Celebrities hunt for antiques across the UK. Two legends of the snooker world swap sports for antiques as former rivals Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne join the Road Trip.
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-The nation's favourite celebrities...
-We've got some proper bling here!
..paired up with an expert...
..and a classic car.
Their mission? To scour Britain for antiques.
All breakages must be paid for.
This is a good find, is it not?
The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction.
But it's no easy ride.
Who will find a hidden gem?
Who will take the biggest risks?
Putting my "antiques head" on.
Will anybody follow expert advice?
I think it's horrible!
There will be worthy winners...
This is better than Christmas!
..and valiant losers.
Time to put your pedal to the metal...
..this is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
On this Road Trip,
we're going snooker loopy with two superstars of the old green baize.
Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne.
You know, I was thinking the other night when I was at home,
knowing we were going to do this programme,
I've known you since I was 19.
They do look young, don't they?
This game comes from group four and features Dennis Taylor
who has been runner-up in Pot Black on two occasions.
He meets the youngest of our players, Willie Thorne, who's in his second season.
We've remained firm friends ever since that, and...
I think in our day, Dennis, everybody stayed friends, didn't they?
Well, the way you travel together...
Do you remember we shared a room in Toronto?
The socks! The socks.
The socks? Hmm.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Willie Thorne was amongst the most celebrated
stars of the booming snooker scene.
-Making his first appearance this year...
Nicknamed "Mr Maximum", he was one of the world's top-ranking players.
Since retiring, he's become a snooker commentator
and occasional twinkle-toes.
As has his pal, Dennis.
Well, Den, I'm honestly looking forward to this
Antiques Road Trip, because we have a battle, don't we, over the years?
Now, you were better than me at Strictly, you won the World Championship, I never did...
It's now beginning to really get on my nerves.
Sounds like the game is on!
A towering titan of the snooker table,
Dennis Taylor was known in the '80s for his arresting eyewear.
But there's one seismic British sporting moment for which
he'll always be remembered.
Listen, Den, while we're on this trip, I know you don't like to mention it,
-but the 1985 World Championship...
Dennis won the 1985 Snooker World Championship,
beating Steve Davis in a dramatic black ball final that
ranks as one of the most thrilling in all of British sport.
-You never mention it now, Den, do you?
-No, I never mention it.
Yeah, we had lots of fun taking the mickey out of '85, but trust me, we all wished we were there, mate.
We all wished we'd done the same thing.
Today, they're driving a delightful 1960s Jaguar E-type Coupe,
the colour of the summer sun.
There'll be a bit more room in the car when you're not in it!
Listen, I'm on a diet! I bought that Jane Fonda video to help me.
You know, On Golden Pond?
I never understand why I never lost any weight!
Joining them on this jolly jaunt are two elegant auctioneers
at the top of their game.
Catherine Southon and Christina Trevanion.
So, we've never road tripped together, have we?
-We have not!
-It's pretty exciting, girls on tour.
This morning, the girls are driving a dashing 1965 Rover P5.
Catherine's remembering her girlhood as a 1980s snooker fan.
There's was a crazy song, once upon a time,
# Snooker loopy nuts are we, we're all snooker...loopy! #
There was, too.
# Snooker loopy nuts are we... #
In 1986, Dennis and Willie starred in a Chas & Dave
hit single that went to number six in the charts, Snooker Loopy.
How it never got to number one, I'll never know.
Can you remember your verse?
# But them long pots, he never ever got,
# Why? The old mind boggles
# But nowadays, he pots the lot, because I wear these goggles! #
# Snooker loopy nuts are we
# Me and him and them and me... #
With £400 to spend, our two teams will travel through
England's heartlands, beginning in the Hertfordshire town
of Sawbridgeworth and aiming for auction in Leicester.
# Snooker loopy nuts are we... #
It's time for celebrities to meet experts.
Wow, look at that! That's a bit special, isn't it?
-What is that? That's a Jag, isn't it?
-Let's go and grab them out of the car.
-I love it.
They've already decided that Christina will pair with Willie
and Catherine with Dennis.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Nice to see you.
-I'm Catherine, lovely to meet you.
-How are you? Are you well?
-We must win, by the way.
-Now, I wouldn't say I'm competitive.
I don't mind losing, but I can't stand getting beat.
-We'll be fine, Catherine, yeah.
I think we're up for it.
Then it's time to hit the road!
They're driving off in their newly minted teams
and Christina's quizzing Willie on his recent career.
-So from super-duper, international snooker player...
You can talk about things they do well, things they do bad,
so you've got to be careful today, because if you start doing things bad...
Oh, no! You're going to give me a running commentary! Oh, good lord!
"What a terrible buy this is from Christina. She should have known better!
"She should've played safe and gone with something else!"
Straight from the left field.
You have been warned, Christina!
Meanwhile, Catherine's remembering Dennis's World Championship victory.
I remember we all went to school the next day and when we had
the science classes, you know when you wear the goggles for science?
We all turned our glasses upside down, saying, "Oh, we are Dennis Taylor!"
Eddie Charlton said when he saw me, he said,
"Dennis, you look like the front-end of a Ford Cortina!"
Now that's an old car!
They're approaching Sawbridgeworth, a very pretty
little Hertfordshire town through which flows through the River Stort.
Dennis and Catherine are heading into their first shop of the day.
Herts and Essex Antiques Centre.
-Here we go.
This is it!
Dealer Nick is ready to greet them.
Hmmm, I recognise this place.
-Hello, welcome, welcome to Herts and Essex again.
-Lovely to see you.
-Nick. Nice to see you.
This is a sprawling place with goods belonging to many dealers.
-If we go through every cabinet...
-We'll be here for a month.
We will be here for a month.
-You're used to long tournaments, though, aren't you?
When, who should he spot...?
Who does that remind you of?
-Oh, you're horrible! It does look like...Willie!
But nearby is yet another legend of the game.
Oh, here you are. What's this? Billiards. Billiards.
-Can we take that down?
-We can take it down.
In fact, that is Joe Davis, the legendary Joe
really got snooker going.
Joe Davis was a world-beating billiards player
in the mid-20th century.
