Celebrities hunt for antiques across the UK. Ronni Ancona and Jan Ravens head for auction in Stockport, joined by experts Phil Serrell and James Braxton.
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The nation's favourite celebrities...
-Ooh, I like that!
-..paired up with an expert...
Oh, we've had some fun, haven't we?
..and a classic car.
It feels as if it could go quite fast.
Their mission? To scour Britain for antiques.
-I'll do that in slow-mo.
The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction.
Come on, boys!
But it's no easy ride.
Who will find a hidden gem?
"Don't sell me!"
Who will take the biggest risks?
Go away, darling!
Will anybody follow expert advice?
I'm trying to spend money here.
There will be worthy winners.
-And valiant losers.
Put your pedal to the metal, this is the Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
On today's show, prepare yourself.
We have a pair of funny girls from the dizzy heights of British comedy.
Jan Ravens and Ronni Ancona.
We need a couple of bottles of Bolly, don't we?
Do you know, we could. We could just go away, darling.
Just get a couple of bottles of Bolly, darling.
Shall we just get a couple of bottles of Bolly? And go on the run.
Bolly-Stoli, darling, Bolly-Stoli.
But not before you buy some antiques, you two!
Impressionist and actor,
the smouldering Ronni has an illustrious career spanning over 20 years.
Her big break on Alistair McGowan's Big Impression saw
her Victoria Beckham impersonation become a much-loved hit.
Her talent for mimicry knows no bounds,
with sterling performances as Peggy in EastEnders and cooking goddess Nigella.
A regular on Radio 4,
Jan is also an esteemed actor and is a stalwart of comedy brilliance on
the popular Dead Ringers series.
A talented imitator, she includes Fiona Bruce, Delia Smith,
and even Her Majesty The Queen in her vast collection of extraordinary impersonations.
The talented twosome are old friends,
and have a rather nifty 1977 Jaguar XJC to whoosh about the country in.
Look at this Ja...this bea...
I love a Jaguar!
I do like a walnut fascia.
They each have a bag of money totalling £400.
I'm going to spend all the money on a handbag for me.
-Is that the wrong...?
-That's the wrong thing.
No, you've got to... You can't... I think you can't keep the thing...
You've got to sell the thing you've bought.
-You've got to make a profit.
Can I just check the contract on that?
No, I think you've got to make a profit...
Ooh, I think we need a bit of expert guidance.
And who better than auctioneers James Braxton and Philip Serrell?
Well, for me, this is a lifelong ambition that I've now achieved.
-What, to be driven in a Bentley?
By Braxton. Braxton the chauff...
Braxton? Drive on, Braxton. Get the Bentley, Braxton.
-It's got a nice ring to it.
-It's got a good ring, hasn't it?
-I like it a lot.
Certainly does. The gents have the majesty of the 1989 Bentley Eight
to purr about the place in.
James, when was the last time we worked together?
Must have been last year.
And, you know, you get to know people to a certain level
and then you start teasing them, obviously.
-Yeah, I know where this is going.
You and your wig have been a staple of television
for about 18 years, 16 years?
James, I don't wear a wig.
Just concentrate on the driving, Braxton!
Meanwhile, in the Jag...
Who are you hoping to have, by the way, as your expert?
I just hope it's not that grumpy one that wears a scarf.
Our antiques escapade begins in the town of Redcar in North Yorkshire,
winding its merry way around the North-east,
before landing in the Cheshire town of Stockport for the auction finale.
All right, my bubba?
Time to meet the grumpy one with the scarf, and good old Brackers.
-Look at that.
-It's a lovely car, isn't it?
Lovely smiles, both.
What a racket! Oh, my...
Could we get some oil, please?
-Hello. This is very jolly.
-It is very jolly!
Very jolly indeed.
It's sunny and it's Yorkshire. Hello, I'm Jan.
-Philip, how are you?
-Good to see you.
The most important question is, who's with who?
Ronni, how are you?
-I think we're the same height, we are, so...
Well, I think James and Ronni have bonded!
-Is this a height correlation thing?
-Ronni, I can offer you the Bentley.
-The Bentley, yeah.
-I think that will do, my darling angel!
Will that be all right for you?!
Time to get those big wheels moving.
With Ronni and James in the Bentley...
..and Jan and Phil in the Jag.
Teams decided, are there any plans afoot?
I negotiate for you, or we bring a third person along with us.
-A third person?
Maybe we could get...
-AS THERESA MAY:
-..Theresa May to come along,
with her, ha, her forced laugh and her tense mouth and, erm,
she would conduct a very proper, ha, negotiation.
Let's leave them to it, and join the other pair.
Jim, this car, she just purrs!
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-I've suddenly developed
an appalling superiority complex ever since I've got in it.
I've suddenly realised my whole life has been wrong,
driving a rusty old lawn mower.
Can we order up a Bentley for Ronni, please?
Redcar Antiques is the first port of call for Ronni and James.
Just look at that weather.
That's so beautiful.
It's calling us, calling us, isn't it?
-It's like a treasure trove.
It certainly is jam-packed in there.
Ronni wastes no time finding something she rather fancies.
These fantastic old watercolour things are just...
Lovely watercolour boxes, aren't they?
Who's that? £25, so that's mahogany, isn't it?
George Rowney & Sons were a notable
and much-respected art materials manufacturer,
and even supplied the eminent Constable and Turner,
don't you know?
This reminds me of my grandfather, who was an artist.
He used to paint me little scenes from the ballet and send me.
And his father was a cartoonist for Punch,
and was one of the first cartoonists
to do those big heads on little bodies on football cards.
Those old football cards.
And my mother was an artist, and it ran in the family.
