Celebrities hunt for antiques across the UK. Top Italian cooks Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo are on a road trip around East Anglia.
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The nation's favourite celebrities...
-Oh, 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?
Oh, 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!
Welcome to a tasty trip
in the company of a couple of "Greedy Italians",
top cooks Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo.
-What do you want to eat?
-I gather that here the area
is for asparagus and also mussels.
Beautiful, yes. They sell lovely mussels.
Yes, our dining doyens will be
roaming the East Anglian countryside in search of antiques.
Plus, of course, their more usual stock-in trade.
-Oh, look, look. Down there, look, look!
Can you imagine a lovely broccoli with spaghetti?
All the rapeseed - it's so good.
Foraging comes as second nature to those two chums.
Antonio is a highly respected restaurant, writer and TV chef...
Look at that!
It looks fantastic.
..while Gennaro, who was once Carluccio's assistant,
has gone on to have an equally stellar career...
Oh, yes, you cooked the spinach. Well done.
..even mentoring one of our own.
But he certainly appreciates a pukka '60s Italian motor when he sees one.
Can you imagine having this car when this car was first coming out?
You go out on the Riviera, put your arm out,
and all these beautiful girls.
Do you think you needed this car here to pull girls?
Yeah, for you, yes.
Our celebrities, in the ultra-rare Iso Grifo,
will be joined by a pair of equally enthusiastic expert.
I cannot believe we're driving a Lamborghini Miura.
-Nor can I!
-What is this, '60s, '70s?
-I can't believe anybody has been mad enough
to loan it to us for two days! They're crazy!
Dealer David Harper and auctioneer James Braxton are also very fond of
their food. So this million-pound Lambo's a tasty antipasto
to their celebrities.
And of course, the reason we're in this Italian sports car
is our two Italian chefs.
Absolutely. We're in a passionate Italian car and we've got
two passionate Italians!
Yeah, they're very much the forefathers
of this revolution in British cuisine.
The feeling's most definitely mutual,
with our cooks more than happy to fulfil their part of the bargain.
We can work through the stomach of those experts.
We have to cook well. You have to cook well.
I am the mind and you are the tool.
Can you imagine...?
Did I mention their somewhat tempestuous relationship?
More on that later. But first, two Italian classics in a Norfolk field.
You like it?
Very good to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
Oh, my, my!
Antonio, eat your heart!
Not all the Italians are like this!
He is unique!
So with Gennaro having so clearly expressed a preference,
his old friend will be travelling in the Iso.
How did you and Gennaro meet?
At the time I was known to be the Mecca for mushroom eaters.
And one day came Gennaro with a basket of wonderful porcini.
And I said, "My goodness gracious me.
"This is for me?" He said yes.
And next day he came with another basket.
And we haven't stopped one single minute.
Many years go by now and we are so close, it's incredible.
-Not that the competitive urge will be lacking.
Far from it.
I'd love to win it!
-Because he'll go...
His expression - "Yeah, you always have to show off!"
Yeah, tempestuous, all right!
£400 each, and may the best cook win!
By the way, where are we going?
Good question. Later, you'll be heading
to an auction in the Norfolk market town of Diss.
But your first port of call is in Harleston...
..where, at the town in 1570,
there was a thankfully thwarted uprising against strangers.
Fantastic! Perfect parking!
There must be a name for this yoga position.
Lotus? I'm sure you'll get used to leaving the Lambo.
-In we go.
-Oh, my, my.
-How do you do? Charlie.
-Gennaro. How are you, Charlie? Are you all right?
-I'm very well, thank you.
-This is marvellous!
-Welcome to Cornucopia.
So where are the bargains, Charlie? Near the back?
I think they're this way.
Much as the name implies, there's an awful lot in here.
So eyes down, chaps.
There's a chef, so he's wearing an apron, but you have a chef's jacket,
-don't you? What do you call that?
-You call it a white?
A white, chef's jacket.
Do you know the story, it says "Naked Chef"?
-Is the reason, it's not
because he's naked, got no clothes on.
Because a chef, when he removes his jacket,
and puts his ordinary clothes on, he's no more a chef.
-So Naked Chef.
-So he's naked.
He's missing his finger there, isn't he?
-Oh, bless him!
But for a shop of this size, a bit of a plan might be in order.
Shall we split up? We'll regather
and we'll compare bargains, shall we?
OK, let's have a look. Let's have a look.
-I'm going to start from this side here.
You never know, you might find something underneath here.
Spoken like a true forager.
Those two have the makings of a very good team.
All over this place like a proverbial rash, eh?
There's so many bits and pieces here.
Look at this one. This is hand-painted.
Small. It says £1!
What do you get for £1?
But do you like it?
I think pictures may be more Gennaro's cup of tea.
-Oh, I love this one.
A monk. Don't forget in the convent they used to make their own wine.
So he goes round to taste the wine.
Put a bottle everywhere. He's drunk and joyful.
That's really good. And look at the face behind!
"What he's doing? He's drinking all the wine!"
Downstairs, James has a bit of a curiosity.
I think it looks like a chamber stick. It's certainly got age.
Typical Regency device.
This rather nice ring handle here with a nice sconce.
But it's an exotic shell
and very much part of the exotic natural world that was coming
into England from the Navy and all this trade.
So this lovely shell has been mounted by an English silversmith
to form a chamber stick. I think this is a real candidate.
I'm going to show this to Gennaro
and we'll find out the price together.
James calling Gennaro.
