This edition of the celebrity antiques challenge sees Downton Abbey's Phyllis Logan go head to head with her husband, Kevin McNally.
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The nations' favourite celebrities...
-We're special, then, are we?
-Well, that's excellent.
..paired up with an expert...
We're a very good team, you and me.
..and a classic car.
Their mission? To scour Britain for antiques.
I have no idea what it is.
Oh, I love it!
The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction.
But it's no easy ride.
There's no accounting for taste.
Who will find a hidden gem? Who will take the biggest risks?
Will anybody follow expert advice?
-Do you like them?
There will be worthy winners and valiant losers.
-Are you happy?
Time to put your pedal to the metal.
This is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
Today's celebrities are two top-notch actors
who also happen to be a married couple.
-If you keep doing showing me how to drive, darling,
I'm going to slap that hand.
Can you tell?
You're almost driving the car in front.
You keep doing this - "Up, up! Down, down!
Meet Phyllis Logan and Kevin McNally.
I'm not really, as you know, competitive by nature.
I want to win.
Not only do I want to win, I want to destroy you
and I want to break all records in terms of profit.
What kind of talk is that to your wife?
"I want to destroy you" -
you have already have, darling.
Hee-hee! Our celebrity couple
have certainly got today's experts in a bit of a lather -
auctioneers Mark Stacey and Thomas Plant.
-Pirates! We're very lucky.
To get to meet proper Hollywood stars.
-HOLLYWOOD stars. Red carpet stars.
No wonder, because Kevin,
who's more usually seen these days wearing humungous sideburns
as Mr Gibbs in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies
and BAFTA-winning Phyllis, who starred in such powerful dramas
as Secrets And Lies,
are also very familiar from our TV screens.
-I LOVE Downton Abbey.
-I bet you do.
I love Downton Abbey, I'm there with my slice of toast
and cup of tea in the evening, watching Downton.
And, of course, she played Lady Felsham in Lovejoy.
Yes - as well as being TV's Mrs Hughes on Sunday evenings,
Phyllis played alongside Ian McShane
in the 1980s series about a naughty but nice antique dealer,
do you remember?
Should we have a wee bet on the side, just between us?
I think we should, yeah.
Right, so if you don't double your money,
you're putting the bins out for the next six months.
All right, it's a deal.
-And if I DO double my money...
-You make breakfast every day for the next six months.
What about when I'm working, darling?
You have to get up especially early.
How do you think your experiences in Lovejoy will help you?
Probably not at all.
Ha-ha! The stakes are already high on this road trip.
Celebrities and experts are deep in the Kent countryside
of the Garden of England,
driving a 1960s Mark II Jaguar
and a 1990s TVR Chimaera.
They will be armed with £400 per side,
but what will those pairings be?
-Good morning? Isn't this lovely?
-You brought the sun.
-We did, didn't we?
- How are you? Good to see you. - Hi! Hello!
-Lovely to meet you.
THOMAS: Right - who's going to go with who?
-I have this car...
-Oh, well, I'm going with him.
PHYLLIS: You've got me, I'm afraid.
- Do you want the TVR? - It's too low down for me.
I'd never get in there with my lumbago!
I think we'll go for classic beauty
and we'll leave the nouveau brashness to them.
Mark, are you going to be driving and Phyllis can sit in the back?
Yes, shall we do that?
-Come along, my lady.
-Have you got your chauffer's hat on?
So, that'll keep Downton fan Mark happy
whilst Thomas is in for a right pirate's knees-up.
And what an adventure awaits.
Our route starts in Barham, Kent.
Then we take a trip to the coast
before heading over the border into Sussex,
finally making for an auction by the Thames at Greenwich.
This little village with three bears passant on its coat of arms
was the home of one of the four knights
who murdered Thomas a Becket
at nearby Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.
Lord Kitchener of recruitment poster fame
once lived near Barham, too.
What is Kevin going to be like? Is he quite competitive?
See playing games with him? He's got to win.
So we need to win.
-Well, I'd really like to win. I'd really like to.
-So would I.
I think those two will do all right.
Oh, Mark, look - shall I give it a pull?
-Loud ring - well, it's worked.
-It's worked indeed.
-I'm Christian. Nice to meet you.
-Hi, I'm Phyllis.
-Hi, Phyllis, nice to meet you.
You've got some antiques, I gather.
Yes, we've got one or two around the corner.
-We're dying to see them.
-We are, we can't wait.
-That way to the showroom.
-Yes, we shall. Come on!
He's not wrong - there are at least one or two.
Good quality as well, which could put of a strain on the old funds.
-It's not £16.50, is it?
-That's for the table, of course.
-I like this.
Don't tell me our co-stars are falling out already.
Fancy a duel?
-We got taught this at drama school, actually.
MARK LAUGHS It's even got the rapier, too.
-Oh, you've remembered it.
If you're ever in The Scarlet Pimpernel or something,
that would be wonderful.
Now, those look cheap and familiar.
-A load of old keys.
-Yes. Well, that's what I wear.
Very Mrs Hughes. A bit rusty, though.
Now, that might suit a pirate film, don't you think?
-Can you see anything?
Take the lid off - that's it.
-PIRATE'S VOICE: Ship ahoy, Cap'n.
The ticket price is £175, whatever they see in it...
Yes, I can.
..which is quite a bit.
Just what did the actor say to the auctioneer?
-Now, are you a good haggler?
-Yes. A very good haggler.
Because I'm a Bristolian.
-Ah! I was born in Bristol myself.
-It's a lovely part of the world.
-It is. And, of course,
it's where pirates come from.
It is where pirates come from.
-Pieces of eight.
-Pieces of eight - it's a Bristol thing.
-A Bristol phrase.
-A Bristol thing.
And also to have the meanness of a Bristolian.
-Won't spend a penny.
-They're so tight with money.
-Was your mother tight with money?