And I loved... I always used to remember coming up to her room
when she was painting, or my grandfather,
and these lovely old palettes.
Yeah. That's a nice item, that.
But it is a beautiful item,
especially if we can pass it off as Van Gogh's!
We can give it a go, James, what do you think?
Steady! As a trained artist herself,
it's no wonder that it's caught Ronni's eye.
-What's this, then?
-These are fun.
-Look. This is a mechanical drinks cabinet.
-Isn't that fun?
You see, that's fantastic.
But in my case, it would have to be open at all times!
-It's too much...
-That is a great thing.
And do you come across a lot of these?
Yeah, it's one of those things that used to be around a lot,
but now has slightly disappeared from the auction rooms.
They're great fun.
-This is what people had in their offices.
To me, it fascinates me because I think, who opened that up?
Who had conversations over that?
Romantic. It's priced at £250.
While they have another rootle about,
let's catch up with Jan and Phil.
Do you study dialects and things like that?
No. Oh, sorry, do you know what I thought you said?
-I thought you said, "Do you study Daleks?"
Yeah, no, sorry about that.
I was about to say, "No, I've never liked Doctor Who!"
Watch your diction, Phil.
Our duo have made their way to the town of Yarm in Stockton on Tees.
Rudby House Antiques owned by Sandy is their first shop of choice.
It has three floors of wares to peruse.
Look, my mum used to have all these Doulton ornaments.
I never liked them then.
-They're an age gone by, aren't they?
-Yeah, they are.
Leave the Royal Doulton behind then.
What's this she's found?
Oh, look at these little mouse things!
I went to a visit to my husband's old school,
and they had those little mice on the benches, you know,
the dining room benches.
-Can I get them out?
-Of course you can.
Robert "Mouseman" Thompson is a British furniture maker
renowned for a signature mouse,
which made its first appearance in 1919
due to a chance conversation about being as poor as a church mouse.
What you really want from a Mouseman is the earlier examples.
This is a cheeseboard.
-And you can see where someone's just cut it, which in a way...
But I would think these are probably quite late in Mouseman terms.
The cheeseboard has a ticket price of £150.
Time for a chat with Sandy, I fancy.
So the cheeseboard.
It's a lovely little thing, but you've had it a while.
-We can tell you what we think we can pay for it.
Like £80-90's worth.
Well, I'll try and do my best for you, I really will.
-I know you will, you helped me before.
I'll try and do my best. Right.
Oh, aye. While Sandy has a think about the price,
Jan and Phil practise their skills of negotiation.
Sandy, could you take £50?
A little Edwardian...
Yes, I'm back, so don't say anything you don't want me to hear!
I was just about to do an impression of you!
-She was doing an impression of you, it was really good!
-Yes, I was! I was doing an impression.
Yes. Oh, you need your eyes testing
if you think I'm going to give that away for £100!
She's good, isn't she?
I think you're brilliant.
-Aw, thank you.
-I think you're brilliant.
Thank you. Now, what do we think? Oh, look, we've got matching nails.
-We haven't got matching hands, though.
-No, not you.
Nice diversion, Jan.
You did say £90. I can't do it on £90.
-But I'll do it for £100.
I'm going to go for the Mouseman cheeseboard.
Is that a deal? Deal.
Pay up, Jan. £40 discount off the Mouseman cheese platter
is an excellent result.
You're a lovely woman, Jan.
You're a lovely woman, Sandy, thank you very much.
-AS SANDI TOKSVIG:
-Not as nice as my very good friend
-Sandi Toksvig, though.
-Sandi Toksvig, curiously, curiously.
-Yes. Good old Sandi.
Ee, by gum.
Meanwhile back in sunny Redcar, anybody fancy a wind farm?
I mean, a choc ice? How are our determined shoppers getting on,
in a roundabout sort of way?
What items do you like?
I really do, I do like that Edwardian drinks cabinet.
You can buy another item, you know, we can always buy two.
What is your opinion at all, even?
I like the artist's box.
It has something of you, your theatrical...backdrops,
the artist, all that sort of thing.
Now, James is going to help guide negotiations.
Remember, the drinks cabinet with the cocktail shaker and glasses
is priced at £250, and the artist's box at £25.
Stand by for a masterclass.
Now, James, if I said to you £140 for the drinks cabinet...
I'd say £150.
You'd say £150.
And Ronni, I would shake his hand at £150.
I think we could do £150, yes.
-Shake, shake it.
-That's a good deal.
-That's a good deal.
-Done a deal! We've done a deal.
-But... What about the artist's box?
-Well, I love the artist's box...
-A tenner or something?
-It can be £10 if you like.
Shake his hand, Ronni. Shake his hand.
-James, give me your hand.
-I could get used to this.
I think I'm going to kiss it!
Hey, don't frighten the bloke!
-Thank you so much, James.
He might change his mind!
That was swift and efficient.
And two lovely lots to start you off.
Meanwhile, Jan and Phil...
Can you do a Ronni?
-Oh, darling, well, I do do Ronni, darling,
but you know, I think she's got a bit sick of me doing her, darling.
Because you know, the thing with Ronni is you think she's,
you know, really, you know, kind of dippy...
-But actually she's an Exocet missile, darling.
She certainly is!
Jan and Phil have journeyed to the town of Hartlepool in County Durham.
She doesn't know it yet, but we've got a real treat in store for her.
This quiet little town dates back as far as the seventh century.
But according to local legend,
it was the site of a terrifying and sordid episode.
-Here we are, look.
-The Museum of Hartlepool!
OK. Well, this is all a bit of a mystery.
As one of the country's leading satirists,
Jan is meeting with museum curator Mark Simmonds
to find out about one of the early forms of satire
that took place right here in the 19th century.
