Janet Ellis and Sophie Ellis Bextor go from Essex to Yorkshire with £400 each to spend on antiques that could turn a profit at auction. With experts Philip Serrell and Will Axon.
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Some of the nation's favourite celebrities...
Why have I got 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 post card.
..and auction for a big profit further down the road?
I'm having my own Marilyn moment here!
Who will spot the good investments? Who will listen to advice?
-Do you like it?
-I think it's horrible.
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!
It's a family feud for fortunes today in the home county of Essex.
But it's not the only way, as our trippers will take a brief jaunt into Kent.
The amateur antiquarians are mother and daughter combo
TV presenter Janet Ellis
and pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Have you noticed the car is making quite a weird noise when we're driving?
It's like angel followers or something.
-Oh, sorry, everybody!
Ooh, zut alors!
Our ladies of leisure are styling it out in this little French automobile,
a 1989 Citroen Deux Chevaux.
C'est chic, n'est-ce pas?
Mum, what kind of things do you think you'll buy today?
I shouldn't be giving you clues! Hang on, you're a rival!
Like you, I have sort of magpie tendencies
I like things that make me laugh or look amazing.
Janet's telly career began as an actress in 1978.
She's appeared in Jackanory Playhouse,
followed by kids' favourite Jigsaw.
I think the J's taste rather better than the A's.
Welcome to Blue Peter, Janet.
Thanks. It's jolly nice to be here!
But it was her golden time on Blue Peter in the '80s
that launched her into the hearts and minds of the nation's children.
Sophie's very kindly come along to help demonstrate.
-What do you think?
-It looks very nice.
I do remember coming to your dressing room.
-And all the make-up.
-People still write to me in just one word. Nosey-bonk.
These people writing to you, Nosey-bonk.
People that would like me to foot their therapist's bill.
Yeah. Actually, it's me!
I'll stop it now, if you don't like it!
# Take me home
# Take me home... #
Sophie's early taste of the limelight set her up for pop stardom.
Her musical career took off in 1997.
She famously beat Victoria Beckham to Number One with her first solo single.
# If this ain't love... #
She's since become a multi-platinum selling and award-winning artist
with four solo albums and numerous Top 10 singles.
My instinct would be to buy stuff that I would like to own,
that I find beautiful.
Maybe we should both think about it as let's have an imaginary person.
-Someone with a discerning eye.
-Someone who knows what's practicable in the world of antiques.
"Who'd buy that?!"
Lucky for you, we have four discerning eyes
belonging to two distinct connoisseurs of curiosity,
who'll be happy to help.
-No, I'm going to drive this.
-No, I'll drive. I'm going to drive.
-You always drive!
If they can decide who's driving!
There you go. Just be gentle with me.
There's nothing gentle about this throbbing beast!
The boys are seeing the Deux Chevaux and raising it a 1965 Ford Mustang
which makes it a three-horse race.
It's like I'm driving a boat!
I remember Janet from her Blue Peter days.
I think, regrettably, I'm too old.
Sophie's fairly cool, isn't she?
-So she's going to be vintage, retro.
-That sort of young, hip...
A bit like me, really!
You got the vintage part right! Aye-aye, sir.
Hailing from Worcester, veteran auctioneer Philip Serrell has a passion for the unusual,
no matter how large or small.
Some might say he prefers a salvage yard to an antiques centre.
And they'd be right!
Which is more Serrell? A radiator that might be for warming your feet, or part of a bridge?
Never trust a man with a goatee beard.
-The bearded brethren will rally!
Hairy-faced Will Axon's roots are in the Newmarket area,
where, thankfully, he gave up the idea of being a jockey in favour of antiques,
and now wields a gavel with expert accuracy.
Oh, the tension! Oh!
-Do you think they'll be interested in antiques?
-They've obviously got an artistic flair.
-Like what we have!
-Like what we have!
But I might come out of it with a desk-tidy made of loo rolls, which I'm looking forward to.
Come on, Philip! Get with the programme!
This treasure trip takes place in what used to be the old kingdoms of Essex and Kent
before a long journey north over hill and dale
to auction in the town of Baildon in West Yorkshire.
The journey begins in a towns that the Romans once called Caesar's marketplace,
that's Chelmsford, to you and I.
-Oh, dear. Do you think there'll be a cappuccino here?
What do you fancy? A 99 flake? Looks like an ice cream van, doesn't it?
-Let me open the door for you. What have they given you?
-Forever the gentleman!
-Hi, Sophie, I'm Will. Nice to meet you.
-Survived the 2CV.
-It's definitely a driving experience!
We've got to decide who's going to work with who.
I would say, whatever happens, my mum's done enough driving of this beautiful vehicle.
So who'd like the keys, then?
I think you would suit that, Philip.
Story of my life!
Pop in my Mustang. It's as big as a whale!
-Go for it, Mum.
-Come on, Sophie.
# Got me a car and it's as big as a whale
# And we're heading on down to the Love Shack #
He just stalled that!
ENGINE RESTARTS That's better.
Right, we're off. See you later, guys!
The intrepid treasure seekers go forth, clutching £400 per team.
What damage can they do with that?
PHILIP: Well, this is a big day for us, isn't it?
-A big day.
-You are your mum.
-I know. The gloves are off.
The gloves are off!
Do you have an interest in antiques? What do you collect?
I don't own much in the way of antiques.
I own a lot of, I guess it's called modern vintage?
-From the last 100 years.
-Yes, that's fine. That's cool.
-'50s and '60s, I love.
-That's a good eye,
because that stuff is getting more and more collectable
than the 19th-century old gunk that fogies and dinosaurs like me used to buy.
For someone who says they don't know much about it, I think you know a lot more than you're letting on.
I don't, as you'll find out!
We soon will, as Philip and Sophie sally forth to their primary place of procurement,
Baddow Antiques Centre.
But it seems antiques couldn't be further from Philip's mind.