-She was careful.
She always said to me, "No, no, you hold on to your money."
They seem like shipmates already. Does that make Tom the cabin boy?
Time for a trip to the seaside, as we go looking for a deal...
Just off of Dover and a mere 25 miles from the French coast,
Deal has a bit of a reputation for smuggling.
Seems the perfect port of call for a pair of pirates to land up in...arr!
Canute Road - that's where King Canute lived.
He lived there - Canute Road.
-Number 46, I think.
Well, Vikings were pirates, too, weren't they?
-Hello - I'm Kevin, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you. How you doing?
-Hi, Thomas. Mick.
-Plenty of loot in 'ere, maties.
And Kevin certainly knows what he doesn't like.
-My nickname on Pirates Of The Caribbean was Badger.
Though I wouldn't want to buy that, cos I can't stand stuffed animals.
-My grandmother's house was full of them - dogs.
Yeah...never saw the point.
Strangely enough, Phyllis has other ideas.
-Oh, he's quite heavy. Not very old.
It's produced by a factory called Winstanley.
They're more known, actually, for their cats.
Oh, right. So that's quite unusual.
I've never seen a bulldog by them.
But I think bulldogs are very popular subjects.
-People like bulldogs. British bulldog.
-And we are in a battle.
Time to see what Christian can do.
How are you getting on?
We quite like, funnily enough, the bulldog.
-Shall we just be bold?
-I think we should be bold.
They can only ask us to leave.
-And we've got the car ready, haven't we?
-I'm sure he won't do that.
-We don't want to insult you, but...
But we do, really.
..but we are on a very tight budget.
We thought around, sort of, £30, really.
And then I thought we might make a reasonable profit on it.
-I'm going to go a bit more. What about 60?
-What do you think?
-It's not a Crufts winner, is it?
So, maybe 40?
-Oh, gosh, he's going down in fives!
Come on, Phyllis! This is definitely a speaking part.
I think Phyllis and I would be delighted
if we could get it for 45, wouldn't we?
I mean, if we could just do that...
Cos I think it'll be estimated at £40-£60.
What about meeting me in the middle?
£2.50 each and make him 50.
-Are you happy with 50?
-Let's shake his hand, then.
-Thank you very much.
Quite a reduction, Mark.
But now Phyllis has spotted something else, it seems.
We're rather intrigued by this,
-which we couldn't find a price on, could we?
It's part of the display, I'm afraid.
-Oh! We like it.
That appealed as a piece of, sort of, like an occasional table, almost.
-Kind of modernist in a way, isn't it?
Obviously, the glass is a later top,
but I loved that sinuousness - it's Art Nouveau, isn't it?
-1900, 1905, something like that.
-But it's not for sale.
Don't give up so easily. Christian, I know, wants to help us.
-Anything is for sale for the right price, my dear.
-Oh, I see!
What if we started again at, say, around £40?
What if I said about £70?
MARK SIGHS Ooh...
Phyllis is not looking happy about that.
I mean, we like it, but you know, in the auction,
it might not appeal to anybody.
One of your finest performances, Phyllis.
I feel another BAFTA coming on.
Why don't we say 50 again, and then it's a round 100, isn't it?
-Can we do that?
-A round 100 for the bulldog and the pedestal.
Well, I would say a lot more than that, really, but...
Make it 60?
-Shall we say, "yay"...?
-So it's 110 for the two.
It's all right, isn't it?
-Sound like a deal?
-It does. Thank you very much.
-Thank you, Christian.
-Thank you so much.
Team Phyllis is off the mark, purchasing the bulldog
and the lamp table for £110.
With that deal done,
what about Deal?
The place, that is, where Kevin is taking charge - here we go.
-I like the look of these.
-What, the scales?
-The butchers' scales, yeah.
-They're rather good, aren't they?
-Does he have the weights with it?
Oh, there we are - "with brass weights".
-I do think they're rather handsome. That has...
-Yes, that has to go.
We're not having that.
He's made an impressive start.
Still needs a guiding hand, though.
Where the lack of experience comes in.
-HE PLAYS "TUBULAR BELLS" ON ORGAN
-He can play a bit, too.
Tubular Bells is fine, but definitely no Stairway.
So, you've got to keep on pumping.
Yeah, if you don't pump, it won't make a noise.
It's like...Georgian aerobics.
Fantastic it works - shame it's got that little wheeze in it, but...
I think if you were 150 years old, you might have a bit of a wheeze.
I'd have a wheeze, yeah!
The harmonium, or pump organ, was once very popular in the home
and in small churches and chapels
where huge pipe organs would have been impractical.
-What do you think that would do?
I think it's...it's quite fun. It's small enough to be...
-It is small enough, isn't it?
Shall we put that in our memory banks and come back to it?
-That's a good idea.
Quite a price.
Not exactly going for a song - ha!
We can't buy everything, can we?
You can't, but you've picked out some amazing things.
I'm quite impressed with your eye. Is there anything you're looking for?
I'm sure Thomas can come up with something.
I've never seen this before, ever, in my working career.
What is...? Oh, it's to hold a pipe.
Clay pipes, you used to buy them in packs of 20.
-Right, cos they break easily.
-But this is for travelling.
-To keep them safe.
The ticket says £45.
-And comes with its own pipe.
Well, I think that's a lovely little item.
-Imagine just slipping it in your breeches.
The great thing on the day, with it being one of my lots,
is it's darn piratey.
-It is, isn't it?
-Yeah. And someone might like to say,
-"I got this from a real pirate."
I think that might be taking it a bit far.
Method actors, eh?
Worth talking to Mick about that and the harmonium.
We need to speak to you, quite severely.
We'd need a very, very good deal from you,
cos it's a lot of my bank.
I'll come straight to the point - I can take £100 off that.
Oh, you'd have to take more than £100 off it, mate.
-That would still be half my money.