He was a pioneer of World Champion Snooker, too.
-Did you know him?
He had retired, but I went to Canada with Joe.
Without him, I wouldn't have made a living playing snooker.
-Was he sort of a hero of yours, then?
-He was the man, Joe Davis was.
20 years undefeated world champion.
But they're not sure they can turn a profit on the picture.
So Catherine's seen something else which might kick off their buying.
Changing the subject, what do you think about those?
-I just spotted those.
-They're little boots.
-They are wooden little boots.
And they are...some sort of sewing accessory.
Never seen anything like that.
I think they're very unusual. I've never seen anything like that before.
It says on them, "cotton winders".
The cotton winders are sewing accessories
shaped as Victorian ladies' boots.
£85 on the ticket.
How good are you at haggling?
I can haggle, yeah.
Here you go then. Dennis, over to you.
Nick, Catherine spotted these lovely little boots.
Do you know anything more about the boots at all?
-I've not seen them, so...
-There we go.
-Have they just come in?
The belong to another dealer.
I'm sure he would accept 75.
75, that's... What...
He's a very tough cookie.
-I'll tell you what he would do.
He would do a deal on 68, wouldn't he?
He's got to do a deal on 68.
I can try.
Nick will call the dealer in question.
Perhaps Dennis can sweet talk the chap.
Dennis, would you like to have a quick word with the dealer...
-What's his name?
-His name is Ray.
Ray, how are you doing?
Oh, you like the old snooker, do you?
Dennis is getting stuck into the haggle.
Right, can you do it for 68 for us?
He says definitely.
A lovely fella, he sounded so friendly.
Dennis makes a hard haggle look as easy a pie.
He's one to watch, that boy.
These boots were made for walking
and that's just what we'll do.
One of these days, these boots are gonna walk all over you.
Meanwhile, Willie and Christina are near moments away
and arriving at another Sawbridgeworth shop.
-Shall we get out?
Oh, this is service.
-Service with a smile.
-I never got this in the snooker world.
There we go.
This is my antiques jacket.
Let's go, go, go.
Good, good, go on, then.
-Have you been here before?
-No, never before in my life.
They're heading into Cromwell's antiques centre.
-Wow, goodness me.
Oh, I love this place already.
Hello, hi, I'm Christina.
-Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Eleanor.
-Eleanor, lovely to meet you.
And I'm Willie Thorne. You're far too young to know who I am.
You charmer, Willie!
Now, time for a good, old browse, eh?
A black and white spaniel.
So is this the sort of antique shop you'd generally come into, Willie?
I love going to antique fairs and things like that
and picking up little bargains and that. We always buy something.
This chap's got form.
Good to know.
So what's our tactic? Are you thinking...
-We've got £400.
-Do you want to spend small or do you want to spend...
-As in we're getting rid of all of it.
As I've told you, we've got to win.
With that championship level of ambition,
anything could happen.
That is fabulous.
Silver-plated late Victorian dinner gong on horn mounts and oak base.
Here's a question.
When was the last time you used a dinner gong?
-Can you remember?
-You couldn't ask me a question on sport, could you?
Willie's keen to spot a bargain but Christina doesn't think
the gong will turn a profit but she's soon spotted something else.
That's really interesting? Rare, original Clarice Cliff artwork.
-Have you heard of Clarice Cliff?
-Clarice Cliff, very much so.
That's what goes on the pottery?
Yeah, that would have been a design for a piece of pottery for Clarice Cliff.
Early 20th-century ceramics designer Clarice Cliff is hugely popular.
The ticket says this is an original design for one of her pieces
but they'll need to check that provenance.
The ticket price is £250.
-Hello, my love.
Do you know if there's any provenance behind this?
Do you know if there's any history behind it, who got it from where?
There's nothing I know personally.
-I can give the dealer a call for you.
-Would you mind?
Would it be possible to take it out of its frame?
-Would that be all right?
-Great. Thank you ever so much.
Ah, that's nice, that's promising.
OK, we have some information.
Ah-ha! Well done, Eleanor.
It used to belong to an old lady
-who used to work there for Clarice Cliff.
-Gosh, that's interesting.
-They got it from her.
They don't have any address or proof of it, however.
The dealer said their best price will be 180.
There's no paperwork to authenticate its provenance
but Christina thinks it's worth taking a chance on.
Over to Willie for their first haggle.
So what do you think is the very best you could do, then?
The very best...
Um, we will help you out, we will do it for 100.
Am I allowed to give you a little...
That's a very generous deal.
But without provenance, it is a risk and Christina is going to have
to make some calls to research the item before the auction.
-Have we just bought something?
-We have bought an item.
They sure have.
But their big break's not over yet.
Is there anything else?
You see, that's interesting.
So stamped sterling, 95 Denmark, Danish jewellery is really,
-really popular right now.
-Really, really popular.
Because it is, it's just becoming...
Sort of 1930s, 1940s Scandinavian jewellery.
There's been quite a few auctions recently, featuring a lot of it.
Would Mrs Thorne like something like that?
Um, on her jacket, yeah.
Ticket price is £14.
Back to the lovely Eleanor.
Is it possible...
-That was marked off at 14, wasn't it?
-Yes, it was.
Can we say £5?
I'm afraid, unfortunately, we don't normally do discounts
for anything less than £20.
We tend to have a £20 cut-off point.
-I'm very sorry.
Goodness me. Can you meet us halfway and say a tenner, Eleanor?
Go on, then, I'll do it for a tenner. Just this time.
-A tenner from Eleanor.
-A tenner from Eleanor.
Brilliant, you're an angel. Thank you, you've been really kind.
Have you got the readies?
Great teamwork in that shop. What a pair of charmers.
And 20, thank you very much for your time. Lovely to meet you.
Thank you very much. Take care now.
And off they go.
Now Dennis and Catherine are taking a breather from buying.
I never dreamt I'd be sitting in an E-Type Jag.
-An E-Type Jag.
-Out in the middle of the country
with a gorgeous blonde girl.
Oh! Thank you, Dennis, you say the right things.
He's a charming fellow.