I was immediately attracted to any place that calls itself The Strip Shop! We're in!
-Yes, we get some funny phone calls!
-I bet you do!
We wondered if you've got anything you can flog us.
Perhaps any unseen, unhidden, unrestored gem?
There are one or two bits that we inherited when we took the business over.
Let's have a look.
Thankfully, Russ isn't a stripper.
He's a furniture restorer
which is why he might just have something of interest.
Ooh, I like those. Are they walnut?
-What are they? Are they Ercol?
-I think they're Ercol.
Ercol is the name of a British furniture manufacturer
founded by Lucian Ercolani in 1920.
Retro Ercol furniture is very fashionable to young hipsters
so these are right up Sophie's street.
There's no extra for the dust.
You are too kind!
Hope we get some spiders in with that, too.
I don't want to be picky here,
I just think that chairs with no seats might have a limited appeal to the marketplace!
No flies on Phil, eh?
What seat would they have had in there?
-And then just a cushion.
Clearly, this isn't an antiques stall,
and these retro chairs don't have a price attached.
But that doesn't mean they're free, eh, Russ?
This is just stuff you want to get rid of.
-This might be your lucky day.
-At a price!
I think at auction, if they were all together and up together,
I think they might make 40 to 60 quid.
-But in the condition that they are,
I think they might make somewhere between ten and 30 quid.
Yeah. It's quite a lot of work.
Which means we've got to try and give you a fiver for them.
Try and give me a fiver, yeah.
Go on! Try and give them a fiver.
-I'll get the money out. Because often, if you get the money out...
-See the colour of your money.
If I give you that, I've a feeling you've got stronger bargaining power than me!
# Wow-wow-wow-wow! #
Five pounds would buy them.
-Whoa! Get in there!
-Thank you ever so much.
-Do you know what, Soph?
-Go and have a bath!
Cheeky! They settle on a rock bottom price for the chairs
but if it's bums on seats they want, it's time to get to the bottom of their upholstery problem!
As luck would have it, there's a very shop round the corner, and Steve's agreed to have a look.
-There they are.
-They want Pirelli straps, that's what they want.
It's a chair, not a car!
Probably be looking around £20 a seat for the webbing.
-It is expensive.
I think if they had the webbing on the bottom, that would make them finished chairs.
Well, depends on your definition of finished!
Could you do them for a tenner each?
I'll do 'em for...15 each.
Sophie, we're in your hands, darling.
-I think do it.
-OK. You're the boss, boss!
On my head be it. Thank you very much for doing us a good deal.
Well! Who knew Philip's detour into a strip shop
could be such a success.
Two Ercol chairs with webbing for £35, and they'll be ready for collection later.
Janet and Will are cruising around six miles south-west
to a little town called Ingatestone.
I'm very attracted to quirky things.
-I like weird stuff.
-I love stuffed things.
-You like taxidermy?
Yeah. Not stuffed food. Stuffed things.
I do actually have a fondness for those Victorian animals playing cards.
-Oh, they're great.
-Cricket matches, that kind of thing.
-I don't think our budget will stretch to that.
-I don't think so!
That budget is £400.
And they're about to start their trolley dash for treasure
Maggie's ready to deal. Let the bargain buying commence.
-Treasure trove. It's like someone's library, actually.
-Or the headmistress's study, I don't know which!
Hm. Spent a lot of time in detention, did we, Janet?
There's a little pill box for the modern man.
Oh, that's nice.
You've made me blush!
Phew, it is warm in here!
A-hem! Moving on.
That is rather amazing, isn't it?
You know what the trend is like at the moment for baking cup cakes and things like that.
Like typical magpies, they're drawn towards the largest gleaming object in the shop.
It's been freshly polished, almost as though they knew we were coming.
-Yeah, I like it.
I'd like to get some money out. Oh, don't listen!
This dazzling piece of plate
is actually a Victorian centrepiece
with a whopping ticket price of £100.
It's nice that that's period, and got some age to it, which I like.
-What would you put on it?
-I can see it with some big blousy peonies on it, or something like that.
Ex-Blue Peter, she can whip up a floral arrangement in a trice.
Everything's present and correct. Good solid cast feet,
stained pine, nicely engraved.
-And I think I saw, yes, a little vacant cartouche.
-So people haven't had it initialled.
They're very smitten with the shiny centrepiece.
But they want a better price, so Maggie's getting the dealer on the line.
Definitely don't want three numbers, just two.
If you want to talk to Janet, she's more than happy to.
I've got to try and use your celebrity status.
I'm nervous, now.
Gavin, it's me, Janet. Gavin...
Would you like to speak to Janet?
OK. You're a bit busy, are you?
Some grown men would jump at the chance!
So that's it, you can't... Bye.
He must be from the Valerie Singleton era.
With no movement on the price, they can't still be interested, can they?
I would be happy to pay 90 for it, because the 100 sounds like a lot of money.
-I think in an auction, it would start lower, and if it made 100 we'd be happy.
If we just make our money back, then we're no better off.
Can't do it.
Maggie's not for turning!
-It's a lot of silver plate for £100.
-Let's go for it.
-Let's do it.
-Right. Get the money out.
-Fine. Thank you.
They've bagged their first piece of swag,
but I can't help thinking they may regret spending such a wad of cash on one item.
Onwards and upwards!
-Thank you very much.
-Very nice to meet you. Thank you.
-And you. Regards to Gavin(!)
I think those chairs are cool. They've got a great 1960s retro look.
-I love them.
-I would own those.
How do you reckon your mum's getting on?
The worst thing that could have happened is that she's just spent it all, really quickly.
-Do you think that'll happen?
-I don't think she'll be as careful.
She's a person who when I go shopping with, she encourages me to buy stuff.
-So we're going to look at the bee farm, are we?
-There's a sting in the tail here, isn't there?
Oh, "bee-hive" yourself!
Sophie's passionate about environmental issues,
so the pair are off to Chelmsford Museum,
home to a unique living exhibit.