Just hanging my washing out.
You can see.
What a very fine pair of legs you have.
I think I've found something that would interest you.
All right, let's have a look. I'll just come down.
Look at this. Look at that.
-Look at that shell.
-The feeling of this one is incredible.
This is wonderful.
Unusual shape. You know, I've never seen a shape like this.
But it is a proper one.
I like the fact that it's still got that colouring.
You know how sometimes shells become so sun-bleached? And we've got
some hallmarks here. We've got the monarch's head,
so it's paid some duty here.
-Have we got a date letter there?
-We're going back so long.
-And it's Thomas Diller.
The London silversmith.
Maybe like a little chamber stick or something.
Perhaps you want to put something...
-It's a precious thing.
-I really like it.
-I like that.
-I love it, as well.
It's mine, you won't have it back now!
-This should be interesting!
-I could let you have it for a good price.
It would have to be £60. It's well worth £60.
£60 would buy a car!
-Have another feel of it.
-You've got weight.
You see, Charlie's a salesman, he put it straight in your hands.
-I think we've found our good cop.
-I need a bargain!
Listen to me, I need a bargain.
And no prizes for guessing Gennaro's role.
I'd let you have it for 50.
-And that is a really good price.
-I just love it.
I just love it, you know. It's good, 50 is a good price.
What about if we split, we go 30?
Look at me! Look at me.
Look at me. You can't say no to me.
-Go on, then.
-Shake hands. That's good.
Well, that was emotional!
How about our other pairing, then?
Isn't it just the most delicious Italian dream?
It's a delight to drive in a dream, actually.
Do you know what we were doing when we were young?
Sitting on a wall at the street,
closing the eyes and guessing which kind of engine was passing by.
They're now in Suffolk,
motoring towards the North Sea at Southwold...
..where Antonio, who grew up at the seaside,
has come to learn about the lifeboats
patrolling this part of the coast
and to meet a certain Alfred Corry.
-Ah, good morning.
-Hello. David Harper.
-John, lovely to meet you. This is my friend Antonio.
-You are the boss?
John is the great-grandson of one of the earliest Southwold lifeboatmen,
the coxswain of this famous old sailing boat,
the aforementioned Alfred Corry.
She is now 123 years old.
-A wooden one?
When the Southwold Life-Saving Society
introduced the first lifeboat on this coast in 1841,
it was manned by volunteer local mariners.
There were a lot of fishermen in Southwold.
The beach was covered with fishing boats.
So they had plenty of choice to pick out men.
And my great-grandfather joined the lifeboat crew when he was
20 years old, in 1848.
-He very rapidly rose up the ranks in the lifeboat
and was very soon made coxswain.
So your great-grandfather knew this very boat?
He knew this boat right from the start, yes.
When the Alfred Corry was built in 1893,
John Cragie's great-grandfather
and other crew members were even consulted
on its design by the RNLI.
What's the difference between a lifeboat that they liked
and a lifeboat that they didn't?
Some of them were self-righting and some of them were not.
-This one is not.
Why did they like a lifeboat that isn't self-righting?
If you think of a boat which is self-righting, it goes over...
-..and then comes back.
-Sounds good to me.
It comes back very quickly.
Those that aren't left behind are thrown out the other side.
-And this is what they didn't like, and it had happened.
which were designed around similar boats that they used every day,
were broad in the beam, shallow draught,
and if it was a question of they might capsize,
they were perfectly capable of keeping them upright themselves.
John's great-grandfather retired in 1912,
having won three RNLI gallantry medals.
But the Alfred Corry served for another seven years
before being replaced by a motor-powered craft.
Do you know, by any chance, how many lives she saved?
Well, the records show that she was launched 41 times on service
and in that time she saved 47 lives.
In actual fact, of course, there could well have been more.
But that wasn't to be the end of the Alfred Corry, because she was
converted to a yacht and had several different owners before
John discovered her in a perilous condition almost 60 years later.
I don't know if you remember the year of 1976.
It was a very hot, dry summer.
I remember, it was a wonderful mushroom year.
A very hot, dry summer.
All her deck planks had opened up,
she was filling and emptying every time the tide came in.
She was in a dreadful state.
And my wife and I decided we had to do something about it.
First, she was painstakingly restored and sailed by John's family
before, in the early '90s, almost 100 years since her maiden voyage,
the Alfred Corry became a lifeboat once more
as the centrepiece of a free museum,
housed in what was once the lifeboat shed for nearby Cromer.
It's an incredible thing that you've done,
bringing her back to her former glory. You must be incredibly proud.
Well, I'm very proud and very grateful for an awful lot of help.
The funding has been provided by the museum here,
which was set up by the trust.
And now you've donated the boat?
The boat was donated to the trust, yes.
-John, I am very, very thankful
that you gave a piece of history life.
-That's really incredible.
-It's very nice to be able to do it.
-Thank you very much, John.
Back inland, the mood in the Lambo is decidedly up.
-So, you like antiques?
-I love antiques!
Everything to do with old is beautiful.
But you know what? I really, really like to win!
These two are currently cruising to their next shop at Beccles...
..where Admiral Lord Nelson's mum and dad were married back in 1749,
and very close to our eventual auction destination.
-Look at this!
-Oh, my, my.
-This is incredible.
Antonio? You said Antonio?
Non dispiace italiano!
I think they got away with it.
Nice place Danielle and Simon have here.
Goods from a similar era to the Lamborghini, possibly.