-My heart bleeds(!)
I know! I can see how sympathetic you are to my plight.
OK, bottom line, £150.
And the pipe holder - and you haven't cleaned it out -
what can that be?
Again, bottom line would be 30 on that.
With negotiations at a bit of a lull,
it's time to refocus.
Close your ears, Michael.
We could take the two for 150?
-Offer him that.
-You know what's coming, don't you?
MICK SNORTS WITH LAUGHTER
The harmonium and the pipe for 150.
This is your last opportunity, Mick. It's not going to happen again.
He's good - hardly needs an agent, I'd say.
-I've got to make a little bit, haven't I?
160 and you've got a deal.
-I like your style! I'd say that myself.
-I step in with my sweaty paw.
-Go on, then.
-And give you the dosh.
Oh, after all that effort, it's time for a pirate time-out.
Although I'm not sure skimming stones
is very Treasure Island, are you?
I've never been to Deal before. Of course, like you,
being a Bristol boy, it's Weston-super-Mud.
-My grandmother used to take me there, loads.
One year we went there and the tide was in. It was really exciting.
But while Kevin and Thomas have been making a bit of a splash in Deal...
Phyllis and Mark have temporarily suspended all purchases,
motoring to another part of the Kent coast at
Birchington-on-Sea at Quex House, once the Regency home of hunter
and collector, Percy Powell-Cotton.
-Hello. You're Keith, yeah?
-Hi, I'm Phyllis.
-I'm Mark, very nice to meet you.
-Good to meet you both.
-It's amazing, isn't it?
I feel as though I'm back in the Masai Mara.
This impressive, if slightly disconcerting museum,
was first established in 1896 by Major Powell-Cotton
to house the specimens and cultural artefacts
he collected whilst exploring the globe.
He collected animals, he shot them.
It was a very different world to the world that we're in now
and he was collecting with this scientific purpose.
There was always this drive to understand the world he was in.
Africa was the continent Powell-Cotton fell in love with,
making 28 expeditions over the course of 50 years,
but although he slaughtered many thousands of animals,
the meticulous records that Powell-Cotton kept of each kill
can now play an important role in conservation.
-This is one of the specimens.
This gives a breakdown of what he brought back, but also we have
the latitude and longitude of every specimen he brought back.
The latitude and longitude today can be used to help protect
areas of Africa and species.
Someone was recently working with bush babies
and they were identifying where they used to be found,
using that information to say, well, they were here once,
so protect this space and there's a chance they'll be back.
As well as the 500 creatures on display in the museum's dioramas,
there are over 4,000 skeletons and 6,000 skins,
a huge DNA database which has helped breeding programmes designed
to save species from extinction.
In the collection, we have this type of thing.
-Every time you find a red label...
-A Diana monkey.
It's just behind you.
Percy brought some back that have not been identified
-to science before.
-That's amazing. Can I touch it?
Again, used by researchers looking at primates.
So, was the Major a misunderstood conservationist or just
a big game hunter who kept good books?
Like many Victorians, he had the urge to educate
and didn't always use his gun to do the shooting.
His 16mm films of his expeditions
depict tribal ceremonies as well as wildlife.
His daughters also followed in the family tradition,
contributing to a huge archive.
In 1905, he wrote a book, In Unknown Africa.
In that book, he talks about how, if we don't protect the wild
places of Africa, we'll start to lose species in special areas.
He even goes as far as to say it might reach a point where
the only place you'll see these animals is in the museum.
Whatever his methods, Powell-Cotton certainly had
a genuine love of Africa, even getting married there in 1905.
One of the most striking displays at the museum results from that
-That is amazing.
The buffalo is yet another example of a previously unknown species
which the Major soon had his name appended to
and the lion has an even closer connection to the museum's
founder, having nearly killed him.
If you look at his clothing,
you'll see the major wound he suffered was on his back.
He thought he had killed the lion, went over to it and it leapt up,
dragged him to the ground. He suffered this major wound here.
The thing that saved him was,
tucked in his trousers, was a copy of Punch.
That saved his life?
Saved his life and when he got back to Britain, Punch magazine
had published the story of the lion.
Time to find out what our other pair of antique explorers are up to
in darkest Kent, heading to the famous resort of Margate.
Painter, Turner, described these skies as the loveliest in all Europe
and there is now an art gallery here in the great man's name.
No point in locking it. It hasn't got a top.
-There is the door here.
-Let's walk in the door.
-It's a big place.
-Hi there, Kevin.
-Hi, welcome to sunny Margate. I'm Ron.
-Ron, nice to see you.
-A lot of clocks, I see.
-I'm a clock fancier myself.
They're not very good business at the moment, to be honest.
Thanks for the advice. We won't be looking at clocks them, thank you.
Decisive, Kevin. He continues to impress.
A TU-95, very nice.
-Soviet, of course.
-Perhaps they'll pick up a piece of militaria then.
M85 helmet. First Gulf War.
I wish I hadn't had my fish and chips at lunchtime.
You look lovely, but could we please press on?
I don't think I could take it off. I'm stuck.
Ron's huge establishment is very different from the shop
-they were in earlier.
-This is overwhelming.
-But Kevin still seems intent on following his instincts.
-Coming. What have you got...? Is this a dentist chair or a barbers?
-It's a dentist.
-It's a dentist chair.
People associate these things with pain.
Remember Larry and Dustin in Marathon Man?
-Put your head back, let's have a look.
-But is it safe?
That'll have to come out, for a start.
I think Thomas's advice plus the £300 price tag might deter
a splurge. More pain.
It's a cat and nine tails. Is this something you use on your films.
Yes, yes. The lashings will continue until morale improves.
-It seems that Ron has always got a bit more shop to explore.
-Do you remember Steptoe And Son?
-I think it was shot here.
I'm not sure the warehouse is actually open to the public, Kevin.
