dartford.
Robert's fantasising about the bidders who will attend.
The main worldwide collector of matchstick houses will be here
-and will have had wind that there are a pair...
-Or Dartford Prison could re-buy your item back!
Yes. Good. I mean, it would pass the time. You'd need a ten-year sentence,
but it would be good therapy.
-David's feeling a little defensive.
-You can only buy what's in front of you.
-The good, bad and the ugly!
A nice cross-section!
The best people to judge that are the bidders at Waterman's Auction Rooms where there are sales
-of antiques, furniture and more.
-Has he been driving on the correct side of the road?
-Doing our best!
-How are you, madam?
-You're looking incredibly dapper.
-And yourself. Philip.
-He's got the same colour trousers as the perfume bottle!
-He is colour-coded.
-Uranium trousers. As dangerous as uranium!
-Shall we go and have a look at out lots?
-You can borrow them.
-Shall we go inside?
Those uranium trousers are quite remarkable, but what about the lots?
The auctioneer selling them will be Colin Waterman.
One of my favourites is the little uranium bottle. Sampson and Mordan. Should do very well on the day.
The little Victorian bed, mahogany. A lovely little thing. Should go very well as well.
Two houses which are... made of matchsticks. Rather lovely.
I don't think, actually! They'll fetch a fiver if they're lucky.
Then some nice little cartoons after Max Beerbohm. They've been looked at quite a bit in the viewing.
They should also do very well.
If I had to choose between the two teams, I'd have thought Amanda and Philip would just edge the war,
shall we say? But those matchstick buildings might fetch a fortune.
Each of our teams started with £400. Amanda and Philip spent £190 all in the best possible taste,
acquiring traditional antiques to create five lots.
Robert and David were parsimonious, parting with a mere £90 and splitting their purchases
so that they also have five lots.
As the auction gets underway, the anticipation is unbearable.
-You can feel the tension. They're waiting for the large matchstick house.
-That's why it's last!
-Proceedings kick off with the Max Beerbohm images Amanda liked so much.
Try you at 30, then.
-Those are mine, by the way! Just thought I'd let you know.
Does that make a difference? Shall we make it 100?
Anyone start me at 20? No interest?
-15, anybody? 15 I have.
- Selling at £15. Last time it's going to be sold. - For the children!
Sadly, there's no licence to print money with that lot.
- That was really painful. - Oh, bless. Thank you.
Next are Robert's blow football and other boxed games. Was buying them an own goal?
No one at 15 on these? Are we sure?
-I'll take 12. 12 I have. Straight in. 14. 16.
-They want complete ones.
22. 24? Still 22 at the back.
Four anywhere now? Selling at £22.
It's back of the net for Robert and David with a great profit.
The antique doll's bed is undeniably charming, but will Amanda and Phil lose sleep over it?
40 I have at the back. 40 I have. Five anywhere now?
- Ladies and gentlemen, come on! - 45.
50. Five. 60.
Five. 70? Still 65.
70 anywhere now? Selling at £65. Last time.
It's the stuff of dreams and puts Team Donohoe well ahead.
-Look how she changes, suddenly!
You see? That's what real antique hunting is all about.
The carved carp is under the hammer now and Robert and David are hoping for some fishy business.
30? I'll come down to 20 if it helps.
-20, straight in at the back.
-Come on now.
Two anywhere now? 20 I've got. 22. 24. 26.
28. £30. So it's 30 at the back there. Do you want it for 30?
30 I've got. And selling. At £30.
It's a small fish, but they landed a profit worth bragging about.
Phil's phonograph horn is next, but even his teammate seems unconvinced by it.
Lovely horn, that. Beautiful horn. Very useful!
I'll try you at 25 if it helps. Any bids? It's got to be sold.
No? Anyone at a tenner, then? 10 I've got. 12. 14.
16. 18. 20.
Selling at £22. Last time.
A loss leaves Phil nothing to trumped about and the opposition is insufferable.
-Sadly, it's a bit of a loss(!)
Next is the uranium glass scent bottle, an expensive buy that warrants a great performance.
On offer here is not only this bottle, but also the lifetime reputation of David Harper.
Oh, dear. That'll ruin it!