During the Napoleonic Wars,
a French ship was seen floundering off the coast of Hartlepool.
Throughout this period, there was a real threat of invasion.
Locals gathered at the beach to investigate the wreck
to find there was one remaining survivor.
Clinging to the wreckage is a tiny little shivering monkey...
-That's sad, isn't it?
..in a little, sort of, sailor costume.
Only the fishermen don't realise it's a monkey.
They hear its gibbering in fright,
and they think that it's a Frenchman speaking French,
-because they've never seen a Frenchman before.
The ship's monkey mascot confused the fishermen.
They believed their simian hostage was a French spy.
They sentenced the poor beast to death,
hanging it in the town square.
They thought the monkey was a Frenchman,
cos they'd never seen a French person before?
You've spotted the big thing with the legend.
It's complete rubbish, it's not true at all.
Actually, the roots of this tale lie in a song,
"The Fishermen hung the Monkey O!"
It was written by local folk singer and comedian Ned Corvan,
some 50 years after the incident is supposed to have occurred.
# Come and see the Frenchie who's landed on the beach
# He's got long arms, a great long tail
# And he's covered all in hair
# We think that he's a spy, so we'll hang him in the square... #
The idea was that it was poking fun at how silly,
how stupid could people be.
And it's the people that he's talking about, the fishermen,
who are singing the song along with him in the pubs,
in the music halls.
In the original words of the song,
there's little hints that they're poking fun at local politicians
and local bigwigs.
So it was kind of like the Spitting Image of its day,
or indeed the Dead Ringers.
So, the joke is about how can people be so stupid
not to realise these things.
And isn't that what satirists do?
Yeah, you do exaggerate,
obviously you always exaggerate for comic effect,
but I think you have to be careful about what symbols you use.
They were living in a different world.
The 1850s is a very different world.
No, there was no political correctness, that's for sure.
But there is a very different attitude,
you're living in very different sort of times.
And humour doesn't age well, does it?
Are there people around who believe the story themselves?
I've met people who honestly believe there was a...there was a real ship,
-there was a real monkey...
-Is this local people...?
Local people, yeah, I've spoken to people
who believe that the story is still true.
But there's no connection between a monkey and Hartlepool
before Corvan does his song in 1854.
Over the centuries, the legend has been much used
to taunt Hartlepudlians, and has remained such a popular tale
that even the local rugby team are known as the Monkey Hangers.
Locals take the story in good humour,
and even have a statue to the monkey's honour.
The myth may be bizarre and strange,
but the ditty penned over 150 years ago is responsible for giving
Hartlepool a piece of folklore that refuses to disappear.
Let's catch up now with Ronni and James.
Let's hear Nigella preparing a chocolate cake.
-No, she doesn't do chocolate cake now.
Because now she does things like avocado on toast.
But she still makes it sound very complex.
I love bread.
It's so primal.
It's like eating the essence of life itself.
And when it's cooked, it's called toast.
Very good! Nigella...I mean Ronni and James
have travelled south east to the village of Sleights
in the Esk Valley.
Eskdale Antiques beckons.
Hey, this is lovely, isn't it?
It looks gorgeous!
My name is Lena, queen of the Lilos. Come!
I love the way he's arranged this...
I don't know if you're taking this seriously enough.
I am taking it seriously.
-I'm going to be in trouble, now...
-Put down the cones.
His bark is worse than his bite.
-As you were, Ronni.
-What are you finding now?
-Look at this!
Oooh! Cor, that's got a bit of weight to it.
-Has it got a bit of weight?
-That's got a bit of weight.
It's rather gorgeous, isn't it?
I like a bit of brass, don't you?
-Do you like a bit of brass?
I love a bit of brass.
Do you clean it, Ronni?
I am a prime brass cleaner.
-Now look, I love this, because I'm obsessed with elephants.
-So am I!
-Now, I quite like this.
Do you know anything... What does it say? Hang on.
I think it's got a bit of age, I think it's 19th century,
-it's a vase, it's probably Chinese.
-Asian elephant vase.
So not...definitely not Asian dolphin with a long tongue vase.
It's quite sparing, isn't it? It's quite sparing.
Beautifully made. So, this is all inlaid.
It's a brass body, a bit of silver pewter.
This is potentially interesting.
Ronni, what's the price on it?
-We can't do that.
-Never look at a price tag.
We need to get that under £50.
I love the way you said that, "Never look at a price tag."
Let's go and see shopkeeper Phil
to get to grips with a possible deal.
-Have you found something you're interested in?
We rather like this piece. Where's he gone? Oh, there he is!
You can't miss a Braxton.
Phil, what sort of age do you think it is?
-Yeah, I think so.
-Yeah, late Victorian.
Yeah, late 19th century, with that band there.
We had ascertained that with the...
-I told James about that, he didn't know.
Could that be £40, Phil?
It does have a good bit of quality.
I think we could probably be doing that at about £65.
THEY BREATHE OUT LOUDLY
Now, this is where you sound like your plumber, you see.
-HE BREATHES OUT LOUDLY
Well, see, I'd love to help you. I'd love to help you out with that.
But, thing is... It's more than my life's worth.
I mean, 65... 60?
-60 would be fine.
-I would have said far less than that!
-Oh, no! I've done it all wrong!
-No, we won't...
-I can't go back now!
60 is a very good deal.
Ronni's haggled a great discount.
What a successful day.
It's successful, although I sense you were a little bit miffed
about my deal-making at the end.
Yeah, I thought the deal-making was rubbish, really.
So, considering my opening offer was £40...
The point is, he offered 65, and I, the milk of human kindness,
-I couldn't bear to...