What's the core date
if we had to do an average of the contents of this huge emporium?
Mid to late '60s would be the average.
-Mid to late '60s?
-Yeah. I would say so, yeah.
-I don't. No, I was at school.
-I was wild.
Crikey! He's quite wild now.
Hey, let's go to the battle.
What does James make of his brother-in-arms?
He's a clever man. He's got a good eye for things.
Gennaro does the talking, I do the listening.
And he's no mug, either.
James, this is from Antonio's hometown, Amalfi coast.
Vietri sul Mare.
Do you see this colour?
This is the Vietri colours.
-It resembles the sea.
The place where really make a terracotta.
Vietri is the place.
This one reminds me of my childhood.
I believe this was made more for water than wine or anything else.
Amalfi lemons, always beautiful Amalfi lemons, it's good.
Cut some lemon, put them inside, cold water,
you have a lovely lemonade,
-What a surprise.
-What a surprise.
-I think we're going to forget about it.
-It is £45.
Everything in life is negotiable.
-I like it.
-I like it.
-That's what they said last time.
Let's have the proprietors in.
You can imagine Sophia Loren and David Niven...
Gennaro, can you get me a lemonade?
Sophia, con grande piacere.
Limone? Senza limone? Con limone.
Right, come on. The nasty question of price.
It's 45, because one has a little crack in it.
I think probably 30 is probably what we could do.
30. All right.
I think the most I can do, honestly, is 20.
I think you can do it. Come here. There we go.
You know the price is going up with this.
Come on, come on, come on.
-Thank you very much.
-This chap's dynamite.
I wonder how his old boss will fare on his first shopping expedition.
Do you know, in Italy, you're always prepared to negotiate?
It doesn't matter if they ask ten, you have to ask half of it.
He shows promise.
Antonio and David are taking the short ride to Halesworth and a date
with the Blackdog.
-Here we go.
-Hello, I am Antonio Carluccio.
-Hi, I'm Kate.
-Hello, Kate. David Harper.
-Niceties completed, what catches your eye?
It looks like very interesting, this one here.
-Tell me why you like it.
Yes, this is 19...
This is very fashionable, mid-20th century kind of industrial pieces.
It's been stripped of all its colour and then highly polished.
-It was painted before.
-It certainly would have been painted.
And I think because it has been made retail-ready,
it's ready to go into a house, not for an auction.
No. You think that if I could get the price down to half of the price?
Oh, my gosh. Well, I can hear some chuckling from that direction.
That's probably not a good sign.
Kate is a lovely girl.
He and Gennaro have similar techniques, I'd say.
So, I've spotted the box...
-..and I can see that it's missing its escutcheon.
-Also, it's got creases here in the veneer and...
It's been untouched.
-Untouched and it's dusty.
-That's what it is.
I can tell you that the handle is original, can you see?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can see.
-That has worked for generations.
My goodness. Just like Sherlock Holmes.
-He was a bit of a know-it-all, as well.
-What do you think that is?
What do we English love to do?
It's a tea caddy.
And somebody would be able to redo this...
This is the kind of thing that auctions love.
-Shall we consider this for...?
-You need to guess how much it is.
Probably £40, £50?
And we still can...
-We've got ten or £15...
-A little profit in it.
-Time to test those negotiation skills.
-I want to tell you that all my many children...
And you're a very poor man.
-I'm a very poor man.
-I've heard it all before.
I see a price there.
-The little box.
-How much is it?
-22 on it.
-Standard trade is two, really.
-Making it 20.
-No, no, no. 15?
-No, 15 is better.
16 and it's a deal.
-OK, 16 is a deal.
First purchase. Thank you very much indeed.
-He's pretty good, too.
What about back in Beccles?
Look at this table. This is a lovely sort of
mad sort of Kashmiri/Damascus...
-Pick him up here...
-Can you pick him up?
You've got the muscles.
-Look at that!
It's all handmade.
All handmade, all hand...
-All hands, yes.
-And crimped round the edge.
Do you know what?
I can serve a beautiful suckling pig on top of here, lovely porketta.
Two people bring him out.
Actually, it is quite nice.
-Look at the base of it.
-Oh, my gosh. They're closing?
They close, yeah. They're sort of folding.
So, in the tradition of those sort of Damascus tables
and Kashmir tables,
you can fold them up and take them away.
And this sort of looks Scandinavian, doesn't it?
And then you put the tray on and then it makes sense, doesn't it?
It does. It's steady?
Yeah! It actually is steady, look.
-It's very, very...
-Quite cool, isn't it?
-It's quite cool.
It's sort of potentially free, this item.
Can you tell us about this amazing tray?
I can. Yeah.
It's a fantastic little table, Scandinavian.
There's a company called Selig that produced a very similar table,
and I picked it up at the weekend, and they're very good sellers.
So definitely not free, then.
Once done up, round about probably 165, 175.
I find that extremely expensive.
-Yeah. Nice one. Yeah, I mean, it's negotiable.
-I think it's James' turn.
I might buy something between sort of £40, £60...
I'm not going to be able to get near 40, 60, really.
I could pretend I never bought it for £75.
I don't know. It's very difficult, isn't it?
Now, what are they cooking up?
I'd love to touch hands around 60, 70.
If you made it the upper 70, then we can do so.
-I was going to give him less.
Those crazy guys!
-Everyone's still smiling.
-Do you want a job in the restaurant?
-So, a table
plus a jug and tankards to put on it for £90.
Is there no end to their talents?