They're heading deep into the Hertfordshire countryside
and to stately home Knebworth House.
Dennis has come to learn the story of one of Knebworth's most
celebrated sons who, in the 1920s,
was himself a pioneering sporting hero.
They're meeting the current resident,
the Honourable Henry Lytton-Cobbold.
-How are you?
-Nice to see you, welcome to Knebworth.
-Hello, Catherine, welcome to Knebworth.
-Nice to meet you.
-This is wonderful.
-Thank you very much. Come on in.
-Thank you very much, indeed.
Henry, I think this room was made to have a snooker table.
I think you're right, Dennis.
-Wouldn't it be perfect?
It would be absolutely perfect.
-The poshest snooker room in the world.
So here we are in the banqueting hall
and this is the oldest room in the house.
The Lytton family moved here in 1490
and I'm the 19th generation of the Lytton family to live in this house.
Today we're going to go back to the 16th generation and their family
and talk about the son of, the eldest son of that time,
a young man called Antony,
who was really the great sportsman of the Lytton family.
A really remarkable young man, a very much of a high achiever,
a great, great, great early 20th century character.
When you say sport, did he excel in any particular sport?
He played a big part in the introduction of skiing
and we can come and see some of the examples, if you follow me.
Love to, thank you.
So come on in here to the nursery.
-Look at this.
-This is a lovely.
Sir Antony and his brothers and two sisters grew up
in Knebworth House and these are all the things that they loved.
Antony Bulwer-Lytton, Viscount Knebworth,
was born in 1903 and a great record of his adventuresome life survives.
How did you know so much about him?
He was a fantastic letter writer.
He was sent away to boarding school and he wrote endless letters,
wonderful letters, which we have in our archive.
One, he was a beautiful letter writer and, two,
they tell of all of his enthusiasm and his zest and love for life.
The also tell of his passion for sporting adventures,
which his family encouraged.
His father used to take his children up to the
Alps before the First World War
to sort of do healthy Alpine things.
-This was a sort of a new thing, really.
He was associated with this chap called Sir Henry Lunn
and his son Arnold Lunn.
On their trips to the Alps,
the Bulwer-Lytton family became friendly with the Lunns.
Young chums Antony Bulwer-Lytton
and Arnold Lunn were both devoted to Alpine thrill-seeking.
Together they became early pioneers of a whole new sport,
Antony and Arnold Lunn created the first downhill race.
Prior to that, I think
the Swedes and the Swiss had done competitions with cross-country
skiing but it was the British who were the first to institute
They created the downhill and slalom races that began in the early 1920s.
What sort of clothing would they have been wearing
when they were on the skis?
I'm really pleased you asked that, Dennis, because we've got the clothing that they used to wear.
Come and have a look at it.
So here we've got Antony's ski jumper and his wonderful old skis.
I mean, these beautiful, old wooden skis and bamboo pole ski poles.
They're amazing. How good was he?
He was extremely good.
As I say, he won the downhill cup, I think the second time they run it.
1924, I think he won.
He was a great speed king and he and his friend Arnold Lunn
loved the concept of speed and slaloming and downhill racing.
There are a couple of shots of him jumping, it's incredible.
He has got a tweed jacket on.
No going to Lillywhites back then...
They were improvising with their clothes
because they were the pioneers of taking Alpine holidays.
Antony's passion for speed soon led him into another pioneering
and dangerous pursuit -
Flying then became his big passion at the end of the 1920s
and his sort of need for speed moved from slopes
up into the air.
He was a very fine pilot.
He joined the RAF reserves.
Antony flew many trips from right here at Knebworth.
And flying was what caused the end of his life
because he was killed in a flying accident
just ten days before his 30th birthday.
That's really sad, isn't it?
He wasn't quite 30, but what a life he had lived.
-He really lived life to the full.
But his father very beautifully collected
a lot of his letters into this book which he called
Antony, A Record Of Youth,
which became a great bestseller in the 1930s.
And the famous author of Peter Pan paid moving tribute to this
lost adventurer of the age.
JM Barrie of Peter Pan did a wonderful foreword to it.
You know, celebrating him as one of the,
so to speak, the lost boys of that generation,
that Peter Pan generation.
And, um, it was very widely read and he became a real symbol
for this sort of character who was really one step ahead of himself.
Antony was a great example of his buccaneering 1920s generation,
who pioneered the venturous Alpine sports we still enjoy today.
To me he's very much that sort of Bulldog Drummond type character.
We've talked about him in his tweed jacket and his tie
but the sort of man who can win the downhill slalom, you know,
save the world and finish the London to Brighton
and still be home in time for tea.
-Thank you so much.
-Thanks for popping by.
-We really enjoyed being in Knebworth.
-Thank you very much, indeed.
-Thank you so much, Henry. Thank you.
Now Willie and Christina are back in the car and enjoying the ride.
Dennis is in the E-Type.
I got to be perfectly honest, I'm pretty pleased we're in a big car.
-Because you may have noticed, I've ripped my shirt...
And that was getting in and out of the E-Type.
Hey, I tell you what, you're going to get me a reputation,
ripping shirts off gentleman.
They're moving on to the village of Finchingfield in Essex.
A very pretty little place where they'll be ducking
and diving off into their next shop.
-Swing her round.
You do seem to be enjoying ourselves, with poise and purpose.
They're off into Finchingfield Antiques, where dealers
Peter and Mary are waiting to greet them.
-Hello, nice to meet you. I'm Christina.
Mary, how nice to see you. How are you? All right?
And they're off.
Now they've bagged a couple of items,
it's time for a bit of a mid-match commentary from Mr Thorne.
Christina's very much a safety player, in the terms of snooker.
I put her in the mould of a Cliff Thorburn or a Dennis Taylor,
who's doing today.
I'm sure he's going to be taking his time to buy things.
I'm a little bit more impulsive, like a Jimmy White or something.
Here's hoping this pair's trademarked combination
of impulse and caution pays off.
Ooh. I want this!
-It's only 1,100.
-Mm. You may need to take him in hand, Christina.
-Oh, look, golf!
-Exactly. I was just looking at that
but I don't know whether they'd sell. Do they?