A super organism, a bee colony, set in glass.
Here we are.
-Hi, I'm Sophie.
-Pleased to meet you.
-Nice to meet you. I'm Roy. This is Richard.
-We're local bee keepers.
-We look after some bees here.
Richard Alabone and Roy Hardwick are volunteer beekeepers
who know just how crucial honey bees are to our environment.
How many bees have you got here?
-10,000?! What have you called them all?
I'll open the book and we'll see.
Why are bees so important?
For pollination purposes, mainly.
For the environment. Without bees, most crops don't get pollinated.
Honey bees collect pollen, nectar and water to feed themselves and their larvae.
By doing so, they pollinate fruit, flowers, vegetables and crops
which puts the food on our plates.
But the bee population in the UK is dwindling.
Last year's long, harsh winter put paid to a third of bee colonies.
Less bees means less food, and not just for us.
The entire food chain is affected.
Bees can see ultraviolet light.
So in some of these flowers, there will be an ultraviolet pattern.
You can't see it, but they can.
I like that bee fact. That's a good bee fact.
What's a bee's favourite flower to fly towards? What's it looking for?
They're looking for nectar. This is the point.
Bees fly about 55,000 miles to collect enough nectar and pollen to make a pound of honey!
Wow! That's one-and-a-half times round the world!
An average colony of around 50,000 bees needs around 20 to 30lbs of honey to survive a winter,
but they generally produce twice more than is needed.
The queen bee is leading us in!
The practice of collecting honey from bees
dates back thousands of years.
Efforts to domesticate them can be seen in Egyptian art
around 4,500 years ago.
Beekeeping goes back centuries.
But there's a big connection between the antiques world and bees.
-You've got beeswax polish, and these things that people collect.
-It's like a social process, isn't it?
Is there a massive difference in bees across the world?
Just the accent!
-Really? They're buzzing!
-They're all different strains.
Chelmsford's glass beehive is one of only a few set out in a way that gives people the opportunity
to see the intricacies of a living, working colony.
This observation hive has been here for 30 to 40 years.
We're not sure how long. I've tended it 30 years ago, so I know it's been here at least that long.
What am I looking at? What's happening in here?
-In the bee world.
-At the moment, there's a new queen in here.
-The old queen has swarmed, gone off.
-Do you know where the new queen is?
No. Because she's only a virgin...
Bit personal! She might not want you to tell me that!
-When she starts laying, we know she's not a virgin any more.
The survival of a colony requires all bees to work together as a super organism.
The queen, thousands of female workers, and in summer, hundreds of male drones.
They work all day. When it comes dark, or it gets too cold,
they're all coming in, but they'll work basically all night long.
They feed on honey, keep the whole thing warm.
-The drones don't sting.
-Oh, that's interesting.
Comforting, as well!
The drones are substantially bigger than the workers.
-The main thing is they have big eyes.
-They've got bigger eyes? I'm trying to work this out.
They all look kind of same bee size!
These hard workers don't just make honey.
They make wax, which is used in all manner of things in our daily lives,
from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals to household products,
such as candles.
Would you let me have a go?
-Put your fingers on there.
-Push along. That's it.
-Don't want to break it.
You've done a good job of that, you really have.
Thanks, guys. Would it be OK if I kept this?
I can give it to my mum, to say thank you for all the things she used to make me
when she was doing Blue Peter.
-Thank you very much. It was fascinating.
The next time you flail around, desperately trying to swat the life from one of those stripey chaps,
remember, it's not just the environment and the food chain that's affected.
The honey bee really is the hardest-working insect on the planet.
You were pretty young when you decided to go into acting?
That's all I ever wanted to do, really.
I think I started saying it before I knew what it meant.
I did various plays and bits and pieces including The Sweeney and Doctor Who.
I mean, for me, you are Blue Peter.
It has to be said.
How much do you reckon we would get for a genuine, made by the fair hands of Janet Ellis,
I think we'd probably get tuppence ha'penny!
I was going to ask you to rustle one up and stick it in the sale!
You find the gear, I can make one.
Where's the tinsel and baubles when you need them, eh?
This dealing duo are hoofing it around five and a half miles west
to the picturesque village of Blackmore,
where there's an altogether more laid-back way of life.
-Oh, this looks like it.
-It looks great.
It's spend, spend, spend. Will and Janet have arrived at Megarry Antiques,
where Judy and Peter have a shop stacked with curiosities and cake. Yummy!
Hi. Thank you very much. I'm distracted already.
I am looking at you, but I'm not, I'm looking at the...
There's a lot here to have a look at, isn't there?
Straight to the shiny stuff again!
Shall we have a wander round the shop?
Yes. Yes, sorry. Normal voice. Yes.
Janet mentioned she liked quirky objects.
And they don't come much quirkier than this piece of 19th-century porcelain.
# Aquamarina... #
I love this. That's so ridiculous.
I quite like it, cos it's showy and over the top.
Continental, figure of a child sitting on a shell.
I'm going to put my neck out and say it's German,
-I love the colours.
-I love the dolphins.
It's quite pricey at £58,
so they're browsing on - thank goodness!
-And there's the cabinet that you were taken with when we first came in.
-Let's have a look at your little cabinet.
-Just a look!
The magnetic pull of the silver cabinet is just too much for Janet,
and their eyes have been caught by a rather fetching solid silver fish slice.
So Judy's giving them a closer look.
That is nicely done.
Good set of clean hallmarks.
London. You can tell it's Georgian, cos the leopard's got his crown on.
Really? That's really clever to know that.
When George III dies, the leopard loses its crown.
I like that trout - I suppose it looks like a trout, or pike.
But it's £225.
At auction, you'd probably want that at 100, 150.
The owner of the fish slice is just next door,
so Peter's been dispatched with a home-baked bribe
to see if he'll take £150.
Yes, he will take 150 for it.
-We can't say no, now.
-Can't say fairer than that, no.