# O sole mio... #
Ah, shaddap a you face.
-Over to Antonio.
-What are they made from?
I don't know which material is this.
This is Bakelite.
-Do you think it is Bakelite?
-How old do you think are they?
They've got some age to them, actually, haven't they?
-So, you know, Art Deco, 1925 to 1939 is really the period.
-Priced at £55 for the pair.
-What about quality?
I am not very happy about the quality because it looks like it's
-been pressed somewhere.
-Yeah. In a mould, and put together.
-So that tells you, then,
that these things have been mass-produced.
-However, it's still Deco...
-They were presenting an image.
It's the look, isn't it? The metal itself is spelter.
-Yeah. It's a poor man's bronze.
They are pretending to be...
-It is bronze.
-..bronze on black marble plinths.
I'd want to pay £20 for them, and I think they'll make a bit of profit.
-But they need to be 20 quid.
-He's enjoying this, all right.
I mean, worth it, probably, ten quid each?
-I don't know about that.
-I couldn't spend more than that.
No, can't do it.
-How much can they be?
-They're 55. He's only got trade five on them.
We're not going to do it, are we?
I was thinking ten, 12 maximum, really.
-This is the last offer.
It's my son. I have to tell you the dealer is my son.
-So I might be able to twist his arm a bit.
-Do you want to give him a call?
-OK, yeah, will do.
Sounds promising. Anything else?
-Those two here.
-You like those?
Yeah. I like the colour and I believe to be Chinese or something.
Well spotted, yeah.
They would need a little bit of care.
Do we like that, Antonio, the fact that they need care?
Oh, yes. Now you've indoctrinated me for the auction,
they don't need ready-to-wear things.
-And it is a pair.
I think they're more of a matched pair,
because they are not exactly a pair.
-I would guess that they are late 19th,
maybe up to 1930.
What is the price of this?
I can do actually quite a good deal on those because they came in with
a load of other bits. They're 40 each.
It's a good price.
That's £80 for the pair. Not a lot of money.
The last word, and I am very honest...
Can I just interject a little bit?
If you make an offer to Kate now and she accepts it, that's it,
-we've done a deal.
-Yeah, that's OK.
-OK, I'm going to leave it to you.
-Because I believe that we can do that.
-£60 for both.
60, yeah, that's fine.
This isn't going to take much time, our shopping trip.
-No, no, I don't...
-No, pretty much off the cuff.
So, how about the Art Deco for £24?
Go on, then, Kate, have you spoken to him?
He's my son and I did twist his arm a bit and he said yes.
-I think you've got a real bargain.
You are a partner.
OK. Were you meant to look at me at that point or not?
-All right, slightly late, but not to worry.
Great partnership, this is...
Get used to it, David.
£100 for the caddy, the figurines and the stands.
We couldn't borrow a bit of beeswax, and when I say borrow...?
-He's a cheeky
-I was going to say, he's pushing his luck now.
-I think we're all a bit tired.
It's been a long day's shopping, after all.
So, time for old friends to reunite.
-It's right, OK.
Thank you. How do you know that?
-Careful, careful. Well, I saw...
-There is nobody there.
And my hair is all right, yeah?
-You have beautiful hair.
Next morning, our experts are keen to compare cooks.
Antonio is an amazing person.
He's one of these people that has an aura about him.
-He's very wise, isn't he?
-Yes, he's very calm.
That is, until you take him into an antique shop, and he turns into
a wild monster that you cannot control.
Gennaro is a great negotiator.
Everybody feels as though they've been joyfully touched by him.
He's right, you know. Those two somehow acquired a brass tray table,
a majolica jug and tankards
and a Georgian chamber stick for just £130...
Look at me. You can't say no to me.
..leaving 270 to spend today...
..while Antonio and David plumped for a tea caddy,
some Chinese stands
and some Art Deco figurines for an equally reasonable £100...
No, 15 is better.
..meaning they still have 300 left for today's purchases.
How many...? You bought the lot?
We bought three things.
Fair enough. We bought three as well.
-So, very, very successful...
-What was it?
-Tell me, don't worry, I won't tell anybody.
Antonio's keeping mum. Quite right.
As for James, he's just happy to be driving a V12.
It just wanta to go...
Just wants to go, let's stop fannying around.
Well, don't forget to meet your celebrities.
Have a good day, see you later.
-What is Italian for "good luck"?
-You need it. You need it.
-We don't need it.
-The only luck I need is to get in here!
Later, they'll be off to that Norfolk auction in Diss,
but our first stop today is in Suffolk, at Thorpeness.
Now, what's the mood in the camp?
What about if we lose, which I don't believe...?
-He is going to explode.
He is going to dance the tarantella with his walking stick.
James Braxton and Gennaro, they're very competitive.
We can be competitive, as well.
We can be competitive, but I think we're a bit more laid-back about it.
-That's a point.
-We are more secure.
Welcome to Thorpeness, the fascinating little holiday village
with mock Tudor architecture
and an extremely shallow Peter Pan-inspired boating lake.
-Oh, look at this here.
-I quite like it.
-Hello. Good morning.
-Good morning. I'm Linda.
-Antonio Carluccio. Linda.
-Hello, good morning.
These two have plenty of cash left, of course, but what to spend it on?
Not very much my taste so far.
I'm sure something will turn up.
-Are you showing me something?
-What on earth is that?
-To pick up your coal.
-Pick up your what? Oh, your coal.