My sideburns. Oh, look, big old tuba there.
Big old tuba, but there's nothing there. Wouldn't be able to play it.
-That doesn't matter.
-These are converted to lamps now.
I love it.
It's a Boosey and so pre-dates 1930 when the company merged
with the other great British musical dynasty of Hawkes.
BBC television, Tony Hancock...
-Hey, look, look, look, Boosey. It's a Boosey one.
-Slipped up there then.
-You've slipped up there.
Ron is asking £50 for this battered bit of brass.
Could this be better than the 50?
-I think 50 is a gift, to be honest with you.
-Do you think so?
-I didn't know it was Boosey.
-40. There's a lot of work on here.
You've wheedled your way into my warehouse.
-You don't like that, do you?
-I don't mind, but you can't come in here
and nail me to the floor for things in the warehouse, I'm afraid.
If I could take that away with me
and still have 200 quid left for tomorrow, I'd be such a happy bunny.
But once we give him 50, I'm under the 200 and I've got no negotiation.
-I've got no leverage, you see.
-£40 and Kevin will take it away.
No, no, sorry, thank you very much for the interest
but honest truth, I think it's a steal at 50 quid.
-Boosey is better than Boosey and Hawkes.
-I've had a little practice.
-You're good, you're good.
-45 quid and we'll have a deal.
-Go on, absolutely, got it.
Yes, the thrill, the adrenaline. I'm becoming a junkie.
-Never a script, darlings. Improv, every time.
After quite a day, Kevin and Phyllis are together again.
Is that a squirrel? It's a rabbit! Oh, we really are in the countryside.
-We really are in the depths.
-A bunny rabbit, there.
-I think we're lost.
-We should have brought a map.
-Well. Hasn't his not got any Sat Nav?
-I do hope they find their way. Nighty night.
Next morning, we're in Sussex where it's raining.
Do you need your wipers on?
-Do you know where they are?
-Have a look there, see if it says wipers.
-Here we are, look.
That is what marriage is all about, teamwork
and betting on household chores of course.
I think we should forget about that whole breakfast thing
and just make it totally about the bins.
Exactly. Bins and recycling. What a chore.
-See, that's you for the next six months.
No, Mark's got me sorted, well sorted.
I love to see you confident, darling,
but I'm sad to see it's so misplaced.
Phyllis and Mark were the cautious couple yesterday,
spending a mere £110 on a bulldog and a lamp table, as you do.
-I don't want to insult you, but...
-But we do, really.
..leaving just under £300 to spend today,
while Kevin and Thomas splurged out on a tuba, a pipe holder
and a harmonium...
You be careful with that now, because it belongs to me.
..for a total cost of £205, meaning they've almost £200 in their wallet.
-I'm feeling a little bit of insecurity from you.
-Yeah, you're cracking.
-No, darling, no.
Later, they'll be ending up in the capital for a Greenwich auction
but in the meantime, we're in Sussex at Eastbourne.
The comedian, Charlie Chester, was born in Eastbourne
and political theorist Friedrich Engels who co-wrote
the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx.
He has his ashes scattered at nearby Beachy Head. Handy.
-Are we going to the same place?
-I think we are.
Let's get there before them.
I wonder if there'll be much chitchat about the theory
of surplus value as our gang of four shop together.
Yesterday, Phyllis took a bit of a supporting role
when it came to the choosing, so she's keen to play her part today.
-Do it like this?
-Well, it's nice. It's Art Deco...ish.
-It's French, probably 1940s. They don't do terribly well.
Kevin is after a new career.
Do you want to go over and do Pirates Of The Caribbean 5
-and I'll do this?
-Shall we do that?
I know Thomas quite well and you obviously know Kevin very well.
-What do you think they're going for?
-It's a model aeroplane.
-It's an actual flying aeroplane.
They are going for blokey things as well.
-Yes, train sets and stuff, soldiers.
-That lives there.
Here's something you'd like.
-A Lancaster or Wellington bomber cockpit compass.
-Let me in there.
-Can you see that?
-Oh, that is great. That could be my military thing.
Let's have a closer look with shopkeeper, Damian.
-Tell him we hate it.
-The price of the compass is £85.
-Not sure they can see that though.
-I want to see the date.
-You like that?
-It works, which is great.
I love the fact that it's got that box.
-We should wash our hands after this.
-If this is luminescent, there will be some radiation.
Crikey, step away from the antique.
Meanwhile, Phyllis has taken Mark outside.
-What about these chairs?
-These are what I would call nursing chairs.
-Yes, for a mother to sit on.
They probably date to 1890, 1900. They're antique.
They're asking 155 for the pair but again,
if they are outside, maybe the dealer wants to get rid of them,
maybe they bought them with some other stuff.
Actually, they'd be glad to see the back of them.
Everybody watching at home would be saying, "Don't buy them,
-"don't buy them."
-There'll be some lively discussion, for certain.
-Have a go, see what you think.
-What does it feel like?
It feels lovely, actually. You could put your feet up.
I think you should.
I'll tell you what, it's hard work all this, isn't it?
-I know, it's exhausting.
-If you like them, we can maybe...
-Knock them down a bit.
-Knock them down a bit.
-I'm feeling like...
-You're feeling like you really want it.
-I was so wussy yesterday.
-You weren't wussy.
Prepare yourself, Paul, she means business.
We're on quite a tight budget here and, of course, going to try
and knock you down a bit.
We need these at a really special Downton Abbey price, don't we?
-I'm emphasising the word, down.
-How does 110 sound?
-Much too much.
No, I'm sorry, we can't do that.
-How does £90 sound?
-We're heading in the right direction.
-We're going down.
-In order for the better team to win...
-I like that.
-I like your style.
The pair of chairs for £70.
-We are so close.
-We ARE so close.
I was thinking maybe around the figure of 60
and we could shake your hand.
-Go on, have them for 60.