That's completely you, isn't it? You're a big golfer.
-I'm just big.
The sound of clocks ticking is just lovely. It's a lovely sound.
But the clock is ticking, chaps. Enough tomfoolery!
What's Willie got there?
What's that? Is that a hatpin or a tie...?
A little stock pin or something, yes. That's quite sweet, isn't it?
A little coral-set, what looks like gold, stock pin.
It's a pin to secure a necktie.
Just the thing for a sharp dresser like Willie. Ticket price - £39.
-It's quite sharp. Look.
-Oh, thanks. Sticking pins in me now.
-I thought you liked me.
-At auction, we're probably looking at maybe 20 or £30 for that.
So if you can work your Mr Maximum magic, that would be good.
That would be very good.
-What, you mean we need to get it for about £15 or something?
-Is he standing close enough to hear that?
-Yeah, I think he might be. He's just there.
Does he have a smile on his face at the moment?
-No, not really.
-So 15 doesn't sound very good?
-He's looking a little bit grumpy.
-Let me walk a bit closer to him.
Obligingly, Peter will call the dealer who owns it.
It's up at 39.
-What would be the very best for Willie?
-The very, very, very best.
20 and you've got a deal.
-20, you've got a deal, apparently.
-Did you hear that?
OK, thanks very much.
-You've got a deal there.
-Oh, bless you, sir.
Some cunning teamwork secures them the prize. Good show.
And with that, it's the end of the first day of this trip.
Nighty-night, you lovely lot.
But the morning greets Dennis and Willie back in the car
and getting competitive.
Well, Den, second day.
We had a super first day. Tell me about your first day.
It was fantastic. Absolutely. Catherine was great.
Taught me an awful lot about antiques
and I think I might have learned enough to maybe beat the great WT.
We've only got to get two more things, Dennis,
so you've got a little bit of catching up to do.
But I've heard you're good from behind, aren't you?
Well, that's what Steve Davis told me, all those years ago.
8-0 behind and still managed to beat him.
Why would I bring that up again, the 1985 World tournament?
You see, people say I bring it up, but there you go, it was you.
I never even mentioned it.
You didn't, Dennis. It's true.
So, our boys are learning the antiques lark,
but have girls gone snooker loopy yet?
I did learn quite a lot.
-They don't have teams.
Oh, God, Christina! Really.
-They take it in turns.
-You'll be winning tournaments in no time.
Have you learnt any more lyrics of the song?
Please tell me you've learnt some lyrics. You've learnt the second line, at least.
Yes, I do know a bit more now.
-So, it's snooker loopy nuts are we.
We're all snooker...loopy.
And I've forgotten it.
Time to meet the boys and get hunting.
-Ah-ha! The girlies.
-The other car.
-How are you?
-Hello, how are you?
-I hope you finish second. Yeah, I'm fine.
-He's competitive again.
-He is rather, isn't he?
-Well, have fun, guys.
-See you later.
So far, Willie and Christina have spent £130 on three lots.
The Clarice Cliff watercolour,
a Danish brooch,
the coral stickpin.
They still have £270 for today.
Dennis and Catherine have spent only £68 on one item...
Fantastic! Well done!
..the little boot bobbins,
leaving them with £332 begging to be spent.
But it sounds like Willie's joshing has spurred on Dennis.
-Today is all about... All-out attack today.
Well, if you compare it to snooker, Steve Davis.
We did our Steve Davis yesterday.
-We were cautious, didn't rush in...
-We were cautious.
..and now today it's going to be Ronnie O'Sullivan - all-out attack.
-We're going for the old maximum break today.
-Bang, bang, bang.
They've motored on to Bletchley in Buckinghamshire.
-This must be us here.
-And to Fenny Antique Centre to greet dealer Mags.
-I think we're on a winner here.
-I think we are. Hello!
-Mags, how are you?
-Catherine, nice to meet you.
-Oh, he's going in for the kiss.
-Absolutely. Why not?
He's going in for the kiss already.
-Let me ring... Oh!
Well, Dennis certainly seems determined to lay on the charm today.
Who's a pretty boy, then?
That's quite a nice little domino set there, believe it or not.
I remember there was a very famous club, a very wealthy club,
in fact, they had diamond-studded dominoes,
and one of my uncles got arrested for stealing a double blank.
It's the way you tell them, Dennis.
But he's doing some independent browsing this morning
and doing rather well.
-And that's quite collectable, you think?
Have you had this one in a very long?
-No, that just came in yesterday, believe it or not.
It's a 19th-century Japanese inkwell priced at £120.
One to think about, eh?
He just came in and...choom! Like lightning.
He really was going for it.
Anything caught your eye, girl?
Excuse me, sir, is this your unicycle?
Oh, it is, yeah, yeah. That's mine, yes.
It is indeed a 1970s unicycle, which hasn't yet been ticketed.
I think as it's just up, what we'll do,
-as long as I make a little bit of profit, I don't mind.
I think we could do it probably for about 15.
Catherine will have to consult the joker in chief.
I think I'm being summoned.
It's like my head teacher used to be at school, with the bell.
-You're being summoned.
-OK. Well, I have found something.
Would you like to follow me and have a look?
It's not this little thing hidden away in the corner behind the plant?
People are into all these at the moment.
People are really into their cycling.
I might buy that myself if there was another wheel on it.
Could you open that door? I'm coming through!
Dennis seems happy to run away with it,
but in the spirit of ruthless competition...
Could you just tell us your rock-bottom price?
I think probably the best price I could do,
to save me having to price it up and everything else, a tenner.
A steal. So they're taking that. Deal done decisively.
There was something else that I...looked at.
It's in this area.
Going back to your heritage, going back to where you came from.
Something from Ireland. Let's have a look. A Belfast sink?
-People use those to put their plants in in the garden.
-Oh, do they?
-They do. It's ticketed at £25.
But what sort of money do they go for?
I think what we'd be looking at with that is again probably buying it,
-if possible, for £10 or something.
-Well, we'll have a go.
And then hopefully selling it for 30, 35.
So, that's another possibility, but Dennis is still keen
to show Catherine the inkwell he liked earlier.