-What, shaved off a fiver?!
Go on, go on, drive me home.
I was trying to be kind!
It was like a shaving of Parmesan.
You did a brilliant job there, Ronni.
Don't listen to the rumbles from James.
I think a bit of a rest, don't you? So, nighty night.
Refreshed and ready for the day ahead,
how are we feeling this morning, girls?
Today, I have a feeling I've changed,
I'm going to be hard, I'm going to be ruthless.
-Yeah, ruthless. I'm going to show him.
In fact, when James offers a price, I'm going to actually undercut him.
And I'll go, "My partner, he don't know what he's talking about.
"He may be offering 40, but I'm telling you, 20's my final offer.
"I'm going to be Wideboy Ancona today."
You've gone more like Pat from EastEnders, actually!
Ronni's revved up for buying, but what about Happy and Grumpy?
So the thing with Jan yesterday,
is that you say to Jan "be a Brummie,"
-she can be a Brummie.
"Be a Scouser," she can be a Scouser.
-"Be a Geordie", she can be a Geordie.
There's this instant dialect, accent, whatever.
I'm in awe of it, really.
Ronni's very elegant and she speaks very quietly.
Very quietly. So she draws you in,
-she draws you in.
-She kind of whispers.
She certainly does. Yesterday, our talented girls entered
into the realm of antiques with plenty of gusto.
Ronni and James launched into proceedings with the utmost of zest.
They bought the watercolour set, the rather nifty drinks cabinet,
and the Chinese bronze vase.
They have £180 left in their road-tripping wallet.
Jan and Phil were very careful with their money.
They bought the Mouseman cheese platter
and have a massive £300 to splurge.
CAR HORN HOOTS Right, let's catch up with the troops.
It's got a horn hasn't it?
-So hi there.
-How are you?
-Have you missed us?
-It's been so long.
Come on, it's time for more shopping.
-What have we got, what have you got?
-My favourite alpine.
My favourite alpine outfit.
Have you been doing impersonations of us?
We want to know that.
No, we would never do anything that disrespectful, would we Jan?
No. Course we wouldn't. No, we wouldn't.
We'd better get on, cos otherwise we'll never get finished today.
For goodness' sake... Next time you're bargaining,
could you do better?
Come on, come on.
Whoever you are then, the shops await.
Let's jump in with Jan and Philip.
They're making their way to the village of West Auckland
in County Durham.
Now, just while there's no-one else here and there is no-one watching,
no-one listening and we're just on our own, do me a James.
Do you a James?
Well, the thing about James is that he talks through a smile
the whole time, doesn't he?
Sort of from up here somewhere.
Another beautiful day,
Hagas Antiques is where we're headed.
It's crammed to the rafters, don't you know.
Phil is sharing his knowledge.
If I owned this, what I would do is take all of these handles
off and throw them away
and I'd start again, but I'd make them all odd.
I think you'd have quite a bit of fun, perhaps with a glass handle,
a porcelain handle, a brass swan-neck handle.
That's a very boho idea, Phil.
-Well, you know.
-That's very boho, isn't it?
-What would Hyacinth think to that?
Well, of course it's Hyacinth's territory
where we're going for the auction, isn't it?
I think Hyacinth would think that was perfectly awful, scruffy.
-She'd like mahogany?
-She'd like a nice mahogany with a doily on top.
After a mosey around, Jan finds something interesting.
It's sweet, it's got a design on the bottom as well as the top.
I would think there is every chance that that's a little snuffbox.
Possibly Indian silver, but possibly not.
You could sort of carry your pills around in your handbag in it.
Whenever you needed them, sweetie.
This is where I need a jolly good look.
And actually, I think I might need...
-Time to look professional, eh, Phil?
Yeah, see, this actually doesn't tell me anything at all,
but it does look rather good on camera, it makes me look...
As if you know what you're talking about.
But the reality is, you and I both know that I haven't got a clue.
I think it's £5 or £10 worth.
And while she's there, Jan's spied another little something.
This is quite sweet. What's that?
That's a little spill vase and...
-For the fire?
-Well, either for the fire...
Or you could put a fragrance in there?
Or a little flower vase, but it's Chinese,
you can tell it's Chinese, cos these are bamboo shoots, look.
It's about 100-120 years old, it's a little bit of Chinese export silver
and if you bought the two for £30 you'd probably be all right.
You can make the one lot.
Neither item is priced.
Time to find owner Alistair to talk money, but hang on, what's this?
Sitting down with tea and cake?
Well, I suppose Phil is getting on a bit.
I think the way forward might be, Jan,
if you told Alistair what we're interested in and
you be the good cop and I'll be the miserable, horrible...
-The price is off.
-Oh, Alistair, you gave me a fright.
That little snuffbox or pillbox,
is probably around ten quid and the other thing is around £20,
that's where we're coming from.
Hasn't it gone quiet? It has, hasn't it?
Would you like a bit of cake, the cake's really good.
Well, I was just wondering if you wanted
the shirt off my back as well.
We do have to watch him, Alistair.
I think I could do them for a really good price of £40 for you, Phil.
I think there's a nice profit in there.
What about if we made you our best offer of 30 quid?
No disrespect, Phil, but if the lady to offer me, £35,
then I might be able to accept it.
Go 30 and see what he says.
Hold your hand out like that, you've got to shake his hand.
-Go on, then. You're a star, Alistair.
-Thank you. Thank you so much.
-Can I shake you by the hand?
-You're a gentleman.
Nice bit of work there, Jan and Phil.
The snuffbox and the spill vase for £30.
Meanwhile, back in the Bentley.
I have one word for you, Ronni.
How dare you, sir.
Quoits. It's a game.
