Interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and straight-talking art critic Waldemar Januszczak team up against veteran antiques supremos Charles Hanson and Charlie Ross.
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Some of the nation's favourite celebrities...
Why have I got such expensive taste?
..one antiques expert each...
Size isn't everything.
..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?
Is it making you go, "Ooooh", though?
Who will spot the good investments? Who will listen to advice?
-Do you like it?
-No, 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.
The luscious countryside of Cheshire is where today's race for antique riches begins.
Packing £400 each and with an opinion on absolutely everything
are cultural heavyweights
interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
and art critic Waldemar Januszczak.
I had two poached eggs. They were absolutely delicious.
-That's a good idea.
-I love a poached egg.
Laurence, I like your suit. I have dressed differently
so that people can tell us apart.
-We're basically the same person in two bodies, aren't we?
-And we've both still got our hair.
-Isn't that fantastic?
All over our lovely bodies.
Well, I don't know about that.
But what does have a lovely body
is the bodacious British beauty they're purring along in -
a Jaguar XJS.
How are you at this shopping for antiques thing?
Well, I love antiques, but my trouble is,
all the ones I love cost a quarter of a million pounds.
-That's not going to work today.
This pair met in 1984, when Laurence was an art student
and Waldemar was a critic with the Guardian.
I'm Waldemar Januszczak when I'm in Poland.
In England, I'm Waldemar Jannysack.
His feisty opinions are the reason he's lasted so long as an art critic
in the national press and on TV,
writing, presenting and making films about art and culture
for over 30 years.
The whole thing has got so...damn...tacky.
-I saw you on Changing Rooms - you just go for things that are purple?
-Or have fur in them.
-Never confuse antiques with good taste.
Laurence flounced foppishly onto our tellies
in the mid-'90s,
changing rooms sometimes into those of fantasy -
launching his TV career presenting shows on all types of lifestyle,
from homes to holidays.
I have no idea what you're saying, you extraordinary-looking bloke.
Are you talking to me?!
Why do antique types wear beige?
-Do you know what beige means?
-It means underbelly.
It does. It's Norman French.
-Oh, there's no top to your bottom, is there?
Antique types and beige - whatever can he mean?
-Can I drive?
-Oh, go on, Charlie!
Here are the wipers.
# When it's raining... #
Get a move on!
This 1952 Series 1 Land Rover
is pre-seatbelt era,
which is why the boys aren't wearing any.
It's painted in military surplus cockpit paint.
-# The sun is out
-The sky is blue
# There's not a cloud to spoil the view... #
The voice of an angel belongs to Charlie Ross.
He sings, he acts, and in his spare time, he's a world-renowned auctioneer.
And he's a hit with the ladies.
Sealed with a kiss!
-No! No! No!
He hit me!
We're in camouflage, don't forget!
This jolly whippersnapper is a passionate historian
with an eye for detail - it's Charles Hanson.
Oh, sorry, Charlie! Sorry.
Where's the respect, eh?
We're meeting Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. He will have the crispest suit.
Not as smart as you and I!
-He'll be a lot smarter than you.
-I don't believe that.
-We're also meeting Waldemar.
# Wunderbar! What a glorious night for love... #
It's Waldemar, boys.
Our foray into fortune starts in Cheshire,
a county known for cheese, salt and silk.
We dip in and out of Staffordshire, home of the potteries,
ending back in Cheshire, at auction in the market town of Macclesfield.
First stop is the old Anglo-Saxon town of Sandbach.
-I almost feel it's like warfare, isn't it?
THEY WHISTLE "The Great Escape" THEME
Look, Charlie, the Jaguar!
-It's them! Go, go, go! Come on!
It looks like It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
-Hi there. How are you?
-How come we've got a car and you've got a tractor?
I've got something to break to you. We got on so well in the car. We had a really good time.
You look so...similar,
we thought we'd break the rules
and Laurence and I would go off on our own
and you two guys, because you're such brilliant antique dealers,
you'd go off on your own.
ALL TALK AT ONCE
-We'd see whether antique dealers or cultural figures win.
Shall we take the 4x4?
I say! This is most unprecedented.
You'll love it.
They think they've got what it takes to beat the experts.
It could be a battle of epic proportions, this.
Charles and Charlie are auction supremos.
They live and breathe antiques and have a combined experience of almost 70 years.
Versus Laurence and Waldemar -
heavy hitters in the world of contemporary culture,
who create and critique art and design for a living.
What are the tips for this kind of thing?
What sort of sale does it go into?
We've got to go for impact - mouth-watering flamboyance.
You're good at that.
This fight for fortune could go either way,
but right now they're all going the same way -
No, not first, Laurence!
There's going to be no gearbox left on this.
Each team has £400 to spend
and the first stop on the wacky race for riches
is Hidden Treasures.
There you go, boys.
I am so traumatised.
Well, I suppose you want to go ahead, do a bit of shopping.
We'll see you in there.
What will they buy?
I don't think they've got a clue.
I'm quite daunted,
because, you what? I think they have so much in the tank
-in terms of up here as well.
-That's not going to help commercially.
-It worries me.
-Let's go in here.
Will our celebrities' love of antiques
and eye for art and design be enough to beat our experts?
We shall see.
So how are we going to do this? You're obviously the guy with the experience, the interior design...