It looks very unusual but, Mags, would you be able to get that...?
-It's a Japanese... An inkwell.
-This is all lovely.
I think it is attractive, I must admit.
Good instincts, Dennis.
But at 120 on the ticket, you'll need to turn on the charm.
-Mags, do you like snooker?
-I love it, yeah.
-Do you love it?
-Do you like Irishmen that play snooker?
Mags, if you'd do us your best price on that,
to see if we can beat Willie Thorne..
-For you, and it's the best price, it's £80, Dennis.
-I've got to have a go.
-You've got to have a go?
No, listen, £80, that's fantastic.
-I'm going to give Mags another kiss here, by the looks of things.
-Where's that bell?
-Where's the bell?
-Ring the bell again. Mwah.
Lovely. But aren't you forgetting something?
Oh, of course, the Belfast sink.
Well, it was 25. What would be your best price on that?
-It could go for 18.
Do you know, I think we could have a deal if Mags would do it for 14.
We would have a deal. It might cost another kiss again for 14.
Well, I'll do 14 with another kiss. Go on.
-Go on, Mags. Mwah.
-Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
-Thanks again. Thank you.
Madness. Complete madness. I can't believe what we've bought.
I never dreamt in my wildest dreams that I'd be coming out of here
-having bought a unicycle and a Belfast sink.
-I know, I'm sorry.
No-one would have expected that, Dennis.
-And one more for luck.
-They spent £104 on the three items.
That blitz of buying has put them back in the game. Bravo.
Now, Willie and Christina are back on the road.
# Snooker loopy nuts are we
-# We're all snooker...
Now you're in the swing, Christina.
# We'll show you what we can do
# With a load of balls and a snooker cue
# Pot the reds and screw back
# For the yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black. #
Yellow... Whoa, hang on a second.
-Yellow, green, brown.
-Yellow, green, brown.
-Blue, pink and black.
Keep working on it though.
Now, while Dennis and Willie were a big hit in the '80s music scene,
this morning Willie and Christina are taking a break from buying
to hear about a bestselling musician of an earlier era.
They're driving to the outskirts of Bedford in Bedfordshire.
They're aiming for RAF Twinwood Farm
and meeting John Miller,
an American chap who leads a swinging big band here in the UK,
and he has a famous family connection to this airbase.
-How are you?
-Ooh, lot of kisses.
-Willie Thorne, how nice to see you.
-Are we having...? Oh, I don't mind a kiss.
-Nice to see you.
-Oh, very continental.
-Welcome to Twinwood.
John is the nephew of Glenn Miller, probably the US musician
most famously associated with World War II, and with good reason.
Miller led a hugely successful big band,
whose swing sound earned him success around the world, even in Hollywood.
In 1942, Miller patriotically enlisted in the US military
and served as a military band leader
and official entertainer to the Allied forces.
He brought his famous Army Air Force Band to Britain in 1944.
-You'll like it in here.
-Oh, wow, look at that!
-Oh, well, it's a...
What was your uncle's connection with the base?
Ah, well, he was billeted not far from here, as was the band.
His band actually played out here at one point,
as well as so many other places in the UK.
-He was a serving serviceman?
-Yeah. He had a band.
Glenn had a band and he came over here because he was a patriotic guy
and he wanted to bring a little bit of home to all the fellows.
It's interesting to note that they wouldn't have drafted him.
He wanted to come in and he wanted to entertain the troops.
Miller's band toured,
and their concerts broadcast to millions of listeners.
How big was his band when he first...?
Did he bring everybody over? Was it a massive band?
-He had about 60 guys.
54, 60, with tertiary people.
And Miller's band brought a new swing sound to military music.
It was the way they played marches and things like that.
St Louis Blues March is the one that everybody looks at
because it was a swinging march.
You could walk down the street and strut your stuff
while you were marching.
-Puff your chest out?
I would imagine that the band and he were very important
for keeping morale up amongst the troops.
Amongst the troops AND the civilians. He played for everybody.
I've met hundreds of people that have seen his shows.
I'm constantly amazed that he could leave such an indelible impression
upon this country in under six months.
In the later years of the war, visiting US superstars like Miller
made a huge contribution to boosting morale in war-torn Allied Europe.
So, what happened to your uncle?
Well, he got on a plane right down there.
He was going to Paris to make billeting for the band.
In December 1944, Glenn Miller took off from here at Twinwood.
Two days later his band followed.
He wasn't there to meet them. That was unusual
because he always met them.
They thought, "Maybe he's at the hotel."
They go to the hotel and he's not there.
They had to call around all of the other bases
that they might have diverted to.
-Yeah, cos of the weather, or whatever.
-The weather wasn't particularly good over there.
By the time the powers that be could call all the alternate airports,
finally it dawns on them - he's not here. He's gone.
Tragically, Miller's aircraft had disappeared over the English Channel
two days earlier. The plane was never recovered
and the cause of the crash remains a mystery to this day.
His band was devastated.
He was the driving force and they cancelled two concerts.
But the Christmas show, the December 25th,
was going to be broadcast to the States,
and they felt that they couldn't pull that one.
And somebody came out to our house and saw my father,
who was in Fort Ord and told them
so they wouldn't find out over the radio.
Big shocker. Big shock.
Eerily, John's father received a letter from Glenn
that foreshadowed his sad fate.
He wrote my father a letter that said...
It was one of his last.
It said, "I'm going to Paris to make billeting for the band,
"barring a nosedive into the Channel."
Despite their tragic loss,
Miller's band continued to perform and raise the spirits
of the Allied nations until the end of the war in Europe.
Miller's legacy in popular rising swing music
throughout the Western world was enormous.
He had 70 top ten US hits in only four years.
Many big bands still perform Glenn's music today.
He had one of the finest big bands of all time.
He set the mark for everyone that followed.
He could have stayed home and made a lot of money,
but, no, he wanted to be over here helping people and morale.
He'll be missed.
Very much so.
Right now, Dennis and Catherine are driving towards
the Buckinghamshire village of Olney,
all too aware this game is entering its crucial stage.
-This is where the concentration comes in.