Is that in your very beautiful RP accent,
is that you just mispronouncing kites?
-I'm going to fly kites, kites.
I'm going to go into tine
-to do kites. No, it's...
Quite right. What on earth are they babbling on about?
Well, I'll tell you.
Ronni and James have motored to the town of Darlington in County Durham.
James has sniffed out a rather exclusive club
dedicated to a sport that dates back thousands of years.
Founded 170 years ago,
the Darlington Quoits Club is the oldest surviving club of its type
The game involves throwing a metal ring around a target
on the ground.
And Ronni and James are meeting with the club president, Dave Watson,
to find out just why this ancient game has survived the sands of time.
-Do come in.
-I'm so excited.
-Ladies first, there we are.
-Thank you. Ladies first.
-Look at this.
-Oh, yes, it's a quoit.
Well done, James, quoit right.
By the 15th century,
quoits was an organised sport in pubs and taverns,
particularly in the north-east of England.
And by 1881, the first official rules were printed.
Dave, I know you're a huge expert in this,
so forgive the sort of simplicity of this initial question,
but what is quoits?
Well, it's a game. And it originated in ancient Greece,
it was one of the five games of the pentathlon.
Later on it came to England, brought by the Romans when they invaded.
They tended to throw at a target,
so instead of throwing it as far as you could,
they were throwing it at an object placed on the ground.
As time marched on, the sporting pastime
was a firm favourite with the workers of the land
and when the Industrial Revolution spawned an army of a workforce in
mining and steel industries, quoits had a peak of popularity.
What makes Darlington quoits club quite so special,
which, of course, it is?
Absolutely. Established in 1846 and here are
some of the founding members.
There were, in fact, 49 of them altogether.
And they were all professional people,
there was a banker, a tanner.
And that was different, wasn't it?
That was unusual, that they were professionals.
Absolutely. Instead of the working people being involved,
we have more professional people.
And was that exclusive to Darlington Quoit Club in a way?
Pretty much so, yes. And it goes on today.
Enough of the history, what about a go at the game itself?
-That's bang on.
-That's bang on.
-This is a ringer.
-That's a ringer.
-It's gone around the hob.
Cracking shot. Your turn now, James.
Just slightly overenthusiastic.
Sorry about the window.
-We'll pay for that later.
-You get in.
-That's out of your lunch money, isn't it?
I'm a bit scared, I'm a bit nervous.
Watch the loafers.
They're very smart.
Oh good, I'm still nearer.
-I'm still nearer.
Hopeless, the pair of you!
Since it was founded in 1846,
Darlington Quoits Club has been a guardian of a sport that has changed
little since its creation 2,500 years ago.
Time for James to recreate the game of the ancient Greeks.
Off come the braces.
What are you doing?
What is he doing?
Now, surely to goodness, he's not going to...
Oh, crikey Moses, he is!
Watch how this is done, OK?
The ancient Greeks would have felt the clay between their toes.
He is a sight for sore eyes, that man.
Crikey. Now, where's Jan and Phil?
Let's have an eavesdrop.
It's very funny, because I'm just thinking as we're going
along in the car, that that bloke will probably be, you know,
-doing his voice-over.
-Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Tim.
So look here, I say, all going along in this lovely country road,
I wonder what they're going to buy, because soon
they're going to arrive at another shop.
Come on Jan, show us what you're made of!
Well, funnily enough the voice-over bloke will probably say
"Jan, you'd better get a move on and stop dilly-dallying," actually.
What about the Bentley? Dare I listen in?
Now, I heard a rumour that you two have been doing impressions of us?
-I think that's quite frankly...
Do you think it's impertinent?
A little bit, yes.
I know how you feel.
The gang have made their way to the tower of Barnard Castle
in County Durham.
We're sharing a shop,
good job Mission Hall Antiques is big enough for this bunch.
There are over 40 dealers selling their wares in here
and Jan and Phil are first to arrive.
I want to try and buy something nice and big.
-Big and bouncy?
-Meaty beaty big and bouncy, that's what I want.
All right, Jan. You've got £270 left.
Doesn't take them long to find something either.
Can you hold it? I'm going to get my glasses out.
I think it's quite sweet actually, I think it's a good choice.
-It's from Chester, it's gold.
-That's where we're going, isn't it?
Yeah, so we're going near Chester.
So somebody might think that's rather lovely.
-A bit of an association?
-Yeah. RAF sweetheart brooch, 1926-27.
We've got two chances with that,
there's the RAF connection and then there's the Chester connection,
but it's all down to money, isn't it?
Dave, what will be the very best on that?
-What's it got on it?
Are we going the very best straightaway, are we?
We might go a bit lower than the very best,
you never know your luck really, do you?
Well, that's one to consider then.
Jan's spotted something too, a kitchen cabinet.
-I really like this.
I think that's lovely.
It's kind of, you know, it's plain, it's functional, it's kitchen-y,
it sort of reminds me of that painting by Vermeer,
of the maid with the jug, you know,
and the light coming through the window.
Because it's just sort of simple and it serves a purpose and it has these
-How much is that?
While those two ruminate...
..Ronni and James have arrived.
-Well done, in we hop-ski.
£180 is the sum total Ronni and James have left to splash.
-These are quite fun.
-Oh, yes, tell me about those.
-They're very pretty.
-They were based on Dutch flower bricks.
-And it's tin oxide, pottery.
And this is Isis, Oxford.
-Oh, from Oxford?
-From Oxford, yeah.
-Cos that's the river Isis?
-Would this be a copy of...?
-Which would be, like, 18th century?
It was for...it was called a flower brick and you put
-individual blooms in that.
-But it's a nice copy, isn't it?