-Shake his hand, before he changes his mind.
-I hope you win this one.
-Thank you very much!
-Thanks so much, Paul. We're thrilled with those.
Well done, Phyllis.
How are the boys getting on with their much-loved compass?
Regarding the compass, the gentleman who owns it is currently in Europe.
I can't get hold of him on the phone.
What could you do that for normally?
We could do it for 65.
With £195 still in the kitty, it's affordable -
but the pirates go back on the prowl for more treasure.
He's doing that walking away thing - I really like that!
The rivals, however, look altogether more relaxed.
-Have you ever worked together?
-Er...not for ages.
Well, mind you, having said that, he did come on to Downton Abbey.
-Oh, did he?
-Yes, it was horrible.
-No, it wasn't!
-It must be quite fun.
It was quite fun, I must say, and this is nice.
I mean, this is...like being on a little holiday.
Yes, it is, coming around and having a look.
The boys, though, are keeping their minds on the game.
-I like that Iraqi silver.
-At the back? That is nice. I do like that.
A 19th-century Islamic dish for Turkish delights or sweets -
baklava or something like that.
This is on copper with silver.
Is there any interest? I mean, I think it's lovely.
A huge amount of interest. Because you're thinking of the
emerging economies of the Middle East and this is a near Middle East piece.
And they do like to buy back their works of art, which will create it.
So you have got a possibility with something like this.
The price is at 161, so it's got to be...
100 quid, really, hasn't it, or 80? Go and talk to them about that, yeah?
What can Damian do?
I asked him to make my day. He's come in at £110.
He wouldn't do it for...
-He actually paid 110 for it.
And you want 65 for the...
Well, I could come down to 60,
-so that gives you 170 for the two items.
That's all right. OK.
I think we're almost there. Almost all the cash gone, too.
-Well, I think it's these two, isn't it?
-We going to do it?
-Leaves us a little bit of money left but we didn't spend it all.
Well, we'll spend it down the pub. Thank you.
-Thank you very much.
-Better give you some money.
-Pay the man!
-Yeah, I will.
Cor, they're going out with a bang,
wrapping up their shopping with the World War II compass
and the Middle Eastern silver-on-laid-copper plate for a total of £170.
Time for a parting of the ways,
with one side still hot to shop and the other aiming for the stars.
-You're quite into astrology, aren't you?
Really, Thomas! They may sound the same, but astronomy,
the study of the stars and planets,
is really quite different from looking at horoscopes, or astrology.
When I was a kid, I took one of the first astronomy O-levels.
They're making for Herstmonceux, East Sussex.
The Greenwich Royal Observatory moved their telescopes here
after the war and, although they've since gone further abroad
to escape this weather, much remains.
-Are you like a boy in a sweetie shop?
I can't express how excited I am.
-Hi, I'm Kevin.
-Good afternoon. I'm Helen.
-Helen, nice to meet you.
-Hi, Thomas. Come on in.
-This is Tom, but don't mind him!
Some regular viewers may recognise these domes
from a previous pitstop by Charlie Ross.
Today, however, Thomas and Kevin are here to learn
about an outlandish experiment using two telescope lenses that turned
an unknown Austrian physicist into one of the world's most famous men.
In 1919, two of the lenses that are on this site now were taken
to Africa and Brazil respectively and they were instrumental
in proving Einstein's theory of relativity.
One of the key points of Albert Einstein's famous theory
was that even light is affected by gravity.
To prove this, he predicted that if you could see
stars in the daytime, any stars hidden behind the sun
would appear to have moved position,
but it was actually the sun's gravity bending the stars' light.
Deep stuff, eh? You keeping up?
And the way it worked was that they proved that
the gravity of a big object like the sun would bend light,
which is a central core of special relativity, isn't it?
-That's what I was going to ask - what is the theory of relativity?
-I'll tell you later.
-We don't have the time.
Well, we've all heard of E = mc2,
but fear not, Thomas - even the world's best scientists
at the time couldn't wrap their minds around Einstein's ideas.
The only chap who saw the vast potential
was British physicist Arthur Eddington.
With the help of the Royal Astronomical Society,
Eddington set out on a grand global expedition
to get observational proof of part of Einstein's theory.
They knew they'd need a solar eclipse
to view the stars and sun together,
so a ship carrying two huge telescopes
was sent along the route of the next eclipse.
The goal was to photograph the position of the stars
-during the eclipse, to prove Einstein was right.
That's why the eclipse is so important -
because the sky goes dark and you can take the photograph,
the stars come out...
Because they're always there, but,
obviously, we just see the blue sky of the atmosphere.
It's a brilliant experiment!
Actually, when you break it down, it's an extremely simple experiment.
Yes, and that's the genius of it, I think.
But the task was far from easy.
Weather clouded their six-minute window,
obscuring all but a few seconds of the eclipse.
They had one usable picture but it was all that was needed.
The stars were shown to be out of position,
Einstein was proved right and science was changed for ever.
He became an overnight celebrity,
thanks to the team of intrepid British pioneers
and two telescope lenses, both of which are now housed on this site.
This is an actual lens from the telescope?
-The actual lens that was taken to Africa.
-It's a mighty lens, isn't it?
And to think they were hand ground at the time, as well.
-Where's the rest of the telescope?
-Your guess is as good as mine.
-I think it was left.
-All we have is the lens now.
That's where the money is, the lenses.
Talking of which, just shut that because he'll have that auctioned by the end of the week.
"Lot one, a very famous lens. £5 million."
Make sure it's locked up. Get out!
Incredibly, the lens from the second telescope
used in the experiment is still in use here in Sussex.
-Well, this on top is the viewfinder, right?
-Yes, that's the guider scope.
The guider scope. But this is the telescope with its original Brazilian lens?
Yeah, this is the lens that was taken to Brazil.
-It's like you're some sort of mad professor.
-I am a mad professor.