And the no taste. So we could follow me over a cliff,
or we could stick with you and your keen eye for quality.
My trouble is, I'll choose all the expensive things.
But that is our secret weapon.
-Pay a lot?
-No, you find an expensive thing,
but make sure it's cheap.
A cunning plan.
-You know, we've got to like something, I think.
But then also appreciate the fact
that actually, probably that's worth a million quid.
You go over there, I'll go over here.
-If we see anything we like, we shout.
-But also, don't forget big and eye-catching.
Looks like Laurence is wearing the trousers in this pairing.
Next door, our experts are also planning a strategy.
I think the secret is just to be nimble
-and just to race around...
What would impress Laurence?
Do you want to impress them or buy things that will make money?
I want to buy for our market,
and also impress them, because they want to see quality items.
-They want to see how it's done.
They want to see the big boys in action.
Well, then, big boys, less chat, more action,
because our kings of culture have already got their eye on something.
-Yeah? That's mad.
It is a proud cockerel.
It's probably Murano.
That is going to stand out anywhere.
I think if you had that in the middle of the table, a few bonbons in the middle...
truffles or something like that...
You know, in the modern world, that is just a beautiful thing.
I think that's an eye-catcher.
Murano glass is a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano.
The colourful cockerel is right up their street.
But they're browsing on.
Never knowingly understated,
Laurence has spotted another statement piece
shouting at him from the corner.
There's someone here with a very, very fine sense of taste.
Who'd have thought of covering
a Victorian chaise longue in Astroturf?
The famous faux fur fanatic
just can't help himself.
It's weird. It's Victorian - nicely turned.
There are few things I've felt that are quite as horrible as that.
Quintessentially as horrible as that.
It's so you, it's untrue!
Working on the LLB principle -
the Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen principle -
that you've got to stand out in the auction room with something major,
that's got it.
It'll stand out, but will it sell?
The only problem is it is quite pricy.
£99?! If we got it for 20 quid, I think we might be onto a winner.
It'll be a crowd-pleaser.
The chaps are going for the wow factor,
with objects that will stand out in the auction room,
but fit into the contemporary living room of a Cheshire home.
But our experts won't rest until they find some real antiques.
Cor! It's absolutely wonderful.
Ahem! I said WON'T rest.
Charlie, how about this?
-Take a seat.
-Oh, it's got some...
Not to worry.
These boys are still hard at work.
Charles has picked up a stereoscopic viewer with photographs.
So you've got the two images melding into one.
Have a look.
-The key is what the cards are.
Look, look, look! Listen, you're a historian.
Listen to this.
"The first train of refugees out of Kimberley after the siege."
-Diamond mines of Kimberley. Look at this!
The river, guarded and preserved by the British, 1900.
Winston Churchill fought here.
These are live pictures at the time.
Copyright 1900, by Underwood and Underwood.
These are fabulous, Charles. You've done well to find these.
Underwood and Underwood were once the largest publishers of stereo views in the world,
founded by two brothers in 1881.
The lads know from experience that these viewers and cards
are highly collectable items. However, there's no ticket price attached,
so it's time to find Richard to talk money.
-We're in a really serious competition.
-We love them.
It's the antiques trade literally against these two cultural, arty people.
What's the very best?
To let you have it today, £40.
-40's your very best?
Sit down there, Charles. Just sit down there.
If I pulled out £30 and put it into your pocket, sir, would you take it?
You don't want to go with £30, do you? In which case, it makes up the mind.
There's two of us on this great road trip.
-We want to...
-You can't expect to buy this for £20, for goodness sake!
But we are in it to win. Don't forget that.
We're going to leave it. Thanks ever so much. Come on, let's go.
-Bye, Charles. I'm just going to have a quiet word with Richard.
OK. Thanks, Richard.
I think Charlie's pulling rank.
I'm the senior member of this team.
OK, I'm leaving!
I think I'm going to put it on my head.
I'm going to give you £30. Thank you very much indeed.
-Come on, let's go.
Unbeknown to Mr Hanson, his partner has just bagged them their first auction oddity.
£30 for the stereoscopic viewer and photographs.
How are the other pair faring?
Oh, you know what this is? A gramophone.
But look at the detailing around that speaker.
Beautiful bit of Art Deco.
Just as a cabinet, you've got all these special little places
for records and goodness knows what.
And actually, people could use it at home.
You could put a flat-screen TV in there.
If you're living the retro life...
-But they don't, do they?
Come on, Grandpa, get with the programme!
I just think it's really purty.
-If we could get that for 50...
What don't we do a deal for the chaise longue, the cock...?
-But if we take the chaise longue, we've got to think how much that'll cost.
20 quid? OK.
The cock, 20 quid.
This, 20 quid.
Everything's 20 quid.
Cor! They'll have to drive a hard bargain
to get all three items down to £20.
Richard is asking £35 for the glass cockerel.
There's a £99 ticket on the chaise.
And the gramophone cabinet is priced at £85.
Good luck, chaps!
The first thing I'd like to propose to you - I know you're going to say yes...
-You know that awful green chaise longue covered in Astroturf in the back there?
-I'd need 30 for that.
Cash for 15. Oh, dammit, 20, then!
-Look at his puppy eyes.
-I'll sell it you for 20.
Well, I never!
-All breakages must be paid for.
That'll be an extra fiver.
Second thing we're going to talk about
-Useless piece of toot.