-It's a lovely copy.
-And do you think that was very close to what they
-would have looked like?
-That is a copy with great integrity.
It's priced at £24 and is a possibility.
On the other side of the shop, Jan and Phil are still looking.
See, this one's rather sort of hunky chunky, isn't it?
-A bit like Phil.
I like that.
There's a smaller one next to it, but this one,
you could, like, you know,
you could either keep it as a ladder or you could mount it on a wall
as a display thing.
I've seen them used as shelves.
And you don't like that one at any price?
Er... Well, I don't mind it, how much are they?
Shall I go and get Dave?
Time to call in Dave to see if there's a deal to be made
on the hunky chunky.
Out of the three sets of stepladders Dave,
which do you think you could do the best deal on for us?
We quite like the big chunky ones.
Them big ones, they're a very sellable item...
Dave, you're getting your caveats in before we've even got to the price
-I don't even know what's on it.
The ticket price is £85.
Our very best shot is 50 quid.
I'll tell you what I'll do, you can have them for 60.
I think that's very, very reasonable.
-So, do you want to buy those?
-Yeah, OK, done.
Stick with fashion, thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
And while we're in the mood for deals,
what about that kitchen cabinet?
It's priced at £180.
There's also this, Dave, which I'm very keen on,
I think it's very sort of utilitarian and pleasant.
And very popular at the moment.
Yes, you want to tell me how fabulous all my choices are.
Well, if you're selling in auction, I think it's important.
-What could you do that for, please?
-And is that the finish?
Well, it's more or less, yes.
I think if we bought that, that could lose us about 70 quid.
If you think you're going to lose £70,
there's not much point losing another tenner is there?
No, but we've got to like it,
there's a logic in that, isn't there?
Yeah, there is a logic in that.
While Jan has a think, what about the other two?
Now these are interesting,
they're, obviously, to print for a locomotive book, aren't they?
-They're printing blocks.
They're steam locomotives.
-If you were mad on trains...
Which my father is.
Obsessed with them.
-Aren't they lovely?
So, this one is going through a bridge, which is a classic scene.
We've got puff, puff, puff for smoke there, haven't we?
You can smell the printing press on them.
Ronni, you've got to choose one.
-So, I like that one.
-Shall we put that one down?
-Put that one down.
And we've got the flower brick?
-We've got the flower brick.
-Are you happy with those?
There was some reluctance there, Ronni.
Well, you know, no, I am.
I don't want to steam roller you into anything.
You are being a bit of a bossy boots, James.
Let's find Dave to cut a deal.
The flower brick is priced at £24 and the printing block is ten.
It's talking turkey time.
-Dave, can you do anything on these?
-Can you do anything?
-Can I do anything on this?
-Take mercy on us.
-Rule of the house.
-Rule of the house.
-No discount under £10.
Under... Jolly lucky they're not £9,
otherwise we wouldn't have got the discount, would we?
Oh, that was lucky. So lucky they're ten, so how much do you give on...
Well, as a goodwill gesture, I'll knock you a pound off that
and I'll do that for 20.
What do you think, Ronni? £20...
I think that's a good deal. Thank you, Dave.
-Well done, well done.
-Thank you very much.
RONNI AND JAMES SIGH WITH RELIEF
Thank you, Dave.
And just when you think it's all over...
-Look at that.
-What is that?
-That is hysterical.
-It's a glass boot.
-Do you know, I've never seen a glass boot.
-Talk about a glass slipper. Cinderella.
That's kind of like for a hipster Cinderella.
-Is it heavy?
-It is heavy. I presume it's a vase, right?
It would be a vase, but isn't that great?
Isn't that the campest thing you have ever seen?
Well, do you know what sells? Camp and cute.
-Shall we do it?
-Yeah, we've got the money.
Come on, let's do it, let's go back in.
-Can you do a special price?
Special price, seeing as it's time to go home.
Time to go home, that's always good. People are desperate to go home.
-Quick, get the money.
-Let's do it. We've done it.
-Have you got it? 25.
I'm so excited.
A very swift purchase and £10 discount off Ronni's final buy,
the very camp glass boot.
Back to Jan and Phil.
Remember the RAF sweetheart brooch from earlier?
Well, Dave has agreed a price of £35, so what's next?
I'm going to go for that nice little kitchen cabinet
that reminds me of the Vermeer painting.
Well, it's a nice thing. It's got a...
He said 150, he could perhaps knock a tenner off, perhaps a bit more.
We've got 175 left, haven't we?
-I'm going to make one last suggestion to you.
-Just down there
there's a little child's Lloyd Loom rocking chair.
Now if you want to spend all of your money.
That's good, that's interesting.
Phil's leaving Jan on her ownsome to close the deal.
I've got £175 left.
I would like to make an offer on the pine cabinet in there.
-There's also this interesting little rocking chair here.
-Child's rocking chair.
Do you know how much that is?
It would have 45 on it.
And that's 35 and the cabinet is 140.
I said 150 on the cabinet.
£10, I wouldn't mess you about.
-Thank you very much.
-How did you get on?
-How did you get on?
-I got a deal.
-Well done, you.
-I got a deal.
Well done, Jan, you've blown the entire budget.
What a way to finish the shopping.
Come on, let's have a nosy at the bumper haul from both couples.
Come on, actions speak louder than words.
-Go on, ready?
-There we are.
-I love your paintbox.
-Shall I show you our...?
Shall I do the...?
-It looks a very humble table, here you are, mahogany...
..and then you lift it up and it's a mechanical drinks...
It's perfect for the office, when you're giving someone the sack.
And then, look, here you are.
And then, look at the soft close, look at that.
-Look at that, come on!
-Look at that!