I feel like it. I just need my hair up a little bit more and start talking like Patrick Moore!
And Helen and I are your, sort of, pupils.
And you know so much! I'm so impressed!
Well, I know so little compared to these guys.
Could I move this telescope?
-Yeah, I can take the clamps off for you and you can move it yourself.
Oh, I'm so excited! Are the clamps off?
HE GASPS Look at that!
The simplest touch - just move around the sky.
-I love the dial there.
Boys and their toys, eh?
Oh, that's amazing!
Ah, we're doing that again, are we? There they are.
Meanwhile, back in Eastbourne...
This looks rather intriguing.
It does, doesn't it?
..Phyllis and Mark still have work to do.
Oh, it's nice and dry in here!
-It's good to see you again.
-Pleased to meet you again.
-Pleased to meet you.
Those two are looking for a couple more objects...
..although I think they're taking it in turns.
Well, we've got a dog. Maybe we should get a cat.
Mark's got a similar approach, it seems.
-I think this is Indian. Indian brass work.
-Oh, yes, cowbell.
I think it's quite nicely made, actually.
It's all hand engraved there and the bells are quite nice.
So that would have been made when, do you think?
You'd think something like that was fairly modern, wouldn't you, really?
You know. But I think it's got a bit of age. If you look...
You know, this is all handmade nails here.
I don't think it's any later than around about 1920.
-So we're heading off to 100 years old.
-Do you think it would do well?
These type of items are becoming more collectable.
You know, Chinese, Indian, Arabic items with a bit of age.
The ticket price is £30 - but are they agreed?
I mean, if we could get that really down,
I think it just might stand a chance.
-Not impressed with my old cow?
You know, if people who go to auction don't appreciate
this type of art, you know, it could sell for a fiver.
-I know. I think it might.
-Shall we leave it?
-I think we should.
-We'll leave it.
-You're not indecisive at all, are you?
-Look, shall we just ask what the best price is?
We finally got there.
We might have a little something which intrigued us.
An old cow.
That's no way to speak to your guest!
-Well, I just think it's rather fun.
-It is. Fire away.
HE SNORTS I heard you snorting there!
-Oh, do try harder.
-£12? Yes, £12. £12?
-Well, 15's such an odd number, isn't it?
12 is pretty odd, as well!
Should we say 15? Are we being too mean?
-I think we should say 15.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
-For a little cow and baby.
-I do hope we can milk a profit on it!
Quite! Time to move on.
Now motoring towards the village of Hailsham
and their last chance to buy.
Oh, hello. You must be Rhoda.
-I am indeed.
-Hello, I'm Phyllis.
-Nice to meet you.
-Lovely to meet you.
We've got to you in the nick of time but we have so little time.
Is there something here you think
you want to help two desperate people?
Interesting question - because, as well as quite a few traditional antiques on offer,
Rhoda has a bit of an eye-catching novelty item.
Anyone spotted it yet?
Oh, yes. Say hello to Diana!
-Oh, Lordy Lord!
-Oh, my gosh! It's scary, isn't it?
Sounds like a no to the lovely Diana. Anything a bit smaller?
This is quite interesting.
He looks like a military naval type, doesn't he?
-Is it a doorstop or something?
-It is. It's filled with lead in the bottom.
It looks 19th century.
I mean, I thought it might have been Nelson.
-Unfortunately, it's not.
-It would be lovely if we could find something with Nelson on it.
Or we'd be absolutely ridiculous and if the doll in the box
is terribly cheap, we take that for a laugh.
Cos Thomas and Kevin will think we've gone completely
and utterly mad. And we have, haven't we?
-Diana in the box?
-They won't be expecting that, will they?
-They certainly will not.
-Cos you hate the doll, don't you?
-And I hate the doll.
-Oh, I see.
-And they'll hate the Doll.
You don't have to buy it, Phyllis.
I'm not even sure I want to touch it. And she's wearing this...
-I don't want to touch it.
It's like a jockey's outfit or something.
-I just think she is so ridiculously hideous.
-Could we appeal to your generous side, Rhoda...
-..and could you please let us have it for £10?
-Well, I tried.
-I'll do her for 20.
-Yes, go on, then.
-Are you happy?
-You won't shout at me at the auction?
-Let's not put any naked flames near her.
-Here you are, Rhoda.
-Thank you so much.
-Get back in your box!
-"Don't want to go back in the box!"
-She's going back in the box.
-"I don't want to go back in the box!"
# I love you, but do you love me?
# Oh, Diana, can't you see? #
Well, that rather unusual purchase completes their shopping.
So, what will they make of each other's offerings?
-I was going to let the lady reveal first.
-I think we should.
- I think that was very sensible. - Oh, really? Yes.
-So, I'm going to take this off first.
-Right. Oh, interesting!
He IS an actor!
-We've obviously got a doggie here.
-A Winstanley bulldog.
I know, but I've seen the cat - I've never seen a bulldog.
-I've never seen a Winstanley bulldog.
-And I think he's rather charming.
-OK, and the pair of chairs?
-The pair of chairs, again.
-Are they inlaid?
-Shall we walk round? Come on, Kevin.
-Yeah, no, they're inlaid.
I did want a chair but we got a pair.
Inlaid. And I've just seen the horror show!
-Oh, my God Almighty!
-Do you know, that's the reaction I wanted!
-What have we done?
Do you know, I thought rather than go safe, we'd go hideous, didn't we?
-Yes, we did.
-Well, that you achieved, let me tell you.
-How much is the horror show?
So, how much have you spent?
-Actually, I'm sorry. We didn't spend a lot.
-20, 60, 80.
We spent that on the first day!
Yeah, well, they're playing a canny game that I would never have considered myself.
Let's have a look at your booty, then, chaps.
-Oh, my gosh!
-So a pirate's pipe holder.
For travelling pipes.