We're prepared to give you 15 quid for this.
Nearby, the experts are furtively lurking.
WALDEMAR: Or you can give us money to take it away.
Absolutely. We've got a van.
If you can make that 20, I'll sell you that as well.
I'm not going to argue over £2.
-That is fantastic, Richard. Thank you.
-They've bought something.
And finally, the Murano glass cockerel.
It's ugly and nobody else wants it.
"It's ugly and no-one else wants it."
They've fallen into the trap!
OK, 10. Go on then, 10.
They should not have decided to let us go.
-Go on then.
Richard, you are a gentleman,
and I'm not surprised at all that this shop is so wonderful.
Whether their strategy of style over substance
prevails at auction remains to be seen.
But their ruthless bartering alone could clinch it.
They've bought a Murano glass cockerel,
a Chinese lacquered cabinet
and a furry green chaise,
all for £63.
But can they match up to our experts, who are still in search of a little slice of history?
Charlie, it's never-ending.
A French 19th-century bedside pot cupboard
with a Venn marble top.
Quarter-veneered front, cabriole leg...
-That's got some age, hasn't it?
It's a good thing.
Keeps your chamber pot nice and cool.
What would you pay for this?
If I could buy it for £35, I would take it away.
You know what? If I could buy it for £35,
I wouldn't walk away. I'll take it all day.
That's what I mean - I'd walk away with it.
We are in agreement.
Richard, have a word with these two, will you?
The pot cupboard has a ticket price of £85,
but how low can Richard go?
-40 for it.
Charlie, for the first time,
I'm going to say to you...
-..make the decision.
-For the first time?! You're always wanting me to make the decision!
Richard, I'll leave you with Hanson and I'll either see him
walk out of the door holding a pot cupboard, or he won't be.
I'll be 100% behind you, whatever decision you make.
Crafty old devil!
What's a young man with cash in his hand to do?
It's just a lovely piece of furniture, it really is.
It's charming. Have £40. Thank you, Richard. Thank you so much.
With another deal done,
Charles is leaving by the back door. But in the cold light of day,
there's a surprise in store.
This item... Oh, gosh!
There's some woodworm.
It's got woodworm!
I didn't see that. Oh, no!
There's some woodworm over here.
He's going to go mad with me!
Lordy! What a proper Charlie, Charlie.
Time to confess.
Now, Charlie, I just felt we needed to buy something...
It's got woodworm.
It's got woodworm!
It wasn't my fault!
-What do you mean?!
-You said buy it.
-I didn't say buy it!
I said, "I'm walking away. You can make the decision."
I'm going to make this day worse for you now, Hanson.
You bought woodworm. I bought a stereoscopic viewer and slides!
With your woodworm and my stereoscopic viewer,
we're going to lose this competition!
They couldn't agree on prices,
but they remain friends, having spent £75 of their £400 budget
on a fabulous stereoscopic viewer with cards...
But really - a woodworm-infested cupboard?!
This battle's too important to lose.
You know all those people who painted their room purple because of you,
-has any of that survived?
-I don't know.
-The moment you're gone, do they get rid of it all?
-I think there was one
that actually did survive pretty unchanged.
One out of 300 - it's a good ratio.
It's better than me. All the things I've given bad reviews to,
my ratio is about 500-1 that I might be right.
Laurence and Waldemar are travelling about 22 miles southeast
to Longton in Staffordshire.
Staffordshire is home to famous porcelain manufacturers
such as Wedgwood, Spode, Minton and Doulton.
In pottery, they were the Hirsts and Emins of their time.
But there's an unsung hero of the area.
With an eye for design, these two can't fail to be impressed by a piece of ingenious engineering
that was produced here by the thousand.
The chaps are visiting Gladstone Pottery Museum,
where Nerys Williams is ready to lift the lid
on the role Staffordshire potteries played in its production.
-Hello! Welcome to Gladstone.
I'm Batman, he's Robin.
I had to physically persuade him
-not to wear his pants outside his tights.
Let's have a look.
Gladstone Pottery Museum near Stoke
is preserved as the last complete Victorian pottery factory in the UK
and houses a unique exhibition that will help the chaps
get to the bottom of the history of the loo.
# Louie Louie
# Oh baby I got to go... #
Why does Stoke need a museum of toilets?
Well, Stoke didn't just make cups and saucers and bowls
and pretty china - it also made an awful lot of sanitary ware.
So it's famous for making toilets and exporting them all over the world.
-So Stoke was the toilet capital of Europe?
-And they keep it quiet.
-You wouldn't do that, would you? You'd blow your own trumpet.
The first flushing water closet recorded in history
over 2,800 years ago
was in the palace of Knossos in Crete.
It was 1596 before the first flushing lavatory in the UK
was invented for Queen Elizabeth I
by her godson, John Harington.
I like the fact that this is a throne, isn't it?
And the fact that you ascend on this lovely little step.
So it was Elizabeth I herself who had this toilet?
Not this particular one.
A similar one.
And these would have been available probably to royalty,
because inventors wanted to show off to the Queen
and get royal warrants for things,
but it wasn't something that affected the general populace.
It was something that rich people had.
So it's something we take for granted these days
that did have a huge impact on society.
The toilet, as an invention, is a pretty great one.
Let's hear it for the toilet!
-Where would we be without it?