I think your instinct there was right.
-Shall we say yes to that? Do you like it?
-I do like it, yes. I do.
Buoyed up by bagging another treasure,
there's no stopping them now! Janet had a brainwave.
-Fish and fish slice.
-Come on, it's done. We have to buy.
The child with the feet on fish has a ticket price of £58
and it belongs to Judy, so it's time for Janet to earn her Blue Peter badge for haggling.
-I'll leave it with you!
-You see, the thing is, Judy...
-I love this.
I love the necessary pointlessness
of somebody going to the trouble of putting tiny flowers on the scarf.
-To fire something like that...
-It's actually beautifully made.
-It is beautifully made.
-And it's hand-painted.
-Very, very pretty.
-It is very pretty.
-Is it 30 quid of pretty, do you think?
-Ooh, that's pushing it a bit.
-Look at that detail.
-I wouldn't do it for 30.
She's got her fierce face on! Look at you!
I feel like I've been naughty!
Good work, both of you. I'm impressed!
Janet expertly executes the haggle.
£38 for the child with feet on fish,
so along with a £150 fish slice,
they've netted themselves a double deal.
A great first day on the quest for quirk,
with both teams banking some loot.
Bedtime, now. Nighty-night!
Another day breaks out,
and our antique aficionados are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and catching up on the trip thus far.
-Did you get on well with Will?
-I learned a lot.
It's fascinating watching someone like Will
just go straight to something,
and tell me all about it, tell me if it's repro, or if it's been repaired.
-I bet Phil's the same.
-Phil's definitely got a good eye
for walking in and being like, "It's all rubbish except for that and that."
-What about Janet?
-You know I sort of...
-That was a bit high! "You know I..."
She likes quirky things.
Things that speak to her.
-That she gets a reaction to.
It's a silly thing, but some objects do give off a sort of vibration
about whether or not they've had a happy life.
-Don't they? And I'm not at all...
-That's a bit heavy!
Sort of. Except that I do think that there's a way you connect to something to do with...
-Aghh! Sorry! It's all right. There's a little wasp in the car!
Ah. A little wasp in the car.
Could be a bee. Yesterday, Janet connected with this breathtaking porcelain,
a shiny silver centrepiece and a fish slice
which vibed £288 out of their pocket.
They've £112 to play with today.
She's got her fierce face on. Look at you!
Sophie and Phil bought two 1960s Ercol chairs for five pounds,
£35 in total after Steve the upholsterer gets his hands on their bottoms, so to speak.
They really need to get a shop on today with their £365.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you. You're welcome.
-Now go and have a bath!
She really is a star. A lovely, lovely girl.
And she knows exactly what she wants.
-"I like that. We'll have that."
What's your tactic? Blow the lot? Or save something?
I follow Sophie, mate. She's the boss. What she says, goes.
Ooh! He's a big fan, then.
I said to Will, "Listen, this is win/win.
"If I get more money than Sophie, then that's fine.
"And if you get more money than me, I've taught you well!"
I hope we both make a profit and I hope I make slightly more profit.
The fortune finders are rolling on to Battlesbridge in Essex,
in pursuit of more plunder.
Morning! Blimey, you're up early!
They're keen, Philip, very keen.
We thought how about us against you?
-No, cos we'd lose and that would be horribly embarrassing!
-Let's spend some money?
-Shall we have a look round?
-Thank you very much.
-Have a good day!
-Good luck, but in a less luck than us sort of way!
Time to split up this family feud and get shopping.
Philip and Sophie have lots to buy,
so what delights do they desire today?
Do you like garden things?
Yeah, but kind of slightly off the beaten track kind of things.
-We've got some weird stuff in our garden.
You know those children's rides, where you put 20p in them?
-We've got one of those.
-And a big toadstool from one of The Feelings videos.
Weird stuff. We like that kind of thing.
Do you want something gardeny, funky, crazy, crackers?
Just let's go and have a look.
# On white horses let me ride away #
I like the little rocking horse. Quite cute, isn't it?
-I quite like it. That's My Little Pony, isn't it?
It's, what, 1960s, possibly a bit later.
-I'd say '60s.
-It's moulded plastic.
Tubular steel base. But the good thing about moulded plastic is it isn't rotted.
And there's no sharp edges for little peeps.
-What's it going to make?
-Not very much. But these things are quite covetable.
There's no price on old Dobbin,
but owner George has arrived on the scene and Sophie's got the bit between her teeth!
We like your horsey.
-We did have £40 on it, but it's only about £30.
Can I ask you, I know that's a big ask cos I know you said 30,
but how would you feel about 20?
-Shouldn't really, should I?
-No, you shouldn't!
-Yeah? OK, cool.
That's a good deal. That's a good deal.
So a cool £20 for old Sea Biscuit, and they're trotting off!
In no time at all, Phil's spotted something else he thinks could propel them to victory.
-What do you think?
-I like that, actually.
-It's a wooden propeller. They have different sections of wood.
-And they're all laminated together.
They've got a slightly different curve.
The early ones would be off a First World War Sopwith Camel, or something like that.
But they've become boys' toys
because people put clocks or barometers in them.
They put them on the walls. It's just a decorative item.
The propeller is priced at £245.
So Phil and Sophie need to cut a good deal.
Owner Jim is standing by. But is he ready to take off...
some cash from that rather large price tag?
-What could you do?
-I would feel more confident about it if it was...
She's a good girl, isn't she? She is good!
Shall we have a look round and think about the propeller,
and if you could think about 100 quid, that would be wizard.
It would be what?! It's all gone a bit Harry Potter over here!
What magic is happening elsewhere on site?
Janet's drawn to something that reminds her of the good old days.
I love that sign!
Blue Peter? Sailor?
-I think it might be a pub sign.
Yeah, the True Blue at Wick.
True Blue at Wick. I would give it house room
and I think other people would respond in the same way.
How old do you think it is?
I think 20th century, but early.