-That's going to...
-Look at that!
-Look at it!
-Look at it!
Which camp Cinderella left this here?
-This is a glass slipper!
-No, this is Cinderella's Wellington boot.
-If Cinderella lived in Hoxton or Shoreditch...
-..she'd have this instead of a glass slipper.
-Right, you've seen ours, let's see your haul.
Reveal the rubbish!
-..they've got some nice things.
-I tell you, you could furnish a flat with that, couldn't you?
-Now look, let's have a look at this.
This is a Mouseman cheeseboard and I thought you'd like this, Ronni,
-cos it's got a little creature on it.
-Oh, a woodland creature.
-Yes, a little creature.
-I have mouse cheese plate envy now.
-What is that?
Well, this is a rather lovely kitchen cabinet,
which I might just...
Does it open up to reveal decanters?
-Yeah. Is it mechanical?
-I'm afraid it doesn't.
-What does it do?
-What does it do?
-It does this.
-Oh, it's just hinged!
-Yeah, it's just sort of... It's a hinge.
It's very sort of earthy, like me.
It's very Taurean. Earthy, passionate and prone to run to fat.
LAUGHTER And, um...
Anyway, see you in Yorkshire.
TIM: 'Right! Spill it, you lot. What do you really think?'
-I love a woodland creature.
-Yeah, the mouse.
-I'm a slave to a woodland creature.
-The boot's going to make a profit, isn't it?
-I suppose... I mean,
it's one of those things where, if there's somebody that likes...
ghastly, kitsch boots, then, yes, it will.
-I don't know!
-Oh, rubbish. Come on, have faith.
-What do you think about their stuff?
-I think we're winners.
-I feel I can own my purchase,
if you know what I'm saying. I can own it.
-I can't say any more.
SHE GIGGLES TIM: You do own it, Jan.
And, on that note, let's get cracking to Stockport in Cheshire.
We have an auction to attend! Oh, yes.
James, I mean, he doesn't stop smiling.
-He doesn't actually.
-Actually, it's a bit sinister.
There's a touch about the "Here's looking at you!"
-It's a touch of the old Jack Nicholson.
"My cocktail cabinet is going to be better than any goddamn..."
-"Any goddamn kitchen cabinet."
-".. goddamn pine kitchen cabinet."
Jack Nicholson? That's a bit of a compliment.
-Here they are!
-The gents await the ladies' arrival.
-Vision of loveliness and beauty.
-The big day, guys!
-It is, isn't it?
-Are we pumping?
-I've got the feeling we're going to win.
-Good morning. Mwah!
-Right, let battle commence.
TIM: 'Let battle commence indeed.'
Ronni and James have spent £274 on six lots.
Jan went for it and blew the whole 400 on six lots.
Good for her!
Maxwell Auctioneers is the saleroom,
where, hopefully, the profits will fly for this giggly gang.
The auction is also open to internet bidders.
The man thumping the gavel is Max Blackmore.
Has he any special faves from our roadtrippers?
The pop-up drinks cabinet,
it's a nice example and I think we'll do OK with it.
This is as nice a pair of vintage steps as I've seen.
Always popular as decorator's items, furnishing items.
-I think they'll do quite well.
So exciting, isn't it?
TIM: 'Come on, you lot, get settled. The auction is in full swing.'
First up, it's Ronni's hipster Cinderella glass boot.
-I'm sweating. I'm so nervous.
-It'll come up on the thing.
Jan, my heart is literally beating.
-Come on, let's kick off at ten. £10 anyone?
-Can I hold it up?
Ten bid, 12, 15, 18.
I think it's Murano. Should I say that? I have no idea
if that's the case or not, but I'm desperate.
£18, we're selling.
-At £18 and going.
-That's all right. That's all right.
Bad luck. Fortunately, it's only the first lot.
So that was a bit of a loss, wasn't it?
It could have been worse. It could have sold for ten, couldn't it?
Loving your spirit there, James!
Jan's turn now, with the RAF sweetheart broach.
I think this is going to do well.
20 bid, I've 20, 25?
25 bid. Lady in the front, you're against the net, 30 on the net.
-30 on the net?
-What's 30 on the net?
-Anybody else in the room?
£30 on the net and I'm selling it.
Any further bids now?
Didn't take off. Small loss, but plenty more to go.
I'm not too upset about that.
Good. It's Ronni next, with the printing block.
-The engraved... The printing...
Steam enthusiasts here?
Michael Portillo. Is he here?
-He'd love it, wouldn't it?
-LIKE DIANE ABBOTT:
She'd get onto Michael and say,
"Michael, there is a printed plate
"of a steam train going to Hackney."
-I've 10 here, up to 15.
At £15 on the net. At 20.
-£20, front row here.
-I-I can hardly breathe!
-Do you want one of your pills?
Can I have one of my pills?
It's on the front row, it's £20. All done and selling.
Careful, we might buy it back ourselves.
We're so good.
Better. This is more like it.
OK. Who's got the James Braxton impression?
-So do you!
Actually, I think that, um...
both of us quite like... Actually...um...
-Hold on, hold on!
I do enunciate my words.
No, you do ENUNCIATE your words very well. EN-UN-CIATE!
-Some people are too posh to enunciate at all!
-Quite a lot of posh people do that.
-Yeah, yeah. They just say...
-Like Camilla Parker Bowles.
-There's no need to. Why would you?
I think we might have touched a nerve with the Braxton there.
It's Jan's turn, with the child's chair next.
£20 with me, at £20.
-That's ample. Ample.
At £20 and 5. 30.
£30, it's cheap, this. Come on. At £30, then.
You've still got another four to go.
Well, it could've been worse, could've been worse.