Shall we move on?
The flushing lavatory went through a few hundred years of development
before it became popular.
One industrious plumber who tested and patented major improvements
in its advancement was Thomas Crapper.
This is a Thomas Crapper.
So he's the guy the toilet was named after, isn't he?
No! A lot of people think that Thomas Crapper
invented the toilet and it was named after him,
but it was already a slang term in the English language.
He was just a really, really good marketeer.
His advertising was the best, and people began to associate his name
with the toilet.
What are the chances of someone being called Crapper...
who ends up as the king of the toilet?
How many names are there for a toilet? Crapper,
toilet, loo, privy...
Call it what you like, we all use them
and as they became commonplace in every home,
design became paramount.
No fashionable water closet
would be seen without flower festoons.
Laurence would have been in his element.
These are beautiful. Funny thing is that the shape doesn't really change that much.
I mean, it still retains that basic engineering.
They're beautiful. This is a Rapidus.
-They've got fantastic names.
-Ricardia - I love it.
In fact, if I ever have another child, I'll call it Ricardia,
after that particularly beautiful loo.
The famous artist El Greco said,
"Art is everywhere you look for it."
Even in the loo, it seems.
And Staffordshire proudly takes it place at the heart of the production
of this simple yet revolutionary invention.
The brothers in beige are marching on Nantwich,
which is around 10 miles southwest.
I'm very nervous.
It's a very serious competition, this, you know.
You're with your old mate - no need to be nervous.
-Is that what's making you nervous?
-You're my mate.
Come on, Charlie, we've got to not surrender.
I have no intention of surrendering.
-Do I look like a surrenderer?
No. The troops are rallied and ready for the next foray
into antique territory, AKA Dagfields,
a huge antiques centre,
spread through seven massive old aircraft hangars.
-It's make or break for us now.
It's time for the men to hit the deck running.
Why don't you go up there and I'll go over here?
I'll see you in 20 minutes and you can tell me what you've found.
In a flash, Charlie's found something that's caught his fancy.
There's a tapestry there,
which is not a 17th-century Belgian tapestry,
but I think it's not bad and it's got age.
It's certainly the first part of the 20th century
and it's got a typically northern European feel to it.
It's got no price on it.
In the 17th century, Belgium was the centre of European tapestry production.
There are still some original Flemish tapestries in existence,
worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Charlie's summoned Charles for his considered opinion.
Smell the polish!
You feel like it's a stumpwork from the 17th century.
-And Wolfman, he loves the 17th century.
Waldemar will go wild for that because he loves the 17th century.
There's a chap falconing there. On the left,
we've got somebody killing a boar.
Oh, that's great!
Oh, I like that.
So far, so good.
-Importantly, the colours haven't faded.
-No, they haven't.
-Go and tell me how old it is.
-Out of 10, I like it.
-Put it there.
-I like it.
-It's got age.
They like it, but can they agree on how much to spend?
-Charlie, it's a good find. You and I work so well together.
-We would love it for £100.
The dealer's asking 250 for it,
so Charlie's asked next-door shop owner Anne-Marie to get him on the phone.
Is he ready to give a discount?
How are you? We have a pot of cash.
And I would happily, from my pot, put in £60.
-My mate Charlie would also put in...
which would make 120.
Could I say...going, going, gone?
Thanks so much!
At last, they deal together, but even with the hefty discount,
they've put a considerable amount of their budget into that one item.
# Hi-ho, hi-ho... #
I wonder who's Happy and who's Dopey?
-I think it'll go in sideways.
-No, it won't go in sideways.
What you want to do is put the front over the top.
No, no, no, no. Through here.
What a day it's been! With their vintage wheels weighed down by bountiful booty,
it's time to say good night. Nighty-night.
It's a new dawn, it's a new day. It's another opportunity to shop till you drop.
I've seen that Charlie Hanson on the telly.
He buys big noisy things.
-And the other one is noisy, but seems to buy more sensitively.
-What are they going to go for?
-Ghastly good taste.
I'm really confident, you know.
I think Laurence will cater for
that interior decorator, designer, Del Boy taste. '70s.
Charles is right. With all their art and design pedigree,
they opted for flashy retro,
buying a lurid green chaise,
a Murano cockerel
and a gramophone cabinet. But they only spent £63.
They have £337 to go wild with today.
Find an expensive thing, but make sure it's cheap.
In their quest for the real antique,
our specialists have bagged a Victorian stereoscope and slides,
a chamber pot cupboard and a tapestry.
This little lot cost them £190.
They still have £210 to splurge.
There's some woodworm.
Let's go out the second half, let's really sweat hard. Let's sweat.
-Let's get sweaty.
-I'm with you there, Hanson.
I'm with you there, man!
We're fuelled up by history.
-Yep. And friendship.
Love, romance, drama - I got you!
-I've got you.
You got me.
The treasure seekers are on their way to Congleton
in the southeast corner of Cheshire.
It's a pretty little market town
and as the celebrities are fashionably late,
the experts are flexing their antique muscles.
Some more than others.
We're just limbering up.
We're feeling light and springy today.
I feel completely confident in our abilities.
You've even got the same shoes on.
Hold on! Let me look at your socks!
Come on, let's go shopping!
The experts have broken rank.
They've £210 burning a hole in their pockets,
so it's once more into the fray.
If those guys want a battle, Charlie...