Oh, I say. That's a very posh bit of kit, isn't it?
-When I pick up coal, I just use my hands.
Not with those trousers, surely.
You could use it for all sorts, couldn't you?
You could pick up your coffee cup and...
Certainly, grab somebody.
Well, I wonder what will grab them.
There was something when we walked in...
-Can I show you that?
There we have the one piece that I really, really love.
-I like it as well actually.
-Oh, you do?
-I like wacky things.
-This is a wacky one.
-This is wacky.
You'd describe it as a mannequin but it's articulated.
-Now, you put a jacket on him and maybe he wants to look
like he's doing something action-like,
so he might just be climbing or he might even be...
-Gennaro always does like this.
What does Gennaro do? OK, let's do Gennaro. OK. Wahey!
Now, James Braxton.
"Hey. I love-a Lamborghini."
No accents please, David.
What do you think would be a possible customer for that?
Very, very good question.
Clothes shop, particularly a vintage clothes shop.
Let's see the price.
Well, how do you put a price on that?
It's a lover's price, somebody that loves it.
A lovely price for me would be £40, £50,
and then what's it going to make in auction? Who knows?
Time to talk figures.
Tell me a bit of history of that.
Who brought it here?
-Well, it's actually my piece...
Always nice to hear.
What sort of price were you thinking?
I was thinking very reasonably priced.
What would you call reasonably priced?
Reasonably priced would be half at least.
Half at least.
That would be pushing it quite a lot.
We're all Italians now, it seems.
-Am I doing it well?
I think a value of about 45 would be fantastic.
Goodness me! I think I might have to sit down.
-You know what?
-Or fall down!
We sit both down.
Just relax, you two, why don't you?
It's a wonderful way of talking business.
How long does it actually take to do a deal in Italy?
Listen, for you,
-I'll give you an offer you can't refuse.
Well... As you really like it,
and we have most of your cookery books,
I'm going to say yes.
Oh, wonderful! Linda, you are fantastic!
Now, that just leaves one last thing.
-Right, body in.
-Wow, look at this!
Roomy, those Isos.
Now you know how to put a body - a real body.
Something tells me the Lamborghini isn't quite so practical.
-My hat fits me nice. Look!
-It looks very good.
You'd look very Italian. Quite sinister, in fact.
In case there is a little bit of sun, so I'll just have to go...
Gennaro and James are just a few miles further up the coast
-Binos at the ready.
Where Gennaro, a keen ornithologist,
has come to visit one of Britain's finest bird-watching destinations.
Very quiet, let's be very quiet.
Go on. Get out, James!
I think I'm a long-legged wader.
There we are.
Remind me, how does the bittern sound?
I believe it goes...
HE MAKES BIRD CALLS
Do be careful because almost a third of the country's
rare great bitterns are at Minsmere.
Very eerie. Watch out, Gennaro, they're approaching!
Those two are hoping to get watching
in the company of the RSPB's Ian Barthorpe.
-Nice to meet you. How lovely.
Welcome to RSPB Minsmere.
It certainly is, although there's an irony in the fact
that this bird sanctuary,
with over 100 resident and over 200 migratory species,
owes its existence to World War II.
So, this is the wartime defences here at Minsmere.
-All the way along the beach here
there were various measures put in place
to stop the potential German invasion.
First line of defence was a roll of barbed wire
and some sharp metal spikes, known as dragon's teeth.
That was to stop troops from landing.
Then behind that, they built this line of concrete blocks
to stop tanks from potentially being able to come ashore.
With the fall of France in 1940,
the British authorities believed that East Anglia was particularly
vulnerable to invasion and so the beaches were transformed
with what they called coastal crust.
The Germans never came, yes?
-They didn't come. Fortunately.
-You did, yes.
At Minsmere, they were taking no chances,
even creating a second line of defence.
The local army captain here took the decision to open up this sluice
and flood the land, creating a low, shallow lake
that was going to be a further impediment to Germans
actually landing on this stretch of coast.
-And the great beneficiary of this all has been nature.
Absolutely. After the war, the sluice is operational again.
The water level has receded.
What we were left with was a fantastic wetland,
a series of shallow, brackish pools, on which, in 1947,
we found the first avocets nesting in the UK for 100 years.
The avocet was soon adopted as the symbol of the RSPB
and Minsmere became one of the charity's most important reserves,
with a reputation for the conservation
of several threatened species.
And how beautiful the avocet is. It's an incredible bird.
Do you know, I've never seen one, I don't think.
I think we should see some.
Do you want to come with me down to one of the hides
-and we'll see what we can spot?
-Come on. Of course!
We're lucky enough to have a couple right in front of the hides.
We can see them really, really well out here.
The avocet's just a fantastically elegant bird.
It's black and mainly white plumage.
A long, thin bill and incredibly long pale blue-grey legs.
-There it goes.
-Could they be a pair?
They could be a pair.
Most of the pairs at the moment are paired up and are nesting.
So, you're going to have one bird sitting,
and the second bird out feeding, and then they'll swap over.
These two, although they look good friends,
chances are they're probably not a pair because their mates will be
-sitting somewhere else.
Well, our other pair have certainly got plenty in their nest,
thanks, in part, to some interesting negotiation techniques.
-Italian life, it's a little bit sort of playing theatre.
And you have an applause when you look each way.
Last chance to tread the boards on this trip is at Yoxford.
-Hello. Good afternoon.
Good afternoon to you.
Antonio, I recognise you.
-Yes, good to meet you.