Precisely! It's Ronni's watercolour set up next.
£20, little watercolour set.
20 bid, 20 I have.
Gentleman seated at 20.
Up to 30 now on the net, jumping in.
35, he's back again.
Against you now on the net. We're in the room, £35.
35, the nice gentleman there.
-Shall we say...
-Yes, no? Come on, £40 bid.
£40, at £40 now.
Anybody else? All done this time?
-Well done, James. That's good, isn't it?
And I happened to choose it.
-Yeah, Ronni, it's all down to you.
-I think you're a natural at this.
What about that?
She certainly is. That is the biggest profit so far!
It's very nice that you two could come along, isn't it?
Do you know it's beginning to wear off on her now?
I mean, I thought she was quite nice.
Indeed she is, Phil. Right, it's Jan's kitchen cabinet next.
This is the one I bought,
because it reminded me of that Vermeer painting.
I think there's something very sort of simple and, you know,
sort of pure about it.
40 bid, at 40, 45.
-Anybody else now?
-It's going to happen to us, Ronni.
-I know it is.
-There you are, look, 55.
-It'll go up.
-No interest on the net.
I'm selling at 55.
He's just bought a very cheap table, hasn't he?
-That's a cheap one.
Oh, dear, Jan! I'm afraid Phil was proved right with that lot.
-I can't believe it.
The auction room pitfalls, I'm afraid.
Ronni, it's your flower brick next.
What we could do is we could fail to admit
that it's the copy of the Delft piece and just say it's the Delft.
No, but it has 1996 on the base.
Yes. We're on the net at 20.
-On the net at 20.
-At 22, I'll go in twos.
-God bless you, sir!
-God bless you!
-28. Going to you on the net.
28 in the room.
At 28 on the front row, then. Going to you on the net.
God, I think I should take this up professionally.
Yeah, great result there, Ronni.
The Mouseman cheeseboard is next.
That's my favourite of all yours.
Little woodland creature!
£50, nice and low. We're on the net at 50.
-There you are.
-On the net.
Where are we? 55.
-65, with the lady.
-65 in the room and selling at 65.
Anybody else now? It's gotta go.
-God, I wish I could buy things as cheaply as all these...
I know, Jan. The buyer has got a cracker of a deal there.
Ronni's weighty Chinese bronze vase is next.
100 I have.
Not so funny about my bargaining now.
Sounds reasonable for the quality of vase.
£100 I have.
I'm selling that at £100.
One and only bid on the net.
Do you know, I've strangely changed my opinion about that vase.
I think it's gorgeous.
Another good profit.
More like this, please, Ronni.
Jan's hunky chunky ladders are next.
Who wants a step up?
You could put your plants on there.
-Well done, you! Well done, you!
-On commission with me, at 70.
Any further bids now at 70?
All done in the room?
Gone away on the net, it's with me.
-Well done! Congratulations!
Well done, you. Well done, you.
Congratulations, Jan. A wonderful result.
-It's a relief.
Moving on, it's Ronni's beloved swish drinks cabinet next.
Sir, may I demonstrate its soft close?
-I'd be delighted if you do.
The power of mechanics, this is all...
Look at this.
-Lo and behold...
-Do a little flourish. Like that.
Needs manual assistance.
It's six o'clock, let's pretend it's six o'clock.
-There we are.
-Beautifully modelled, James.
-It's a lovely item.
-We've gotta start somewhere.
60, then. Come on.
60 bid, £60.
-Oh, come on, it's very rare!
I mean, I'm not an expert myself, but it is very rare.
-Keep going, sir.
-I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted!
-Oh, well done!
-Come back again.
-They're buying out of pity for you!
You won't? £90.
95. 100. £100.
-It's going, going, gone.
-Yes, all the best with that, sir.
-RONNI AND JAMES SIGH
Ouch! What a shame for such a great object.
It's the final lot of the day - Jan's snuff box and spill vase.
-Come on, Jan!
-It would be nice if we just made a decent profit on a lot,
20 bid, at £20.
30 I have on the net. At £30. 35. 40.
-He's a nice bidder.
-£80, front row. Are you bidding down there?
£80 on the front row. Anybody else now?
-Front row has it.
-Well done, well done.
-Well done! That's fantastic.
-That helps us a little bit, doesn't it?
Yeah, well done. It's very good.
Certainly does and it's been Jan's best profit.
I think we've all done very well.
We better go and do the sums now.
Good idea. Let's figure out the calculations.
So Jan and Phil began with £400.
After all auction costs, they made a loss of £129.40.
Their final earnings are...
Ronni and James also started proceedings with £400
and, after all saleroom costs, they have made a loss,
but a much smaller one, at £23.08.
Their final earnings are...
..making them the winners of the day! Don't look so serious.
-It is exhausting.
-It is, isn't it?
-It's emotionally draining.
-It's emotionally draining.
It's exhausting and I've got some numbers.
Well, you're about £100 ahead of us.
-Really? We've won!
-Well done, you. Well done, you.
-Oh, well done!
Oh, well, time to head for home!
I told you to get some oil!
-Haven't we been to some lovely parts of the world on our trip?
-Bye-bye, girls! We're so sad to see you go!
Two legends of British comedy, Ronni Ancona and Jan Ravens, are joined on this road trip by antiquers Phil Serrell and James Braxton. Starting in the North Yorkshire town of Redcar, they head for auction in Stockport in Cheshire.
Jan gets rather carried away and spends every single penny of her entire budget, while Ronni gets a kick out of a very kitsch glass boot.
A quick detour sees Jan find out why Hartlepudlians thought a monkey was a Frenchman and Ronni is left open-mouthed when Braxton takes off his clothes.