Like when you're playing snooker, you've got to keep fully focused.
Don't let anybody put you off.
-And we've just got to take the final black and...
-Oh, I like it.
-Final black. I'm all for a final black.
-And then we've won.
And then we've won.
And if we do, you can raise that imaginary cue above your head
and wag your finger.
Crikey. We're in for a nail-biting finish.
They seem very confident, so let's hope they don't slip
at the final hurdle, their last shop - The Antique Centre At Olney.
-Oh, mind the step.
I wouldn't pay that amount for it.
I was just about to pour you a little glass of champagne.
No, we'll save that for afterwards to celebrate.
-When you lift the trophy.
-When we lift our trophy at the end.
Toby jugs are not really...
Every time I see a Toby jug, it reminds me of my grandmother.
-We used to spend a lot of time in her house.
-And she had lots?
-They always had Toby jugs.
They used to be so fashionable but now they're not.
But something else has caught Dennis' eye.
-Oh-ho! The old golf clubs.
-This is quite an old club, this.
I'm just looking at it. The home of golf, St Andrews.
This is made by Anderson & Blyth from St Andrews,
and they reckon between 1890 and 1920.
-Is that a good name, Anderson & Blyth?
-The home of golf, anybody that made clubs.
-It's St Andrews.
It's a hickory golf club, indeed manufactured in St Andrews
and ticketed at £22.
Come on then, show me it in action.
Up to there and then...
-You can wreck the place in one.
-Yeah, no. Try not to do that.
-We haven't got enough money.
-Back like that.
But the golf club is cheaper than the inkwell Dennis picked up earlier.
-So, we've gone from one extreme to the other.
-I know. Yeah.
That's good. You prefer cheap, don't you?
You're a cheap date.
They'll ask dealer Audrey what can be done on the £22 ticket price
-Now remember where you put this.
-Oh, no, no, it's like that.
-What's wrong with that?
-Oh, like that.
-That's it. There you go. Perfect.
Now if you open that finger slightly,
-you've got the perfect bridge hand.
That's called a bridge hand, yeah.
We're getting our sports confused, rather.
Time to see if Dennis can sweet talk another dealer.
-£22 is a little bit much for that one.
-A bit steep.
What can you do to that for us, Audrey?
I'll have a word with the manager and see what we can do.
-Thank you very much, Audrey. Thank you.
-He will take 15.
-He'll take 15 for it?
-Yeah. He can't go to ten.
-Shall we go for that then?
-Yeah, why not? Let's go for it.
-Audrey, thank you very much indeed.
-Thank you very much indeed, Audrey.
-Thank you. You're welcome.
-Hole in one.
But what of their rivals, Willie and Christina?
Why, they're now in this very same shop, as well.
And look what he's found.
I'm just trying to work out who that snooker player would be.
It's certainly not me with that hairstyle.
"£20. A snooker player." I think I might buy that for...
..Christina as a memory of the day.
Or for someone else?
To remind you of your loss today.
That's quite handsome by the look of it.
Eh, no. But great minds do think alike.
Careful with that, Willie!
That's a good old one.
Though it's perhaps no surprise that golf clubs caught
both our celebrities' eyes.
Dennis and I play lots of golf together.
-Loads of golf.
-Charity events and all that.
-Oh, Dennis is a better golfer than me, unfortunately.
But who'll be better at this old game remains to be seen.
Has Willie spotted a winner then?
Well, actually I've seen this lovely...
I think it's a tie press and it's also a tie holder.
Cos I wear lots of ties and things, that definitely appeals to me.
I don't know if Christina will think it's an antique or not so I'll give her a shout.
Christina? I've spotted this lovely tie...
I don't know whether it's a tie press or a tie holder, or both.
It's both, probably dating from the 1940s and ticketed at £48.
Oh, that's fab! I love that.
-I've never seen one before. Have you?
-No. Let's have a little look.
Oh, it is the whole box.
So, you'd press your tie in there so that it was ready
for your snooker match,
and then you'd keep your tie selection in there.
-And they'd be all rolled up.
-Oh, fab, look!
This is from a gentleman's outfitters.
You're a bit of a snazzy dresser.
My son actually is a gentlemen's outfitter.
-He works at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row.
-And I'm sure he's never seen one of these either.
-OK, good spot.
They're taking a note of that and browsing on.
And soon Christina's seen something too.
Silver photograph frames are always, always popular at auction
because you can still use them today,
and that one is particularly nice,
-and it looks like it's solid silver as well.
-Willie will be summoned.
-Come and have a look at this.
-What have you found?
-What have you found?
-Just looking in this cabinet here...
-CABINET DOOR CLINKS
-..and what you think about that?
-Oh, lovely picture frame.
Isn't it gorgeous? Look at that.
-What a lovely wedding.
-£85 is on the ticket.
-So what age would this be, do you think?
-I think it's from 1930s, 1940s.
So, they're keen on the frame and tie box,
a combined ticket price of £133.
-Time to chat to dealer Sheila.
-How did you get on, Sheila?
-Right. Well, the very best is 38 on the tie press box.
-And what's on that?
-72 and 38.
If we could say £100, what do you think, for the two?
I'm happy to do that if you are?
Cash. Cold, hard cash.
-OK, we'll say yes.
-Thank you very much.
-Well done, Sheila. Thank you very much.
-We've now got all our items.
-Off we jolly well...
Shopping's done. It's time to reveal their purchases to each other.
What do you think, Catherine? Look at the smile on this face.
Like a Cheshire Cat, as usual. As usual.
That doesn't mean anything. We're not worried about that.
-Come on. Let's have a little look then.
-Reveal all, guys.
-Oh, a golf club.
-Willie will like that.
-Oh, a bike!
-What about this?
-What is that?
-A unicycle. Is it a unicycle?
-Unicycle. That's what it is.
-Dennis, just show me how it works.
-No, I'm not going to touch it.
Oh, what's that thing at the end?
-It's a Belfast sink. Not any ordinary sink.
-Not any old sink.
-It a Northern Ireland sink.
-Ah, of course.
-Let things sink in now. Come on.
-Hey! I do the jokes, thank you.