-Nigel, lovely to meet you.
-Welcome to the Yoxford Antiques Centre.
Big too. Enough to accommodate a bit of a bit of a British classic.
Loving the Riley. It's not actually a car, is it?
It's not a car any more, David.
No, it's been preserved as two sofas.
Good thing there's plenty of room.
I cannot believe it.
-How did that happen?
-It's upset me.
Just as long as there isn't anything here they might fall out over.
This is a primitive sort of food processor.
Like that, for example.
So, for churning and anything.
I'll teach you a thing, Gennaro.
Open van, let's get to the dealer before he even gets it on his stall.
This may be fresh to the market.
Good plan. Keeps them apart, too.
-Tell you what, I like that.
Rural Norfolk loves tractor seats.
Look at this!
-That looks good, doesn't it?
-Let's have a look.
Of course, it's heavy.
Good. That's what we like. I'll leave you with the muscles.
-Oh, gosh! I quite like it.
-It's nice, isn't it?
What it says? RAN...SOM.
Ransoms. Ransoms used to make mowers.
They obviously made...
Maybe this is a mower seat, or maybe they made tractors as well.
I like the fact it's got the bracket.
They must have had tough old bottoms, mustn't they?
But I tell you what, Gennaro, that has Diss written all over it.
Time for a test drive.
Let's have a look, if I can sit on top.
You sit on top.
Just follow me.
Yeah, it still works.
Meanwhile, blissfully unaware,
the others have some silver in mind.
-This is very nice.
-The shape itself is very unlike a teapot.
And I notice, on the base there,
something that really sums it up beautifully.
-The jewellers in London.
That tells you the quality is good.
-It's very modernist.
The shape is so incredibly fashionable for 1890/1900.
But to people who were really bang on-trend.
Yet, the decoration around the top there is very traditional Victorian.
-So, it's a halfway house.
-It's united the two things?
Yeah. That's the original handle.
-With a nice wicker handle to protect yourself from the heat.
Just feel this, Antonio.
-Listen to this!
It just fits and works perfectly.
It's priced at 50 quid.
-It's no money, is it?
-Might go with the caddy.
OK. There's something else I want to show you as well
we've just walked past. Keeping on a silver theme.
This is what I want to show you.
Oh, wow! What is this?
It looks just like a plain box.
But in this business, you've got to be a bit of an investigator.
So, we look at the top first of all.
And you look at the wood.
That's English oak. Good, quality wood.
So, now we open the lid.
The interior now tells us pretty much everything we need to know.
A chest made specifically to carry silver cutlery is pretty upmarket.
-You've got these different trays.
All good stuff. And the plaque says,
Lieutenant Colonel Dewend, West Riding Regiment.
-So it's a military campaign chest.
So, this guy was going probably to war.
He was dining rather well.
-It may well have been bully beef
but he was eating it with silver cutlery.
No sign of a price but it's probably not cheap.
Ah, the van driver's pitched up.
What can I do for you two gents?
We quite like the look of this. Tell us about it, Jeff.
It's an original cast iron Ransom's tractor seat or lawn mower seat.
I know Ransom's well from lawn mowers.
They're more famous for lawn mowers.
-But they built tractors as well?
-They built tractors as well.
How old would it be?
I would say it's probably 80-100 years old.
80-100 years old. It must have been a lot of bumps to sit on.
I wonder what price Jeff has in mind.
It came from a job lot...
You tell me where you'd like to be?
-Before we start a fight!
-Jeff, look at me.
-I'm looking at you.
I'm not liking what I see.
Can we have it £15, one five?
Course you can. Come on, you can.
Come on, you can. I'll twist your arm,
-twist your arm.
-Less grand opera, more Big Daddy.
Well done, you two.
He's always complained.
35 years of complaints.
Even when I'm by myself, I try to make a deal, he had to come out.
"Why don't you shut up?"
Now, before Antonio was so rudely interrupted...
Two objects that we are interested in.
The plated teapot and the campaign chest.
-The military chest.
-A very nice piece.
-What sort of money is that?
Probably sneak just under £100.
-How far under?
-95, David, I would think?
-80 would be better.
-When do we do that?
At what point?
Wait for it...
-It's far too much.
-Ay, ay, ay!
I am poor.
I will be ruined.
-Oh, yeah, and my children won't eat.
-You're a bit slow.
I'm not really genuine.
-We do again.
Take two. Cue, Nigel.
It's far, far too much. 80 would be good.
80 is... Well...
OK, hold that thought. Hold that thought.
Let's see if we can do a double deal here. What about the teapot?
Well, the teapot is easier, really.
It's got £50 on the ticket but it's been that a long time.
-What were you thinking?
Oh, that's what I was thinking.
20 plus 80 is 100.
How about 20 plus 90 and then we've got a deal.
20 plus 90?
It's been working. The whole trip, it's been working.
-Have we done it?
So, 110 for those.
Now, with the coast clear,
Gennaro and James have one last purchase in mind.
-The drinks trolley.
-The drinks trolley.
It's got a great look, hasn't it?
Got great mobility.
Useful item and its tomorrow's antiques.
This feels like Formica.
-But it is Formica.
Good quality Formica.
65 is the best on that
but I think it was quite keenly priced to begin with.
Oh, look at that.
-A little burner.
-A little burner.
-That's quite cool, isn't it?
-I didn't know what is this.
I love all this metal.
I don't know. It's something and nothing, isn't it?