-Hang on, hang on.
-How much is it?
How much have we got left?
One hundred and not 220!
With only £112 left,
they need to get the dealer David on board.
-How are you, sir?
-Hello, Will. Not bad.
-Partner in crime.
-Instantly recognisable. Massive Blue Peter fan.
I'll tell you what caught our eye was the sign you've got outside.
-The pub sign, yeah.
-But you've got 220 on the ticket.
I've got 112 in my pocket. That is everything that we've got.
I have had it a while.
So I would let it go.
For 100 quid?
And then that leaves us £12 to try and buy our fifth object.
-I can do that.
-Do you like that?
-Shall we go for it?
-What's wrong with it?
That is a deal.
David's given them a knock-out price for the sign,
so they've got £12 left to spend, and they're determined to do so.
What are those? Honey pot bookstands.
-Would that be a sort of...
-That would be a nice riposte.
-..a poke in the eye for the other two
after their bee visit!
More like a sting in the tail!
Let's have a good look at them. They're solid oak.
-I like these a lot. Do you?
Go and work your magic.
They're taken with the honey pot bookends which are priced at £20.
Janet's making a beeline for David to see if he can sweeten the deal.
The other team, who obviously we're in deep mortal combat with,
were looking at bees and beehives yesterday.
We thought it would be nice to do a little riposte in wooden bookstand form for £12.
-There's your ticket.
-That's what we thought.
That's not an outrageous discount, is it?
I think we can do that.
I'm going to come and live with you!
I think he might take you up on that!
-So that's the sign and the bookends, 112 quid. Deal!
-Thank you very much!
Cor, Janet and Will have spent out. Their treasure trove is full.
So they've got the rest of the day to kick back and relax.
-Quite exhilarating, our position, isn't it?
-I think so.
The pressure's off. Oh, look who's coming! Look who's coming this way.
-How are you getting on?
-How are you feeling?
-We're spent up.
Philip's bought a barrow of bricks!
-We've bought two cool things so far.
-Two things I like.
Well, we'll leave you to it.
We're off to the sweet smell of victory!
While Janet and Will are off gallivanting round the countryside,
this duo still have £345 to spend on trinkets.
-It would be quite fun to get something that's a talking point, a bit interesting.
-I saw a cart earlier on over there.
-Thing is, it's only got one wheel!
-One-wheel carts are in this year.
Says who, Phil?
One-wheeled carts? Bottomless chairs? Whatever next?
But isn't that? That's a fab cart.
I would say I don't mind too much about the cart, but I like the wheel.
-I think the wheel's lovely.
We either just bid him for the wheel or we try and get all of it
and let people make their own mind up.
I know what I would do.
-You'd take all of it?
-I'd take all of it.
What's the demand like for one-wheeled trailers round here?
The shafts are in good condition.
People use them as flower beds, all sorts of things.
As a flower bed? That's a nice idea.
This, Jim, would date to where? Probably about 1860?
-Victorian times. 1860, 1880.
-And it's English.
What was the original ticket price on it?
-The original price was about 450, something like that.
I think the way it is, it's 50 quid's-worth, Jim.
Sophie and Philip can see the potential in the cart
as a shi shi garden ornament.
So they've got a price in mind for it and the propeller,
which Jim is asking £120 for.
What about if we bought this and the propeller?
150 quid the two.
I'll have to phone a friend! I'll check on what I paid for them.
Sophie and Philip retire to a cafe and drink tea
while Jim phones a friend.
Will it be a deal or no deal?
No, that's a different show, isn't it?
So, what's the verdict, then?
Have you found out anything about the propeller?
-Yes. The aircraft was built pre-1940.
The hub has eight holes. Later propellers had six.
Of course. The post-1940 ones are the valuable ones, aren't they, Sophie?
-Those are the mega-valuable ones.
I think we'd like to buy the two off you.
-If you buy the two, I've already said 120, which is...
-120 the two. Thanks, Jim!
-No, no, no.
-If you say 170 the two, it's a deal.
-Yes. I trust you, Jim. I think you're being...
-More than generous.
-That's cash now.
That's cash now. And we'd like them delivered to Arbroath!
Don't push it too far, Philip!
# One wheel on my wagon
# And I'm still rollin' along... #
The old cart and propeller cost them a tidy £170.
And the hobby horse, a mere 20.
So their boot is almost full of loot.
The two-some are day tripping around 30 miles south
over the Thames into Kent
It's a glorious day, so what better to do than take a walk around a grave yard!
Might seem strange to some,
but it's one of Janet's passions, don't you know?
Janet loves how gravestones tell a story of the person buried there
and their families.
Gravesend cemetery in Kent dates back to 1839
and has many such stories.
But people used to come here to be entertained, not interred!
And Verna Rowe tells the unusual tale.
We've brought the weather with us. How nice to meet you.
-Thank you for the weather. Welcome to Gravesend and Milton Cemetery.
Gravesend cemetery began life as a tea garden called Victoria Gardens,
named after Princess Victoria in 1834.
John Robert Hall, who owned the land, made every effort to make it into a lovely place.
He planted these trees, he provided people with a bowling green
and had this hall here built as an assembly hall
so that people could have concerts there and dances.
-It was a business venture for him, was it?
-Oh, I see.
Unfortunately, as the concert hall was three-quarters of a mile outside Gravesend town centre,
and as people weren't prepared to travel, the business died.
John Robert Hall thought, "If it's too far from town to be a tea room,
"perhaps it will be successful as a cemetery."
-So they formed the Gravesend & Milton Cemetery Company.
-He sounds like a proper Victorian entrepreneur!
-"What are we always going to need?"
"If one thing doesn't work, I'll try something else!"
-Well, people always die. That's just a fact!
The graveyard business was booming at that time,
so they immediately employed the architect Stephen Geary,
who'd recently designed Highgate Cemetery,
to redesign the tea garden into a graveyard
and build underground burial chambers called catacombs.