Who's this? Who's that?
-And I am... Hold on.
We don't want those. We want antiques. Come on!
Our Charlies have their eyes on the prize
and if this little beauty was the real deal,
they'd have been in the money.
Vivaldi, Four Seasons.
FLAT, SCREECHING NOTES
-He's quite scary.
-He's a dark character.
-It gives me a shiver.
-Don't shiver. Stick with me.
Quite the villain, isn't it?
The first violin I ever saw - 18 - I looked and it had a label inside saying Stradivarius.
-It did. I went all the way to London, took it to Sotheby's.
They said, "You wouldn't believe how many people stick Stradivarius labels on!"
-Good way to learn.
Charlie knows this battered old fiddle
is no Stradivarius, so the chaps are browsing on.
Upstairs, Waldemar has his eye on an old mincer.
My mother used to make sausages with these.
Polish camp where I grew up, this was the must-have kitchen appliance.
-How long were you in a camp for?
-Five years. Couldn't speak any English until I was six.
It was a converted airfield, so Nissen huts.
Totally Polish environment and just loads of post-war Polish families.
I know at least 40 Polish songs.
My estimation of you has gone up by about that much now.
Now I know that.
What does it take to impress Mr Llewelyn-Bowen?
That would certainly get a reaction.
I think that's got an exciting thing to it.
It's a cot, but I'm not sure how it works.
It's that way up.
It's a Gothic revival. This ogee is beautiful.
It looks like it's the original rattan.
I'm impressed. They've spotted their first antique.
It's a Victorian cot, but it's missing its rocker,
so it's no use as a cot any more.
-It's actually a very decorative object.
You could keep logs in it.
Laurence has already got designs on how to sell it.
I think we should put some plants in it. Just imagine this -
there's a big interiors spread in Cheshire Life.
This is in a Cheshire mansion, next to the inglenook,
full of abundant orchidage,
on a tundra of beige carpet. That's exactly how we sell it.
That's how you would have done it yesterday.
Today, you would do it the way I would display this at home,
which is in a very spare niche.
There's a creative storm brewing.
Then you could appreciate the beauty of its lines
and I would treat it as a piece of sculpture.
Because to me that's a piece of Georgian minimalism.
This is where an expert comes in handy.
Julia, the able shop assistant, is asking £50 for it.
But the boys have a shameless offer of their own.
I was going to offer you £25.
Bear in mind, for that kind of money, I'm more than happy to be photographed
all over your lovely antiques centre.
That's not an incentive, it's a threat.
Lo and behold, it's worked.
Thank you very much. You are a woman of impeccable grace and standing.
Oh, Julia, what have you done?!
Look at your lovely toes!
That's another piece of booty bagged - a Victorian cot for £25.
Well, they can spot a real antique,
but would the experts have gone for it without a stand?
Meanwhile, the Charlies have plucked out another violin
that they're fretting over.
Look here - Antonius Stradivarius.
I've found a Stradivarius!
Charles, if you were going to buy a violin, that's the one I would buy.
Thousands of violins were made
in the Stradivarius style and labelled as such, in tribute to the maker,
but all 650 of the original Stradivarius instruments
that still exist today have been accounted for.
It's on the market to the tune of £48,
and the owner Jeff's just in time to talk cash.
What would be your best price on the violin and bow in the case?
I think that's quite a good price!
I like your style.
He's speaking with a Northern accent - you may have met your match!
Shall we think about it?
Even though it's not a Stradivarius, well-made violins are very sought-after,
but it seems these two can't agree on a price...again.
HE INHALES SHARPLY
(If I said to you...)
-(If I said to you £35, would you take it?)
Hold your hand out.
(I'll take it.) Yes, Charlie?
Charles has landed more loot for the boot,
but will Charlie be happy with the price?
I'm really happy with it.
but there's still precious plunder to procure, so time to get a move on.
Laurence and Waldemar are always looking for ways to indulge
their creative side.
Who's a pretty boy, then?
-That's so you.
-Can we have a look?
I really fancy myself like that!
-Somebody has to.
-These things go for a fortune.
It's all hand-done.
It's very pretty.
Vintage compact cases can be very collectable.
This one has a ticket price of £28.
The boys want it for £10.
But Julia's not going to be a pushover.
Let me just get the violin.
If we could buy that...it's not just us who'd be grateful.
He doesn't even bring a proper-sized violin!
Well, you know, size isn't everything.
15. It's a deal.
I think we'll have to walk away from that, Laurence.
-But we're not going to discard it.
-OK, we can leave it there.
Can I just say one thing, Julia? My heart is broken.
It's not often you see him like that.
Look at this dejection.
-OK, Laurence, shall we do the 15?
Julia stuck to her guns while our creatives
plumbed new depths to secure another tasty trinket.
So it's time they took off.
How good is that?
Come on, Charlie.
The boffins are still treasure-seeking,
and they've spotted a chair to rival the green chaise,
and theirs is retaining all its historic charm.
But only a few of its legs.
This is the most has-been, worn-out, wonderful, wonderful chair
of its period. We're looking at Regency-cum-William IV.
With the most wonderful Bergere back and seat.
Less seat, more kindling, unfortunately.
But it's a fabulous chair.
-Do you love it?
-Have I found another thing that you like?
So captivated is Charles by the chair that he's off to find Paul, the owner, to strike a deal.