-Christina. I think Christina will like these.
-Yeah, love those.
-Little treen shoes.
-I think so.
-I also think Willie will like this here.
-What is that?
-Is it a jewellery box?
-No, that is...
-Oh, it's an inkwell.
He liked snooker, the dealer, and I had a word with him.
-I suppose he liked golf as well, did he?
-No, no, no.
-That was a different shop.
-I thought you would ask about that, Willie.
-This was made in St Andrews.
-How much was that?
-We got that for £15.
-Oh, you'll get a profit on that.
Well, that's impressive.
That's the fruits of your labours for the last two days.
-You don't mean that, do you?
I am slightly flabbergasted, I have to say.
There's no sincerity there, is there?
Now, now. Time for Willie and Christina's haul.
-Let's have a little look.
-Are you ready?
Oh, look at the way they're revealing. Very dainty.
-Oh, now then.
Look at those little monkeys.
-Let's see. One, two, three, four, five. Five pieces.
-Come on, then.
-Talk us through.
Well, listen, Dennis will love this, even though you don't know what it is.
I've no idea what it is. Not a clue.
This is a storage box with a tie press on top.
A gentlemen's outfitters piece because you always look so dapper.
And the Danish brooch?
We then had a little Scandinavian piece of silver jewellery there...
Which your wife would love, which we only paid £10 for.
-That's very cheap.
-And then, le piece de resistance.
It is a silver frame.
I think you've bought some lovely things, actually.
And as for the Clarice Cliff design, its provenance is still unresolved,
but Christina has some research calls to do
and should know more before the auction.
-So, everyone here is very cordial.
-Best of luck, Willie.
-Always a pleasure battling with you, my friend.
-Good luck, good luck.
-Good luck, Willie.
-We'll see you at the auction.
-We'll look forward to it.
But what do they have to say
when the other team's backs are turned, eh?
Now I've seen his items, I'm absolutely delighted.
I take back everything I've said about you. I think you're all right.
I think it's going to be quite close.
Well, he's so competitive, isn't he? He just wants that edge.
-Well, we shall see.
-We shall see.
-But, listen, it's not over until it's over.
-See you at the auction.
-Bless. Come on.
I say. On this Road Trip, they've journeyed from Sawbridgeworth
in the heart of Hertfordshire to Leicester in the East Midlands.
There, they're heading for auction.
Leicester hit the headlines when the remains of King Richard III
were found buried in a car park,
so let's hope our teams have made some similarly surprising finds.
Well, Den, it's auction day. How are you feeling?
Are you going to beat me?
You know, Willie, you can't be overconfident. It's like our game.
-If you're overconfident...
-You get beat.
-..you get beat.
I'm really looking forward to this because it's going to be
quite exciting sitting there as each item comes up.
The chaps are just arriving at the saleroom,
Gilding's Auctioneers, where the girls are ready to greet them.
Ooh, the big yellow banana machine is arriving.
Look at this. Arriving in style.
SHE HUMS FANFARE
-Very good. Oh, they look happy!
We got all the best places, parking outside a tea van.
-Can we get out? That's the question.
-That's the thing. Can you get out?
Look at that. No problem. We're really looking forward to this.
-Very excited about it.
-Raring to go?
-Shall we go in?
-Let's go. Show me the way.
-Lead the way.
-Come on, girls.
But before we begin, Christina's been doing some digging
and it's bad news about the so-called Clarice Cliff design.
-You know our Clarice Cliff drawing?
-I got very excited about it
and I spoke to a very good friend of mine
who owns the Clarice Cliff Collectors Club
and I said, "I've bought this Clarice Cliff drawing.
"It's really exciting,"
and he said, "Darling, I'm ever so sorry to tell you, but it's a fake."
They are very rare but somebody is reproducing them,
so very, very sadly, we are not going to be able to sell it,
because technically it's a fake.
Christina's Clarice Cliff contact is a leading authority on the subject.
He knows this is a forgery as it's not a Clarice Cliff design
and because it bears similarities to known forgeries
currently circulating in the market.
The shop they bought it from traded it in good faith
but the only way to deal with fake items like this
is to remove them from the market, so it will be destroyed.
So what happens then about us...?
Well, they have very kindly refunded our money.
It just shows the importance of concrete provenance...
-But we've got £100 still in the slush,
and we're going forward with our four further items.
With that bit of drama out of the way,
auctioneer Mark Gilding will be taking the sale.
GAVEL BANGS But before the off,
what does he think of our teams' lots?
Yeah, nice tie press and box, this one.
It's in pretty good condition.
All the action works and good name of Austin Reed,
the retailers, inside.
The cotton winds - I think these are probably the best lot
that's been brought in today.
I think they're nice Victorian things.
Good, interesting Victoriana collectables and should do well.
So, Willie and Christina started this trip with £400.
After one lot was refunded, they spent £130 exactly,
and now have four lots in today's sale.
While Dennis and Catherine also started with £400,
they spent £187 exactly and have five lots up for grabs.
-The auction is about to begin.
-Best of luck, guys.
-I think we might need it.
-Did you mean that?
First up, it's Dennis and Catherine's little bobbin boots.
The auctioneer liked them. Will the crowd?
Lots of interest in these presale. Bidding opens at £20 only.
-I'm bid at 20.
-Lots of interest but £20.
-32 I'm bid now. 32.
At 32 is the bidding online at 32.
-All internet activity then at £48.
The internet's going on but...
50 now. Online at £50. I'm bid at 50.
£80. I'm bid now at 80.
All out in the room. That's £80. 5, do I see? It's £80.
-Is that it, internet?
-Oh, no, come on. A bit more.
-Online at £80.
-Well done, guys!
-It's a profit.
A tidy little profit sees them off to a good start.
Next, it's Willie and Christina's first lot - the Danish brooch.
Best of luck, best of luck.
Why did you say that with gritted teeth?
Cos I meant, best of luck.
£50, do I see?
£18, bidding with me then at 18.
-Oh, profit, profit.
-It's doing well.
It's 20 on the internet. At £20, I'm bid at 20.
We're here to sell, it's on the internet and away at £20.