Stephen Geary was very passionate about catacombs.
So he persuaded them to build catacombs here.
-There's room in there for 500 people.
-But the English didn't want to go into catacombs!
-"What's all that about?"
Because you're hidden away there. Whereas in the cemetery,
people can look and say, "Look at that marvellous monument there!
"Who was that important person?"
-What happened to them, then?
-Well, 13 people chose to be buried there,
but they were closed relatively early and haven't been used since.
So, despite all that design effort, or perhaps because of it,
ten years later, the graveyard went bust.
Catacombs were unfashionable and expensive, as were grave plots.
What happened to Mr Hall, then? Is he here?
-Because he wasn't a local man.
-He wasn't even buried in his own cemetery?
-You'd think there'd be some perk to the job!
Although John Robert Hall isn't buried here,
there are a few people of note, included Major Herbert Garland,
a long-forgotten hero of the First World War.
-This looks more recent than the ones surrounding it.
-As you can see...
"Lost but found." What does that mean?
-Well, a descendant of the man buried here...
..was tracing her ancestor, Major Herbert Garland.
-Not very old.
-When she finally found it, she found it had no headstone.
So she decided to give him a gravestone.
Now, he went out and worked with the Egyptian army
during the First World War,
trying to blow up the trains of the Turks, who were the enemy in the First World War.
-And he got together with someone you might have heard of, Lawrence of Arabia.
And he was the one who taught Lawrence how to make these bombs
to blow up the trains.
Major Garland's role in the campaign that allowed the British to bring down the Ottoman Empire was crucial.
But his part was overshadowed by his famous brother-in-arms.
He died forgotten and almost penniless in Gravesend, aged 42.
I think "Lost but found" is particularly apt, isn't it?
Although the original cemetery company was declared bankrupt,
the graveyard continued in private ownership
and after many extensions,
people are still being buried here today.
I feel so privileged, sometimes,
to be standing in front of these, reading people's stories.
And I hope they kind of know!
I was here and I enjoyed it. Thank you very much!
When you were teensy-weensy...
-..who inspired you to sing? Who did you look up to?
Initially, probably Julie Andrews.
-I used to watch Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.
It's funny, you talking about Mary Poppins. It's something that makes me smile,
is David Tomlinson, Let's Go Fly a Kite.
Actually, we sang that at my wedding! The congregation sang it.
-It's on my phone!
-Yeah. I love it, absolutely love that song.
-I loved Madonna when I was little.
Your career was fairly stratospheric, wasn't it?
There was an exciting bit where my first band got a record deal before I left school.
When you're first starting out,
everybody encourages you to think that whatever you get offered to do, the right answer is yes.
But actually I'm a big believer in saying "No" sometimes, too.
-That's true of your shopping as well, isn't it?
Our deal-doers are touring around 11 miles south-east
to a suburb of Southend-on-Sea
Do you think we'll look conspicuous with our horse sticking out the top?
I think we can just cruise into town, under the radar,
no-one will even know we're there!
Last stop for curiosities is Sally's.
Let's hope she's not out of them,
as it says on the sign,
as these guys still have £175 to spend.
-I'm excited. Let's go.
-Let you loose, let you loose!
# Boo-boo-bi-doo! #
This place is cool. Nice to meet you.
I think that's quite funny!
-This is Sophie in heaven, isn't it?
-Yeah, I think it might be.
-Come back in an hour!
-We'll have a real good look round.
Sophie owns lots of vintage and retro items
from furniture to frocks.
I'm having my own Marilyn moment here!
Lovely! Time to get shopping!
Sally's is full of weird and wonderful objects,
and outside, there's something that might have them blowing their big tops!
We call it the elephant's foot.
Oh, yeah. That's really cool.
Did you see that? From the circus.
-Isn't that cool?
-Yeah, I quite like that.
It's a brand-new, effectively wooden drum, isn't it?
It's brilliant. And it came from a circus.
I gather it came from the circus.
I feel like trumpeting at the moment!
Ha. Not a good choice of words, Phil!
-I quite like that.
-I think that's great.
-Shall we have a look round?
-See if anything else grabs us.
The elephant foot stool is on the back burner
while they have a thorough rummage,
giving Sophie the perfect opportunity to check out some vintage nick-nacks.
-It's only a pound.
-What is that?
-No, but is it...
-I feel a bit sad if you don't know what that is!
-Aw! Poor Phil!
-I can get that much!
Go and take your feet out of your mouth, Phil!
A-hem. I've gone red, now!
Why does that elephant's foot thingy still appeal to you?
Cos it's quirky and it evokes happy memories of going to the circus
and it's something you can't buy off the peg or find somewhere else.
I'll be truthful, 35 years I've been doing this now,
-and I don't think I've ever seen an elephant's stool!
-There you go!
Suspiciously free of elephant prints, too!
Now's your moment. Let's be part of it.
She's sold on the circus curio and what Sophie wants, Sophie gets, as we know!
Elephant foot. Is that what you call it? That's what he puts his foot on?
If there's an elephant in the auction room, we're sorted.
-There's always an elephant in the room!
And right now, it's the price.
Phil suggested £10.
-Oh, come on, 15!
-That's it. You're on my side.
-12 quid. How's that?
-I'll go and pay for it quickly. You keep her talking!
-Thanks very much.
-Amazing discount. Thank you.
£12 bags them the circus equipment
and they're all stocked up and ready for auction.
So pack up your trunk of treasure and be off!
The forage for fortunes is at an end.
Time for the teams to unwrap their goodies.
-Let's see what you've got.
-Let's have a look. Give us your best.
Look at his face!
I'm guessing that you chose that, Mum, not you, Will?
-How much was your thing, Mum?
-38, was it?
I can see somebody making that a cool lamp, actually.
It's a beautiful thing as it is, Phil. Look at that!
Look at the dolphins!
They're not dolphins!
-What do you think to that?
-I like that.
-Could you see cupcakes...