Because we don't want to buy something where we've lost the gain
on our lovely tractor seat.
Bit of a squeeze in the car, as well.
It's good but I don't think we can afford it at that price.
What do you think, James?
I think it's a lovely piece.
OK, listen, shall we shake hands?
You want 65, let's make 60.
65. I can't do any more. Sorry, Gennaro.
-I can't win them all.
-You can't win them all.
So, with that little deal done, it's time to share.
Nervous moment here.
-Shall we take them out of this?
Ready? One, two, three.
-There we are.
-This is very interesting, this stuff here,
because it looks like something...
This comes from Vietri sul Mare, the town you were born.
I recognised the kind of terracotta.
Look, it's all handmade. Everything.
And even say, look...
No way, no way.
How did you find that?
-Well, we did.
-Searched high and low.
-A little stick, isn't it? Candlestick?
-It's a candlestick.
-It's silver chamber stick
-with an exotic shell underneath.
-That's quite interesting.
Novelty little thing.
I do like the trolley.
Mid-20th century, maybe a little earlier.
That is what a Lamborghini owner would have
-in his own house.
-Oh, of course.
Well, that's all very convivial.
-OK, you reveal this bit. I shall reveal this bit.
-Is that OK?
-I like that one.
-OK, there we have it.
-Look at this.
-Look at this.
Any questions? Is this a famous fan dance?
-It is kitsch, yeah.
That's the purpose and this, this is the wonderful thing.
Accompanied by this special sort of teapot.
Really like the lady.
Gennaro, who is this?
What do you really think?
They believe they have something very special.
That beautiful shell with the silver.
I just love it. Everybody would love to have it.
The little table is OK and the Vietri sul Mare from
-the town where I was born is quite pretty, but the rest...
-Do you know what?
-Antonio is going to cry.
But not just yet.
Unless it's over the onion because our cooks are stirring up a treat.
MUSIC: Mambo Italiano By Rosemary Clooney
-Shall I put it with those?
-Yes, put it in, yes.
The mind and the arm.
Now you can put the rest.
Here, there you are. And a little bit of salt.
So now is the time to put the mussels in it.
There you go. Open Sesame.
Number one, here.
Oh, look at...
-Looks so good.
-What a privilege.
You make the most amazing team.
To watch you is an absolute privilege, isn't it?
I love it. Do you know what? I love it.
David, we're still going to beat you.
After kicking off in Norfolk at Harleston
and then tootling into Suffolk,
we're out accelerating to auction
back in Norfolk at Diss.
ENGINE REVVING LOUDLY
Now leave it, my goodness.
What do you mean, leave it?
You know, there's my age.
-No, no, it's not your age. Listen.
It may be that we break down in the middle of the country.
The car is not break down.
This car is made for go.
Yes, this is Diss, capisce?
-Are you ready for the battle?
-We are ready.
-Ready for the battle.
-Let's go and battle.
I wonder what auctioneer Rob Kinsella
makes of what our cooks have collected.
The Majolica pieces...
Nice part of Italy they're from, I believe.
They will either fly away or we will struggle with them.
The mannequin. Quite a novel item
and I think we may be surprised with that one.
Brass tray on stand, probably a marriage of pieces.
The brass on top of the Swedish-style base there.
I'm sure someone will have it.
Now, everyone on their best behaviour, please. You'll be lucky.
Have you been to an auction before, Antonio?
Yes, only once.
It was auction of my own stuff.
And nobody bought it.
We start with Gennaro and James' rusty seat.
-Oh, we're on.
Start me at 70.
£70 I'm bid.
40 I'll take then and go, £40.
Move it away. It's got to be 30, then.
Start me. Ransom's tractor seat.
30 bid. Thank you. Take two.
£30 I have now. Is there two, anyone else?
£30. Surely more anywhere.
32 at the back. Take five.
I'm out. £32 bid in the back corner.
32 now. Five, surely.
Doubled their money, if not quite the flying start they were after.
But we still sold with a profit, so...
If it's rusty, we're all over it, OK?
And leave the Art Deco ornaments to Antonio and David, eh?
Start me straight in. Save my breath, £40 anywhere.
-You pay, you buy.
-Look at them.
30 I'll take to go.
30, gallery, thank you. 30 bid. Take two.
£30 I have. 32, 35.
What do we do? What do we do?
35, and new bid.
I'll take eight. £35.
Upstairs, they'll sell.
Oh, that's OK, that's all right.
Hey, we're getting an applause.
The roar of the crowd, eh, David?
I am very worried about them.
Well, they're grinning. I've been worried about them for two days.
That's a confident shrug, Gennaro.
Must have high hopes for the brass table.
Let's start me on this one on £40.
Nice little brass-topped table there. 40.
30. 20 to go then, surely.
-20 to go!
-Little table there for you.
£20 bid to get off.
20's on the net. Take two.
We're £20 online now.
Give me two, anyone else. Surely.
Antonio, is it going to be a loss?
£20. Anyone else?
It's online. £20, any advance?
-That is cruel.
-That is cruel...
I think sportsmanship's already out of the window.
The little profit that you had before is all gone.
-All gone, all gone.
-Don't worry, Antonio.
It has disappeared, miraculously.
Next we have Antonio and David's joint tea-related lot.
£40. 30 I'll take.
30 is bid. In the front.
Take two now. £30 I have now.
Antonio, tell them, do something.
£45 the bid in front.
Fair warning online. £45.
48 back in.
£50 still in front.