-Well, there you go.
-£10. It's a profit. What was your first profit?
-Similar, so we're drawing at the minute.
We're about even-stevens.
A nice little earner there.
Now, Dennis and Catherine's hickory golf club,
reflecting Dennis' love of golf.
I think this will go online because just looking around,
I can't see any swingers in the room
-so online with the golf club, I think.
-I think so.
And the bidding opens at £10. 10 I'm bid then, at 10.
-We've bid £10.
-£10, I'm here at 10.
£12 online, at 12. Unfortunately, my bids are out
so we're at the internet at £12.
At 12, looking for you all in the room.
£12 is the bid. We're on the internet and selling now at £12.
-Are you upset?
-Oh, no, why?
I would've paid 13 for it.
An unlucky loss but not an awfully big one.
Next, Willie's little stick pin.
Best of luck, I hope you get 15 for it.
No, I'm only joking, only joking.
And bidding here, £10 only I'm bid for this coral set pin at 10.
-Got to be more than that.
-£10, I'm bid. £12. £15.
£15, I'm bid. And you're out at 15,
the bid's with me at 15. Internet, are you bidding?
-They should be.
-You're all out at well. 15 is the bid...
£18 I'm bid, last-minute bidding online at 18.
-Fair warning, we're here to sell.
-Come on! More, more, more.
-Dennis is drawing around.
He might be, Willie, but there's everything still to play for.
Up now it's Willie's and Christina's Belfast sink,
bought in honour of Dennis' Northern Irish roots.
-Can you pick it up?
-Yeah, can we see it, please?
-Can we see it?
-Can you call an ambulance?
So I think we all know what they look like, the Belfast sink.
But good order this one, I think.
£20 is the bid, at 22, 25.
28 in the middle now.
At 28, I'm out at 28.
At 28, fair warning then, I will sell.
-It's doubled your money.
And one bidder has picked up the lot,
even if the porter sensibly declined to.
Are you pleased with that?
Yes, we've doubled our money again. We still haven't lost any.
We're in trouble. We're in trouble.
One for Willie and Christina now, the tie press and box.
But you're a dickey bow man, aren't you?
I'm a dickey bow man, but I do like a tie.
-I do wear lots of ties.
-You used to.
I'm a bit of TIE-coon, to be fair.
£10 opening bid, then. At 10.
-Tenner, I'm bid, at £10 only, here at 10.
£12, I'm bid at 12. £15. £18. 20.
The man without a tie as well. At £20, I'm bid then at 20. On my left.
Is that it, ladies and gentlemen? We're selling away now at £20.
BANGS GAVEL TELEPHONE RINGS
-Too late. There's somebody on the phone.
-They've missed it.
-Was going to give you 200 for it.
-Didn't accept it.
-They were going to make a telephone bid!
Ooh, unlucky. It didn't quite find its market on the phone or elsewhere.
-I've just gone 4-1 behind then, 4-1 behind.
-No, we're all right,
-we're all right.
-Keep the faith, keep the faith.
Chin up, Willie. It's not over until the last gavel comes down.
It's Dennis and Catherine's '70s unicycle now.
A first time for me on the unicycle and...
-..I do have some bids here actually on my book.
£5, £8, 10, 12, 15, 18, £20 I'm bid.
-£20 bid for the unicycle. At 20. 22.
It's at the room at 22, internet. Lots of bidding now. Take 25,
22's bid over there, at 22.
At 22. 25. 28.
-28 I'm bid now. 28.
-It's not an antique.
-Your turn, online. The bidding's in the room.
-It's a collectable.
Fair warning then at 28. It's a very brave bidder at 28.
There we go!
I can't believe it.
With that bit of clowning around, a resounding success.
Willie and Christina need their silver frame to do well.
Bidding with me starts at 15, 18, 20,
22, 25, 28, £30 I'm bid now, at 30.
-We're in trouble.
-32, 35, 38, 40.
45, 50. 55 seated.
-More, more, more.
-You're out in this corner.
At 55. I can't see you now, you've walked away.
-It's 55 right at the back.
Fair warning, then. Seated at the back at £55.
It climbs but not far enough.
They might be snookered.
-I think our inkwell would have to go
-for about 15 quid for you to win this.
-Is that what it is?
Oh, don't rub it in.
Dennis and Catherine's Japanese inkwell next.
A gamble buy, it cost a lot but will it win them the game?
-When you get down to the colours, go for everything.
Nice little Japanese inkwell,
this one, and bids on my book.
£15 only. I'm bid at 15.
15 for the inkwell, at £15.
£50. Thank you, internet. At £50, that's more like it, isn't it?
-What did he say - 50?
-50 on the internet, you see.
Well, all my bids lost and looks like you're out in the room
as well at the minute. We're £50 with the internet.
One bid only at £50.
Oh, we lost on the last one. That's going to make things pretty close.
-You had four profits in there.
-£50, it went from £15 to £50.
That final lot means it might just be a black ball finish after all.
-It was very close.
-It was close, it's going to be close.
-Shall we go outside?
-Yeah, let's go and have a look.
-Have a check.
Both teams started this trip with £400.
After paying auction costs,
Willie and Christina made a loss of £37.34,
leaving them with £362.66.
Dennis and Catherine made a smaller loss of £24.64
and so end up with £375.36
and this road trip's laurel!
-You pipped us to the post by...
-Oh, you're kidding, by how much?
-..£12. Oh, no!
-Well done, well done.
-It was very close. It was the unicycle that did it for us.
-I think absolutely it was.
Well, what they lack in cash, they seem to have made up in affection.
Right, we will see you off in Bananarama, guys.
It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.
More kisses, golly.
I'll never forget you. Never.
Thank you, chaps. It's been a ball...
a snooker ball.
I've thoroughly enjoyed it and hopefully you have too.
Well, it was great fun. What an experience
-and I've enjoyed every single second of it.
-It's been great.
Two legends of the snooker world swap sports for antiques as former rivals Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne join the Road Trip. With the help of antiques experts Catherine Southon and Christina Trevanion, they shop around the home counties and head for a decisive auction in Market Harborough.