-I don't know what it is, but I like it.
-On the table with peonies on it.
-How much was it?
100 quid. WHISTLES
- And your beehives? - The beehive bookends were Janet...
- Dogwood, aren't they? - Oak!
Dogwood. You can tell by the bark!
He's here all week, folks(!)
Oh, I love that!
-That is wicked.
-That's my favourite.
WILL: Quirky, folky, decorative...
-PHIL: That's really lovely.
-I might bid on that!
- No, no, no! You can't do that! - Feel free to!
- How much did that cost? - It cost us 100 quid.
-It'll go for 50.
50?! Let me put this down.
-Ready for this?
-Yes, we are.
-Ready for our weird and wonderful.
I can't wait!
What time does the show start?
-Do you like them?
This is an elephant's foot.
This is what the elephant would put his feet on in the circus. It's been used in a circus.
Ordinarily, I'd say put a piece of glass in there and turn it into a lamp,
but now, somebody will take that home and get their pet elephant to put its foot on it.
I'm sure there'll be plenty of Maharajahs at the sale(!)
This one I saw and thought, "I like you."
-I love the colours.
-Is it a he or a she?
I thought it was a boy, but he's called it Sophie.
-The chairs are great.
-We managed to get the chairs themselves for five pounds.
Don't forget £30 for the webbing
and Steve's thrown in some cushions.
-Come on, then, where's your last lot?
-It's your phone?!
It's a wagon with one wheel.
-You bought that?
-Victorian, late 1800s.
-But only one wheel?
-You could take off the wheel and put nice cushions in it.
-I've trained her well!
You've been hanging out with Phil a bit too long!
I think that would be nice. Or make it into a flower bed.
-It's 50 quid, so...
I think it's time for a drink, isn't it?
Having clapped eyes on each other's lots,
how do they fancy their chances now?
I think my mum has approached this in the same way I have.
She's bought stuff she likes. The little figurine in the shell...
-Has that got Janet Ellis written all over it?
-It sure has.
There's no way Will picked that! "Janet, check this out."
Those chairs are lovely. I'd give those house room.
They could easily make ten or 20 quid.
-I love their sign.
-Their sign is wonderful. I would own that.
-Who's going to win?
-I don't know. It's not obvious, actually.
We've bought, like we said, a huge variety of stuff.
-From a Georgian silver fish slice...
-And I've had fun!
I'll say all this now, because after the auction, we won't be speaking!
-"That Will, he knows nothing!"
-"What was the point of a fish slice?"
To auction, and don't spare the horses!
They're all heading north around 230 miles
to an auction in Baildon, West Yorkshire.
-I'm feeling strangely nervous.
-Cos you're driving this car again?
The auction I'm not worried about!
-It's just getting there.
-Got to get up a hill first!
-This is the first auction I've ever been to.
That's how I ended up buying a commode.
Cos I got so over-excited!
When they're calling your lots, I'll be going, "Boo!"
-You'll be offering things that I can't, like singing.
-You're a beautiful singer.
I think I've given most of my badges away to traffic wardens!
William, this is a gorgeous day!
Beautiful. Roof down, jacket off.
Not quite sleeves rolled up, but nearly.
-Oh, you are.
-I've got demi-roll!
I'm actually getting a bit twitchy about this now.
But I can just feel the bottom begin to tighten just a little.
I thought that was the suspension!
Halfway Auctions at the Halfway House in Baildon
is the seat of today's epic antique joust.
If all goes terribly wrong, they can pop next door and drown their sorrows.
WILL: Oh dear, oh dear! What is that?
-Someone's left a pile of wood in the corner!
What have you done to that car?
Nice to see you again!
-How are you?
-I'm well. Lovely to see you.
-Not really, no.
- Come on, let's go in. - It's all going to be good.
It is going to be good.
At 22. 22 I have. Got 24, anyone?
Philip Chester strikes a powerful pose at the helm of today's sale.
He's got his own thoughts on our teams' lots.
I enjoy a challenge!
Sophie and Phil have brought a circus elephant's foot stand.
Unfortunately, the circus isn't in town today, but we'll do our very best!
Janet and Will have brought what I believe to be a 19th-century probably German porcelain figure.
Unfortunately, nowadays, people aren't displaying as they used to.
Sophie and Phil have brought two rather nice 1950s armchairs.
They are of Ercol design but there's no markings on them,
so we can't actually sell them as Ercol.
Janet and Will have brought a splendid George III fish knife.
George III still at its very best.
Sophie and Phil have brought a cart.
What can I say? It's got a good wheel.
Janet and Will went all out and spent their whole £400 budget
to present five lots for auction.
-I'm going to come and live with you. This is a perfect shopping day.
-The main man.
# Boo-boo-bi-doo! #
And Sophie and Phil also amassed five bold lots,
forking out £237.
-What is that?
-I've gone red now!
It's time to take this antiquarian joust into the sale room
where all profits will go to Children in Need.
I'm getting twitchy!
I'm nervous too, now.
It's up, up and away with the propeller, Sophie and Phil's first lot.
-It's a lovely thing.
-I love it.
We might get some people who are looking for one!
If there was one thing on my wish-list, what would it be?
I must start this with me
-at £30. Can I have 32?
32. 35. 38. 40.
42. 45. 48.
On the front at 48.
50. 50 and five.
60? On the phone? At £55 I have. 60.
65. 70. 75 on the phone.
80. 80 I'm bid. And five?
80 I've got now. Five? 85.
100 I've got. £100.
It just didn't take off the way they'd hoped.
-There's no justice in this room.
Can Janet and Will make a dazzling profit with the shiny centrepiece?
Start me at £50. This is for nothing.
-At £50 anywhere?
-It's worth 50 to start me.
Surely at £50?
Start me at 20.
£20 only. 20 I'm bid.
-I like "Start me at 100"!
30. 32. 35. 38.
42. 45. 48 I'm bid. Do I have 50?