It's a wonderful chair.
You can imagine, back in 1815, following the Battle of Waterloo,
a gentleman in his country retreat
would have sat on this chair, celebrating Wellington's victory.
And that's history. But it's tired.
Like Charlie and me.
The ticket price on the chair was £24.
Charlie's back with a deal.
-I'm hoping you've paid about £30.
With their little piece of history,
their trunk is now teeming with treasures.
They've splurged £244 of their £400 budget
and are ready for auction.
-Over the moon.
-Over the moon.
Over and out.
-Tell me, did you do art?
-I was a cartoonist.
I started off, I did cartooning for the New Manchester Review
in Manchester, where I was at university.
And after a few weeks of it, the editor said, "These are really...crap",
so they got me writing some art reviews, so that was that.
I've never looked back. What about you?
A lot of people think you're stuck in the '70s...
Several to choose from - 1770s...
-No, very much the 1970s.
-Do you reckon?
-With my art training...
-You can see beyond that.
I can see that in the 18th century,
there were plenty of people around who liked purple,
who liked fur,
who would have leopard-skin prints.
You haven't invented anything, have you?
There's nothing new under the sun.
The cultural trailblazers and our historic heroes
are all motoring around 25 miles southeast to Cheadle.
Not to be mistaken with Cheadle in Greater Manchester.
You see, there's no such thing as originality.
Charles and Charlie are passionate about history and tradition,
and they've arrived in Cheadle to visit the work of a gentleman
whose influence on architecture can be seen
in some of Britain's most historic buildings.
-Where are we?
Augustus Welby Pugin
was an architect, designer, writer and theorist.
His most famous works include
the Palace of Westminster and nearby Alton Castle.
The Charlies are hooking up with Hannah Barter
to find out why North Staffordshire is known as Pugin Land.
-Come on in. Welcome. I'm Hannah.
-Charles Hanson and Charlie Ross.
Come with me.
Pugin pioneered the Gothic revival style,
which was based on patterns used in the Middle Ages.
In architecture, the style could be typically recognised by pointed arches
and steep sloping roofs,
as well as elaborately painted furnishings,
all of which can be seen in what's said to be his best work -
St Giles's Church here in Cheadle.
Being a Derbyshire man, I never knew about this in Cheadle.
And Pugin clearly had his works spread across this area.
In Cheadle, and within about eight miles of the town,
we have a concentration of no less than 14 buildings of Pugin's,
ranging from fantastic Staffordshire privies
right the way to Pugin's gem, St Giles.
Unusually for an architect,
Pugin was as passionate about the interior design of his buildings
as the exteriors,
as he attempted to create entire schemes of Gothic design.
Pugin's gem, St Giles's Church,
is considered to be the culmination of all his experience.
Oh, my goodness me!
Oh, isn't it just a jewel!
This is quite extraordinary.
Commissioned by his good friend, the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury,
who he'd previously designed parts of Alton Tower and Castle for,
he was given a blank cheque to indulge himself.
Is all this decoration original?
And it's a fantastic representation of all of his life's work.
The intensity of all the colour
and the pattern, and that fantastic Gothic style.
Can I say one thing? It almost looks like a wallpaper.
I'm really itching to go and touch a pillar!
-I think it's a tile. I think they're Minton tiles.
-That's painted on.
Directly. Pugin was about the experience,
and you have to touch the surfaces to know whether it's tiled,
whether it's directly painted onto the stone
or whether it's actually onto plaster.
It has drama, doesn't it?
-Drama's the word.
-Exciting and passionate.
-He was a perfectionist.
Pugin was fascinated with theatre
and decorated his churches in a way so as to present Mass to the congregation as a spectacle.
A gated screen.
This is the decoration that sets the stage.
-Like a theatre.
-Absolutely. Just like a theatre.
And if you come on through...
Oh, I feel like I'm in heaven.
-It is just...
-Such an experience.
It was five years to build.
It could have taken 50 years to build.
But there's two little hidden secrets to Pugin's gem.
The first is in the large stained-glass window here.
In one of them where you see the monk,
just below his chin
is a piece of clear glass.
And that was designed to allow natural light
to come on to the table at the altar,
to give the impression of having a holy light.
And the second is just behind us.
The choir and the organ were installed here behind this beautiful screen.
It had the brilliance of the acoustics in this space,
but you would sit in the congregation as part of the theatre.
Hear the voices of heaven and see the light of God.
It's magical, isn't it? Charlie, we're not normally lost for words.
This is one of the most exciting buildings I've ever been in.
It really is.
I can't get over it, actually.
It's quite something, isn't it?
And I can say, sadly, as a man who doesn't go to church every week,
if I lived here, I think I would.
After that vision of English architectural heritage,
the boys are en route once more to the big show and tell.
Secrets will be divulged
and treasures exposed.
Oh, what is going on here?!
-Are there any spare glasses?
We have a clash here between culture and antiques types.
-We have a clash between the future and the past.
Show us what you've got.
Just enjoy it, Charlie.
Pleasure yourself! Go for it!
Can I honestly say that I absolutely love
the bit of crushed velvet?
Look at that. This is Carolean.
That's not - that's John Lewis.
The one word that springs to my mind when I look at that...
How much did you pay for it?
You're a man with a good patination. What date's that chair?
That is a really good chair.