Take five. Anyone else? It's £50 the front bid.
We've lost the net.
In the room at £50 in front. We will sell.
That's a tiny profit.
Maybe so, but a few more like that...
Now, let's change the mood with that nice Italian pottery.
Vietri sul Mare where you were born, so...
Will he bid for it?
Don't worry, I'll say that.
You should bid. Look, if you do, I'll give you a card.
The Italian Vietri sul Mare.
-I hope I pronounced that right.
Lovely set there for £40, surely.
-Bid me on this.
-30 I'll take.
Take 20 then and move it away.
22, 25, 28,
30, two, 35, 38.
45 is bid.
£45, the bid in front.
-Must be your connection, Antonio.
Any more? 45, it is.
Any advance, then? It's going to go.
-Well done, well done, guys.
The irony is horrible.
Yes. Grazie mille, Antonio.
So, how do you feel now?
That you are losing it?
I am losing nothing.
So far we have profit.
Yeah, but it's for next.
-Piccolo! Piccolo, piccolo.
-It doesn't matter!
Piccolo but good!
You know in Italy we say that
the very good wine is always in small barrels.
So, expect another perfectly formed profit for their Chinese stands.
I've got interest on these.
60, take five.
60 is bid. Five anywhere?
The stands are there. 60 bid.
Five, 70, five, 80, five, 90 bid.
-Take five. 90 bid.
At 100 off to the left.
-This is working, this is working.
-Is there ten now anywhere?
The pair of stands away at £100...
Wonderful, thank you.
Big bucks, but there was a certain celebrity waving the rules?
Because he goes with his hands like that, he gets people up.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Why don't you do the same?
Because I don't need to.
The man is good.
They could do with a profit on the chamber stick, though.
Start me at £50.
-£30 then, anyone bid?
-Chamber stick. 30 bid. Take two.
-We're off at £30.
32, 35, 38.
-Come on, come on.
42, 45, 48,
Take 50. £48 I have.
50 now. Surely more on this at £48 I'm bid.
50 anywhere? Any advance then at £48?
They thought they were the winner.
They could be yet, but time is running out.
It's not over yet, it's not over yet
and when it's over, I don't want to know.
Well, you may not want to watch theIR next lot then, Gennaro.
I've got interest straight in and we're going to start 30.
Oh, come on.
Are Italian auctions like this?
People will see you and buy because it's you.
Bid 50. Take five.
Surely now the mannequin at £50.
Not the big stick!
Any advance at £60?
Oh, it's a working profit again.
He looks pretty calm, at least.
I think the word on the street,
something really on-trend at the moment is trolleys.
-With four wheels?
Four wheels. Formica.
It's a magic combination.
-It is not cheap stuff.
And now from Diss,
it could easily have featured on The Sale Of The Century.
Stylish piece. Start me at 60.
60 bid, surely.
Start me on this. 40 I'll take.
£40 surely for the trolley.
-£30 to start.
-No, make it a tenner.
-30 I have.
-Oh, someone's in.
30, we're in. 32 anywhere?
-Oh, that's enough for a hostess trolley.
-Let me listen.
-35, 38, 40,
45 now. 48, anywhere?
£45. In the room at 45.
Oh, bad luck, guys!
I think the wheels have just fallen off Gennaro's wagon.
I've never seen Antonio smile so much.
No, because it was your piece de resistance.
It's not quite over but there's a lot riding on the final lot.
Antonio, this could be us.
And he knows it.
-Are you leaving?
-No, no, no, I just want to get this.
Sit down because you're not allowed!
-It's the late 19th, early 20th century
oak and pitch pine fitted campaign silver chest.
It's a wonderful thing.
-I'm in at £32.
-Take five anywhere?
£32, the bid.
32 anyone else? 35.
It's in the room at 35.
-Yes, come on, come on.
£50 in the room, then.
Any more? Surely more on this.
£50 bid. Five, I'll take.
I'm trying at £50 bid.
55 back in.
-One more, sir.
55, 60. 60 bid.
Take five. 60 I have. At the back, £60 now.
Are you five online? I've lost the internet then with £60.
It will sell at 60.
Celebrity endorsement doesn't always pay off.
Their only loss leaves it close.
Let's go and work it out.
James and Gennaro started out with £400
and after paying auction costs,
they made a loss of £54.20,
leaving them with £345.80.
Antonio and David also began with 400, and despite steady profits,
that one last plus auction costs has left them minus £4.90,
but they're still today's victors with £395.10.
-..we are the winners.
I am so sorry, I am so sorry.
I won't cook for you any more!
Gennaro, don't talk any more.
-Just come on.
-It's all going to be good news.
He's going to be magnanimous in victory.
No, he won't be, he won't be.
Gennaro, you have a hell of a journey ahead of you.
-All the best.
Something tells me our two tenors aren't done yet.
What is the Italian for Schadenfreude?
Gennaro, that was the example but I wanted to give you.
We won it.
For once, just confirm that
there is somebody superior to you.
Superior?! But for people who buy rubbish, it's not our fault.
We had the quality stuff.
Top Italian cooks Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo are on a road trip around East Anglia. Restaurateurs, writers and old friends, the 'greedy Italians' forage for antiques in the company of experts David Harper and James Braxton.
Watch out for some explosive bargaining and an extremely tasty risotto! When he is not shopping, Antonio learns about the brave fisherman of Suffolk, who saved mariners' lives while risking their own. And Gennaro has a trip to take a peek at a very special bird.