At £48... 50.
And two. 52. And five?
-52 I'm bid. Do I have five anywhere?
55. I'm selling it at £55.
-Somebody's got a bargain.
-I'm sorry about that.
We liked it, didn't we. You liked it.
A disappointing start for both teams.
Which means there's some catching up to do.
Things are looking up, Sophie.
They've lost more than we've lost!
Things are looking up, cos it's the cart next!
One-wheeled carts are in vogue,
according to Mr Serrell! Will the crowd think so?
We might have put the horse before the cart!
-His puns are terrible.
-It's a restoration piece.
-That it is!
They're laughing at us!
We need somebody with time on their hands.
I can start on commission at £20.
-It's an outrage!
22. 24. 26 takes me out sir.
-These people are mad!
At £34. 36.
-I wonder if he'll deliver it?
Even I don't know why they're bidding on this!
-What are they doing? Stop!
-It's going to wipe its face.
-Is it worth that?
At £42. It's yours, sir. Well done.
Someone paid £42 for that?
With only one wheel, the cart couldn't turn a profit.
That's another loss for Sophie and Phil.
Will Janet and Will's George III fish knife win them a slice of profit?
Don't see many fish-eaters in here. If they were steak knives, I might be in business!
Start me at £100. This is cheap.
-100 to start me.
-50 to get me going.
-50 I'm bid. Five.
60 and five.
70. And five. 80.
105. 105. 110.
115. New bidder. 115. 120, sir?
-120 I've got. Five?
-Don't lose it now. Still cheap.
At 120 I'm selling, then.
It could have been a lot worse.
The fish knife couldn't cut it.
And with losses all round, hopes are high
for Sophie and Phil's retro hobby horse.
Nice thing. Is it worth £30 to you?
£20 anywhere? 20 I've got. 22 now?
-I don't want to worry anybody, but that's a profit!
32. 34. 36.
At £36, are we finished?
Well done, you.
Sophie's choice bags them the first profit of the day.
-Well done, Sophie.
Surely there's a frenzy of fortune to come for Janet and Will's porcelain?
-Yes, that was your buy. Completely your buy.
Lovely piece. Lovely piece. Worth every pound.
50 anywhere? 40?
Start me at 20. I'll take 20 to get me going. £20 I'm bid.
Do I have 22 now? 22. 25.
25 I've got. 25. 28 anybody?
25 I'm bid. At 25 only.
Oh, that's such a bargain!
The child with fish on feet was a flop!
And their losses just keep mounting.
Sophie and Phil's retro chairs are up next.
But having no designer name
may not sit well with the bidders.
-If they don't make a profit, there's no justice.
Two lovely armchairs. Can I say £50 for the pair?
-You can try!
£20 anywhere? At 20? No interest?
20 I'm bid. Thank you, sir. Two now?
20 I've got. Can I say 22?
£20 I'm bid. 22 anywhere?
Don't they know it's got new webbing?
New webbing, and style.
Our eclectic lots aren't enticing the bidders today.
But Sophie and Phil have made one profit and lost the least.
So are slightly ahead - or is that less behind?
Janet and Will are yet to make a profit.
Can they create a buzz with their beehive bookends?
-Everybody likes books.
£20 to start me. £20 the bookends.
20 I have. Thank you, sir. Do I have 22?
This is cheap. £20 I've got.
Do I have 22 now? At £20 I'm bid. 22 now?
Get heady on that feeling, guys!
-Hands up if you can read.
£20 I'm bid. Selling at £20.
-We made a profit!
-We made a profit!
At last, a profit!
But it may be too little, too late.
It all rides on the final two lots.
Janet and Will's retro pub sign takes the stage.
These are very desirable items.
We need our sign to make about 500 quid!
£20 I've got. Do I have 22? At 22.
25 I've got. Come on, this is for nothing!
At £25 I'm bid. Do I have 28? £25 I've got.
28 anywhere? Anyone opening a pub anywhere?
£25. This is for nothing at £25.
What a blow! That crashing loss pretty much seals Janet and Will's fate.
I'm in shock.
It's the grand finale!
Roll up! Roll up! See the mighty elephant's foot stool(!)
Sophie and Phil's final lot.
I think the old elephant's jobby is going to do very well.
I do. On the way up here, I passed a number of elephants in the fields.
Did you see them?
# Nellie the elephant packed her trunk
# and trundled off to the jungle. #
Your neighbours won't have one of these! 20 I'm bid.
22 behind you. 24. 26. 28.
Do I have 30 anywhere?
28. I'm selling it at £28. Are we all finished? 30, new bidder.
One more? 32 I'm bid. 34. Good man.
36? 36 I'm bid.
At £36 only.
Sophie picked another winner.
The elephant's foot stool elevates them to victory
but with only three lots profiting,
there's not a lot to shout about.
-That was bad.
-That was my contract for the next series!
The teams each had £400.
Janet and Will cashed in on one item, and after auction costs
made a loss of £199.10,
leaving them with only £200.90.
Sophie and Phil did only slightly better, winning on two items.
After costs, they made a loss of £45.12,
leaving them with £354.88.
How undignified for poor old Dobbin!
No, I just want to go, "Aghh!"
That was just the end, wasn't it?
Was that an auction, or was that an "auction"?
I thought it was an auction!
-That was an auction.
-I think the girls should drive the Mustang.
Seeing you in that is worth it, so yes. More than happy, ladies.
-I'm driving the dolly.
-This is not au revoir, this is goodbye!
Pedal faster, Will!
This is trippy.
What would your fantasy car be?
Penelope Pitstop style.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
It is a family feud for fortunes as TV presenter Janet Ellis and her daughter, pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor, road trip from Essex to Yorkshire with £400 each to spend on antiques that could turn a profit at auction. Joining them on their quest in their classic cars are experts Philip Serrell and Will Axon, and on the way Janet uncovers the story of a long lost soldier, and Sophie pays homage to the humble honey bee.