-Shall I tell you one of the things I look for in a chair?
And they say they're the future.
CHARLES: Roll back to Trafalgar. This is a chair of that period.
Just imagine the Duke of Wellington sitting reading...
The thing is, if the Duke of Wellington sat in that, he'd have a very sore bottom.
Because he'd be on the floor!
Shall we move on?
One of the things I love beyond anything
is your pot cupboard.
Not all bad, then.
-A pot cupboard.
-You don't need a pair.
Why not, Charles?
Surely it's friendly to...
No, it's anything but friendly to have two pot cupboards.
-Giving Mrs Ross the option of having a widdle in the middle of the night is quite nice.
-She doesn't need it.
-I reckon you paid 60 quid for that.
It cost us £40.
-And a really interesting...
40 slides of the Boer War.
I like these.
Right, shall we show you some glory?
This is a lifestyle collection
that defines the concept of tough love evolution.
Basically, get on board or stop existing.
And there's nothing brown about what we're taking to town.
The creatives have branded everything,
hoping that anything touched by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
will be worth more at auction,
and they've accessorised the chaise too.
-Drink it in!
-This is ghastly.
This is absolutely GHASTLY!
-I've never seen anything so horrible!
-Guess how much we paid?
-I can't believe you paid anything.
-Just one question - the actual carcass is old, isn't it?
It's got nice legs.
It had nice legs, then somebody painted them.
£25 when you include the cushion.
CHARLES: I must admit I did look at that and I was quite taken by it.
It's SO Diana Dors.
You know, it's got the original little Bakelite light there.
Yes, none of the working parts are working or indeed exist.
It is just loved to death.
The reason I like it is because of the chinoiserie -
it's fanciful, fun...
You have bought one real antique, haven't you, which of course is this.
It probably has a stand.
Somewhere...but we don't need a stand because it's for orchids.
-Its function has changed.
It's now a thing of beauty on its own.
-Good luck to you.
-Well done, Laurence.
Plenty of food for thought.
So now you've gathered yours, I'll give you a penny for them, teams.
Charles, you look deflated.
I'll be honest with you - I think they've bought some really stunning, exceptionally vivid
I think they've done very well.
I now feel really guilty, because neither of us were with them.
It meant there was no pizzazz.
The chair - I know you're meant to restore things...
-And as for the tapestry!
There's one object I think might make us become unstuck.
I didn't like that term the "carvery" wall-hanging.
-And that could be our nemesis.
Roll on tomorrow.
Come on, Llewelyn-Bowen, come on, Waldemar -
take on the two antique experts. Who are you?
Who WERE you?
In an unprecedented break from the norm,
our celebrities decided to take on the experts.
But who will win out? Time to take this cultural clash to auction.
So keep your eyes upon the road, your hands upon the wheel
as they go around 24 miles north to Macclesfield.
-I think Laurence will take defeat really badly.
He will weep, he will cry.
-But Waldemar will take it on the chin. He'll say, "Well done, chaps".
-Yes, he will.
-Did you wake up feeling confident?
-It's down to the showbiz now.
They'll probably write about that in the Antiques Trade Gazette.
-"Men of culture beat antique types."
-And they'll spell culture with a K!
-Spell culture with a K! They will.
Argh, there's a moth on me!
-There's a moth!
Our experts won't go down without a fight.
And where better for it than Adam Partridge Auctioneers and Valuers?
A relative youngster as far as auction houses go, but already making a name for themselves.
-How are you?
We're really confident.
I'm even more confident than I was yesterday.
Have you bumped your head?
Come and have a look at the salerooms.
Today's gavel-slammer, with his hand round the hammer,
is Adam Partridge.
That's Adam, not Alan.
I've never seen anything like the green chaise longue.
It's not actually Astroturf - I think that would have had a better chance.
The crib's a nice thing, a proper antique.
I'd like to see that make £80 or more.
They've really lucked out buying a violin.
We do a special musical instruments sale, and it's this morning.
So there could be a profit there.
When I saw the Regency chair, I said to my colleagues,
"I wouldn't mind a saleroom full of these."
In good condition, that chair is worth 600 or 800 quid.
The antiquarian supremos
to amass five lots for auction.
The creatives' "Touched by LLB" range
also consists of five lots,
costing them £108 in total.
-Come on, Grandpa, get with the programme!
-I don't know.
There's only one way to settle this argument,
and with all profits going to Children In Need,
it's time to auction.
This is the clash of the Titans.
This is the ultimate in decor
against the ultimate in antiques.
-Are you nervous, Laurence?
-I don't know.
Up first is the Charlies' Victorian stereoscopic viewer.
They'll be hoping to see a profit with this historic beauty.
This is a banker, I think.
20 I have. 20.
5. 30. 5. 40. 5.
Your bid at 45, front row. 45.
Are you all done? 50 online.
5 in the room. At 55.
60 online. In the room now and selling - hammer's up - 65.
All done? The hammer's up. At 65, we sell...
£65 for that?!
Well done, boys. Round one to the experts.
# Double your money and try to get rich! #
We are off and running!
But our showbiz pair are about to make a statement
with their chaise...up next.
I'm feeling strangely confident now.
Anybody at £30, the chaise longue?
A present for someone you don't like?
20's online. 20's bid on the internet.
At £20. 5. 25.
30 online. At £30.