80 I've got at the back.
-80 I've got. 85. 90. Five.
-And five. 110.
-Tell 'em, Robert!
-160 at the back.
Five anywhere? Selling at £160. Last time at 160.
It's a leap into the lead and rave reviews for Robert and David.
-Robert, you are amazing. Well done, you.
-Well done, you.
-You found some gold there.
-Or uranium. Absolutely.
-Sorry, what did that sell for?
Amanda and Phil hope the fightback begins with their potentially multi-purpose crib.
- 40 I've got. - Things are looking up.
40 I've still got. Five I'm looking for. I'll sell at £40. It's got to be sold.
Oh, dear. Be it crib, log basket, toy chest or magazine rack,
it's not rocked anyone here!
It isn't going very well, is it?
-This is going horribly!
-You're a master of insincerity.
-Really bad luck. Robert, put it there.
-You'll never let me forget this.
Chin up, Amanda. Surely no one except Robert and David thinks this first property looks good.
No one at 15 on the house?
-I'm tempted to big a pound.
-£10, then? £10?
Nobody at a tenner?
The gentleman over...
The gentleman on my left said £5, which is a spiffing bid.
We'll take it. Five I've got.
-Six anywhere now?
Five I've still got. Six. Seven. Eight.
-Strike a light!
Nine. Ten. Twelve? This is going beyond my absolute dreams!
£10. 12 anywhere now? Selling at £10.
New bidder at 12! It's going mad!
-No? What sort of son are you?
12 I've got. 14 anywhere now? Selling at 12.
It seems property was a sound investment, producing a good margin.
-Congratulations. What a property.
The Victorian wool winder is next and comes complete with an enthusiastic sales pitch.
30 I've got. Two anywhere now? 32?
Come on, you lovely people!
She doesn't seem to have the portering skills you have, Robert.
She's not got a high-quality product!
40 I've got. Deserves a lot more.
45 anywhere now? Selling at £40. Last time at £40. It's got to be sold.
Whoops! Amanda and Phil are in a tangle.
The final lot is Team Bathurst's second des res. Will the property boom continue?
-Five I've got. Six anywhere now? Eight.
Nine. Ten? Ten I've got.
- 12 anywhere now? Selling at £10. - Unbelievable.
Robert and David are officially matchstick property magnates and Amanda is incredulous.
You've got away with blue murder today, I tell you.
It was the derision with which our lots were met by another expert, so that's rather gratifying.
It is. It's quite a good feeling.
Amanda and Phil don't have quite such a good feeling.
After auction costs, their tasteful, traditional antiques made a slight loss of £40.76,
leaving them with £359.24.
Robert and David gambled on a mix of quirkiness and quality
and the scent bottle clinched the sweet smell of success. They made a profit of £101.88,
leaving them victorious with £501.88.
All profits made on the Road Trip go to Children In Need.
Reeling from defeat, Amanda's still mindful of good manners.
-If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
-Such a well-bred girl!
It's not about the winning. It's the taking part.
-Shut up, Robert!
-And we took them apart!
-Oh, dear me.
-Well, I just...
-As ever, really good fun.
-I've learnt so much from you, I can tell you that!
-I'm never buying antiques again!
-Amanda, you've been lovely.
Well done, expert.
-That was barbed, wasn't it?
-It was a bit.
-Thank you very much. It was really good.
Can I just ask one thing? Would you get in, drive and shush? There's no need to say a word.
-Get in and shut up.
-Don't you worry.
-I won't mention it.
-Just shut up.
-I won't mention uranium glass.
-Sampson and Mordan.
-It's just the best quality...
-Let's go for a nice long drive and a chat.
-We don't need hallmarks with Sampson Mordan.
-Sampson Mordan is Sampson Mordan.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
It's curtain up on a road trip battle as two stars of stage and screen, Robert Bathurst and Amanda Donohoe each have £400 to spend in bid to buy antiques that will make profits at auction. They'll be joined by experts Philip Serrrell and David Harper as they take to their classic cars on a jaunt through Norfolk and Lincolnshire, ending at auction in Kent, and on the way Amanda discovers that the secret history of Valentine's day has a dark twist.