-Cos you're pirates here!
-I love it!
This is a compass from a World War II Lancaster or Wellington bomber.
-Where did you get that?
We got that in one of the untidiest places I've ever been in my life
and, of course, this has a great relevance to me as
being the instrument upon which the theme tune for Hancock is played.
-I like that.
-Mark and Phyllis definitely approve.
But the centrepiece, and the biggest gamble for us, is...
Whoosh! KEVIN IMITATES FANFARE
Not the most practical thing.
Not the most practical, but a fun object.
I can't imagine our sets of objects being any more different.
But what do they really think?
I've never seen such a pile of tat in all my life!
I just thought it was all hideous.
Well, they managed to spend every last penny, practically.
I don't dislike any of their items at all.
That doll is the worst thing in the world. It's a horror show!
I love the little Islamic brass and silver tray.
We have definitely won the battle. But we could lose the war.
He loves all the wartime stuff, Kevin.
-The military thing I'm quite frightened of.
-What, the compass?
-I'm proud that we have bought well,
like the true men that we are, the pirates.
Yes, we are the pirates!
SEA SHANTY PLAYS
# Sandbanks, windbags Camels with a hump
# Fat girls, thin girls Some a little plump
# Slave girls sold here, 50 bob a lump, in the old bazaar in Cairo. #
After starting out in the Kent countryside of Barham,
our celebrities and experts are making their way towards
an auction in Greenwich,
one of London's most internationally famous boroughs
with a fine and rich maritime history.
-Well, it's a lovely day for it.
-Brilliant, isn't it?
It's nice, Greenwich, isn't it?
I feel like a bit of an East End villain in this car, though.
-I used to drive for the Krays, you know!
How do you think you're going to fare at the auction?
I'm not terribly confident, Tom, to be honest.
I honestly think that because you've spent little, you might gain a lot.
I see what you mean. See, you're building up already for losing.
I really like your stuff but I don't think it's going to make any money.
I know, I think that's probably a very fair appraisal.
I really like it. I would, personally, have all your stuff,
-but I wouldn't pay that for it.
-I wouldn't have yours in the house.
-A tight squeeze.
With everyone in the sparring mood,
this South-East Road Trip concludes at Greenwich Auctions.
-Ready for a trouncing?
-They're the ones who should worry, aren't they?
-Come on, let's go in.
-Shall we do it?
-So, who will win the day?
Let's hear from auctioneer Robert Dodd.
It's an iconic piece, typical 1970s.
Lovely it's got its box with the illustration.
And let's hope we've got a Diana doll collector.
I think the one that's going to struggle is the harmonium.
I don't think you'd be happy if you lived next door to someone who played one of those things.
Kevin and Thomas bought five auction lots for a total cost of £375,
whilst Phyllis and Mark also bought five auction lots,
spending just £205.
Fasten your safety belts - it's going to be a bumpy ride!
First out of the traps, Phyllis and Mark's bulldog.
-It's going to make £65, £75.
-Oh, Thomas, you don't know that!
-Stop trying to predict it.
-He's an auctioneer.
-A really bad one!
-Have you been to his sale room?
-Will you please...?
A bid with me of £45 only on the bulldog.
Looking for 48. 50 with me.
-I've got 50. Are we all done?
The last time. At £50...
-You've broken even on that one.
-It's a travesty!
-It's a travesty!
-I'm so disappointed.
He doesn't look all that happy, either.
It's ours coming up and I want a bit of that 80, 85, 90.
-You like that, don't you?
-Love a bit of that.
Hmm. That may well be a pipe dream.
It's a lovely lot and it's got to start with a bid with me
at £22 on this. Looking for 25.
I've got 22. Looking for 25.
28. 30 I want.
£30 I'm at. Looking for 32. I've got £30 on it.
-Looking for 32 anywhere. Are we all done?
-It's a rare thing!
-Last time at £30.
Looks like Kevin's pirate endorsement didn't pay off.
I just hope one of our items creates a bit of...
I don't even mind if it's Phyllis's any more. You know what I mean?
-That's very magnanimous of you!
-It is magnanimous of me.
Now for Phyllis and Mark's table that wasn't even for sale.
And it's got to start with a bid with me of £38.
That's better than I thought, to be honest with you.
-It's worth all of that.
-It's worth more than that.
-I've got 38.
42 with me. Looking for 45. 45 on the phone.
-Oh, there's a phone bidder. Come on, a bit more.
-Are we all done? 48.
50 I need. £50.
-48 at the back of the room. £50 only I need.
-50 I've got. I'll take 52.
-Well done, madam. Someone with taste.
-We all done? Last time at 50.
-Come on, a bit more!
Better than it might have been, but another loss, I'm afraid.
-It all changes from now on in.
-We start with our tuba.
-And this is it.
-This is the game-changer.
-Oh, is it?
This is when you get really trounced!
Yeah, can that thing play the Last Post?
Lovely lot this, quality.
Got to start with a with a bid with me of £35 only on that.
-I think it's worth all of that. Looking at 38.
I've got 35 on the Boosey & Co tuba,
I'm looking for 38. I've got 35. Look 38.
-40 with me. Looking for 42. I'm looking for 42 anywhere.
Are we all done?
-No! No, more, more, more!
-Last time on the tuba. At £40.
I think you were too "Boosey" when you bought that.
No, we weren't!
Someone's got a nice tuba for not very much money.
I wonder how Phyllis' chairs will fare.
I'm not sanguine, I'm not sanguine. But best of luck to you both.
-Thank you. Do you mean that?
-I do mean it!
Do you know, that was said with such insincerity.
And it was!
-Bids with me at only £45 on these on the pair.
-Oh, come on!
-I've got 45, I'm looking for 48 anywhere.
-They're worth that each.
They are, at least.
48, 50. 55 I'm out if you want 'em.
-I'm out at 50. It's a fiver.