Anyone else, the chaise longue?
Anyone in the room, with the benefit of seeing it in all its glory?
That's giving it away! We're giving it away.
Very good price, boys.
Not exactly the statement they were hoping for.
It's an antique of the future. No accounting for taste.
You said it!
Charles and Charlie's 19th-century French pot cupboard is next.
Usually make 100 quid, don't they, or 120? Start me £40 for it.
-There's £20 online.
-It's over there.
-35. Any more now? 40's online. At £40.
Where will you find one cheaper? We're selling at £40.
It's broken even, even with the woodworm.
C'est la vie.
Laurence and Waldemar's gramophone cabinet is up next.
They'll be hoping to make a noise in the crowd with this item.
Start me at £20 for this.
Any advance on £20?
It isn't that expensive, is it?
At £20, we're selling online.
The branding isn't having the desired effect.
There's been a collapse of taste today.
Will the Charlies' little slice of history
get the crowds out of their seats?
It's the Regency chair.
Sorry, the leg just fell off!
It has got four.
Now, who says you need four legs on a chair?
You did, actually.
-We have the leg.
£20 the chair. £20.
Come on, chaps! Have a go!
15. There you go, sir.
Rescued by the man in black.
The leg's worth 50!
Have you banged your head?
At £15. In pink, at £18.
At 18. We sell at 18.
It cost 19!
The chair was just too far gone for this crowd.
But the experts are still ahead.
The creatives want to maximise the impact of their next lot.
I want to make sure the Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen sign is on it.
Do you know where the glass cock is?
Have you seen a big glass cock, by any chance?
It's over there?
Could you take it to the front, and when you take it to the front,
could you make sure that is visible on the front?
Are you sure, sir? It'll lower the value of the lot.
That was very rude, wasn't it?
Frankly, it requires no further introduction.
At 10. At 20.
Have another one, sir. 25 in the room.
For goodness sake!
At 25. 30, and a new place.
A gentleman of such taste!
£35. At £35 online.
40 in the middle.
Profit at last for the colourful cockerel.
I salute you. Well done. Well done.
Will the Charlies be able to string along the crowd
with their wannabe Stradivarius?
You're getting nervous, aren't you?
I'm not surprised.
The violin could make £100.
It could, but it won't.
It's a Stradivarius...labelled violin.
I'm bid £20. I'll take 5. 30. And 5.
And 40. And 5. And 50. And 5.
-Keep going, baby.
-£55 in the middle.
£55. Any advance on the violin at £55?
Not millions, but another profit keeps the experts in the lead.
But the celebrities' antique is next.
Will the cradle rock the crowd?
I can see this blowing the game away for us.
Where's the rest of it?
-It should have a rocking base.
-What date is it, sir?
It's a Victorian one, by the look of it.
I thought it was Georgian.
No, it's mid-19th-century.
He's the expert.
Thank you, sir. 20 is bid. In the corner at £20.
I'll take 5 now. At £20.
Just get rid of it!
It's £20. We're selling at 20.
Any advance on £20?
-That's disappointing. Cheap!
That really was cheap.
It's not going well for the celebrities.
Charlie's pricy tapestry is next.
But they're having their doubts.
Charlie, this could be our downfall.
I've never seen a man with less faith!
Lift it a bit higher!
What do you bid me for that? Very big decorative tapestry.
£20, the tapestry.
It's 15 online. We're selling it.
20 in the front row. Well done, sir.
At £30, the tapestry.
-Well, there we are.
-Well done, sir.
What a disaster! That loss wipes out all their previous profits.
We've been well and truly trounced.
Listen, that fat lady hasn't sung yet, and we've got our powder compact.
It's all academic now, though.
The vintage lipstick is the final lot,
as worn by Laurence.
But don't let that put you off.
Where do you want to be - £20?
15. Online at 15.
£20. Lady's bid at 20.
I'll take 5. Online, 25.
28, sir? Thank you, sir.
30's online. At £30.
Give me a high five, Laurence.
I don't do that! I've got people to do that for me.
Although it pains me to say it,
the celebrities have won,
but only just.
Had the experts not been stitched up by the tapestry,
it would have been a wholly different story.
-Pleasure to be thrashed.
Yes, I've heard that about you!
The teams each had £400.
The experts made a heroic effort,
but after auction costs, took a loss of £73.44,
leaving them with £326.56.
Waldemar and Laurence's hard bargaining leaves them,
after costs, with a profit of £6.80,
so they finish with a budget of £406.80.
We really salute you two, because you came and you conquered.
-I mean that sincerely, don't we?
-Yeah, yeah. We do.
We came into your world. We thought we'd take it by storm.
We should have taken it by storm,
but in the end, victory doesn't feel that great, does it?
Victory - but at what cost?
It's been a lovely time.
The culture clash endeth.
Time to retreat to familiar surroundings.
Get me to the Ritz SOON.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Road trip history is made as fantastical interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and straight-talking art critic Waldemar Januszczak turn the rules on their head and decide to take on the antiques experts at their own game. Rather than go head-to-head, they team up against veteran antiques supremos Charles Hanson and Charlie Ross, challenging them to an arty versus antiques duel. Heading off in a stylish Jaguar XJS through Cheshire and Staffordshire, can the celebrities' interior design and art instincts beat the experts' antiques know-how when it comes to making that all important profit at auction?