-55, I'm out.
-At the back?
-Bid at the back.
-Yes, come on. Bit more.
I'll take 62. Hello, stop shaking your head! 62.
Can't get an Happy Meal for that. Here, £60. 62.
-Come on, bit more.
-68 I want.
68... No? 68 there, looking for 70. Are you sure?
Oh, they're a bargain.
-Oh, well done!
Sadly that's a loss, after auction costs.
-Our first profit, well done.
-Now it's "our".
-Oh, yes, did you hear that?
-It's "our" profit now.
-We're all in it together.
It's "our". No, it's not. It's OUR...
I'm going to call them the Coalition from now on -
"we're all in it together."
Kevin and Thomas's plate is up next.
I'm feeling bad it's over 100 quid now.
I'm feeling bad it's over 20 quid actually, but...
And it's got to start with a bid with me straight in at £32.
We've got a long way to go.
-Long way to go.
-35 on this dish. Got 32.
40, 45, 50.
55, 65, 75,
80 I'm out.
Looking for 85.
I've got £80. I'm looking for 85 on this dish.
Are we all done? You sure? Got 80.
Last time at £80.
Bad luck. Bad luck.
That was like a knife in my heart.
Can you be "coppered off"?
At least Phyllis and Mark's figurines came cheap.
-Great lot, this. It's a late-19th...
Somebody's on the phone for it already!
..An oval base.
And it's got to start with a bid with me of only...
£10 on this.
-Looking for 12,
-it's worth all of that. The golden calf...
I've got 10, 12, 15 with me. Looking fro 18.
I've got 15, I need 18 anywhere on this. Are we all done? You sure?
-I'm sorry, Phyllis.
-No, no, no.
-Cos I really loved them.
-Can we have our money back?
Could we go and do it again?
-This is just a dress rehearsal.
-Can we do it next week? Yay!
-When we really do it, it's going to be much better, right?
Yeah, break a leg, everyone!
Are you talking about us?
Talking about your doll, darling.
-Was that the last lot?
-I think it's your last lot.
That's your piece de resistance.
Ignore him. I do.
They really are a pair of...pirates.
Penzance and Caribbean over there.
The compass which guides us to our golden doubloon.
The Isle of Dogs, more like!
Got to start with a bid with me of only £45 on this.
Looking for 48.
Hello, is there anyone out there?
50, 55, 65 - I'm out.
62 I'll take.
Yes? Geez, it's like pulling teeth!
-Yeah, we got it over there.
65 there, 68 I need.
You can't pull out - you started it. 68 there, £70 over there.
Take 72. I need £72. Hello?
I've got 72 there. Looking for 75 there,
looking for 78. 78 I want.
I've got 75 with you, sir.
Last time! At £75...
-Well done, sir.
Well done. You made a profit there.
You made a profit.
-Profit's a profit whichever way you slice it, right?
We've got to pamper him.
-Stroke his ego.
I'd almost given up hope.
-It's the doll.
It's the doll from hell.
This is going to walk us right into profit.
Was that a joke, Mark?
There will be no justice if that is the case.
-I won't be able to show my face!
-Oh, don't be so bitter!
What do you think this is anyway? No!
-You'll be known as The Doll Lady from now on, won't you?
Absolutely cracking, stunning lot coming up here.
I've got to be honest with you, I want to start this at three grand.
It's got to start with a bid with me of only £18.
She's worth that, I want £20 on this. I've got 18.
I want 20 on the doll.
-I'm not moving on.
Might as well stay here, I want £20. It's worth all of that.
£20 I've got. 22?
Did you bid?
I'll take 21. Our computer don't do 50ps.
I've got 20 there, I'll take £21.
We all done? 21 there! 22 I need, madam.
You can't pull out now, you started it. £22 I've got,
23 there. Looking for 24.
£24 I've got. 25 there,
-looking for 26.
-Go on, go on.
Looking for 26. Are we all done? Last time. Are you all sure?
You'll kick yourself when you get home!
25, 26 - are we all done?
Last time for £25.
She'd make a good scarecrow for someone.
Now for our climax.
That man I hired with the sandwich board
saying "harmonium for sale" is obviously paying off.
Let's pull out all the stops - ha!
We tried to go online
and find out if there was a harmonium appreciation society.
But they closed in about 1795.
Let's get down to it.
Bids with me at only £70 on that harmonium table.
I want 75. I've got 70 for it,
I want 75. It's worth all of that.
-75, £80, 85, £90.
£95 I need. I want 95 anywhere.
It is working.
95 I need. I'll take 92.
-90, I'm looking for 92. Are we all done?
Last time at £90?
-Oh... That's it.
-It's all over.
That organ failure has almost certainly sunk the pirates,
but Thomas has the scores.
I've done my maths.
I'm afraid, Kevin,
-you're taking out the recycling.
Yes, oh, yes!
-Nobody likes a gloater, Phyl.
Kevin and Thomas began with £400
and, after paying auction costs,
they made a loss of £116.70,
leaving them with just £283.30.
Whilst Phyllis and Mark,
who also started out with £400,
made, after paying auction costs,
a loss of £34.44.
So, they are today's victors
-There's really nothing in it.
-We've had a great time.
-It's been fantastic.
-I'm only sorry we didn't make any money.
-But it was really good fun and very exciting.
Never mind. It's been fantastic.
-Well done, victor.
-Thanks, Tom. Let's do it again some time.
-Well done, us.
-See you later!
We'll flog the Jag and make some money.
A battle for antique supremacy sees Downton Abbey's Phyllis Logan going head to head with her husband, Pirates of the Caribbean star Kevin McNally. The competition is fierce as the celebrities head through Kent towards an auction in Greenwich, London, each travelling in a classic car and accompanied by an antiques expert. En route, Phyllis visits the impressive collection of a controversial conservationist, while Kevin reveals just how much he knows about the universe.