VOICEOVER (VO): Some of the nation's favorite celebrities... Sensational!
VO: ..one antiques expert each.
It's middle class.
Darling, aren't we all?!
VO: ..and one big challenge - who can seek out and buy the best antiques at the very best prices... Do I start laughing now?
You can, if you like.
VO: ..and auction them for a big profit... 55, a new bidder, thank you.
VO: ..further down the road?
VO: Who will spot the good investments?
Who will listen to advice?
(THEY CHUCKLE) VO: And who will be the first to say, "Don't you know who I am?!"
Time to put your pedal to the metal - this is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
Now, if you ask me, there's very little to beat a summer's day in the glorious British Isles - dappled light resting gracefully on our grand old architecture and majestic countryside.
And then... ..there's days like this.
Just as well tonight's celebrity road trippers are made of stern stuff.
Welcome aboard journalist and presenter Katie Derham and star of stage and screen Mr Tom Conti.
KATIE (KD): Do you know anything about this car at all?
TOM (TC): About this car?
No, no, no.
VO: Best known for presenting ITV News, the lovely Katie Derham began her career at the Beeb.
And can I just say - we love her work, especially the early stuff.
But what can any investor in a football club like Millwall really expect?
It's probably worth not taking too much notice of those tax cut promises... Now that's not exactly a snappy headline.
VO: More recently Katie's ensconced in the arts - presenting the Proms, the Classical Brit Awards, and even competing to be a maestro.
(MUSIC CRESCENDOS) VO: Gosh.
(APPLAUSE) VO: What a frock.
As you know, Katie's competition on this road trip is the dashing Tom Conti, and right now, he'll be playing the driver of this 1952 Jowett Jupiter.
TC: OK, here we go.
Are you ready?
KD: I'm ready.
TC: Are you holding?
TC: Hold on.
KD: I'm holding on.
He just ran over the cameraman!
TC: Is he dead?
Because if he's dead, we ought to stop.
We're off, we're off!
VO: While his driving may be a little hit and miss, Tom's acting career spans more than 50 years.
In theater, film and television he's been wowing audiences in everything from Shirley Valentine to Miranda - such fun!
- and his latest project... Well, at the time of filming, it's all a bit hush-hush but I'll give you a clue - it's Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, a great qualification for a road tripper.
KD: Do we have, um... indicators?
TC: An indicator?
It's better to surprise them, I think.
VO: Our celebs may be taking each other on but they won't be doing it alone.
Guiding them through this challenge are two absolute veterans - James Braxton and James Lewis, currently enjoying all an open-top MG Midget has to offer.
JAMES BRAXTON (JB): How are you feeling in your jacket, JB: then, James?
JAMES LEWIS (JL): Yeah...
I'm feeling a tad wet and even more stupid!
JB: Do you think this could be an omen?
VO: James Braxton's 25 years in antiques began when he dropped out of a business studies course and became a porter at an auction house.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Shall I carry it, sir?
TC: Oh yes, I think... JB: Shall I carry it?
TC: I really wish you would.
JB: OK. VO: James Lewis, meanwhile, has two great passions - antiques and animals.
He even claims he made his first auction bid at the age of six.
The collectable in question?
A birdcage for his budgie.
So, drawing on the advice of our esteemed experts, Tom and Katie have £400 each, two days of shopping and one auction to prove they can buy low, sell high with the best of 'em.
JL: Do you know anything about them at all?
TC: About antiques?
TC: Not much.
That's the old ones, isn't it?
KD: We're going... TC: The older stuff.
VO: Though before they risk their reputations, let's look at the journey ahead.
VO: We're kicking off this celebrity road trip in Lewes, Sussex, and for the most part we're headed north, ending with an auction showdown in Wandsworth, South London.
First stop, the charming town of Lewes, which has quite a bloody and exciting history.
What started as a Roman settlement was invaded by the Saxons, then the Danes and finally, the Normans, which is what prompted William the Conq's brother-in-law to build Lewes Castle in the first place, in 1069, and doesn't it look great in the sunshine?
(THUNDER) VO: Well, for a minute or two, because...
Although as our celebrities rendezvous, it is, of course, a very different story.
JL: How are we?
KD: Hello, hello, hello.
Lovely to meet you.
KD: Glorious, isn't it?
This is Katie and I'm Katie too, just to... (THEY LAUGH) You don't look like a Katie, Tom!
It's like an exchange on a bridge in Berlin, isn't it?
The old days.
What... what are we gonna do and do we... go off with one of you or... or what happens?
That's the idea.
Hopefully we're gonna guide you.
D'you know much about antiques?
Not a fat lot.
I think it's gonna be more one of those "Oh, I like the look of that" and you just... JB: Yes.
KD: ..raise your eyebrows... JL: Right.
KD: ..and shake your head.
James, you can have Katie!
You said you wanted Tom, didn't you?
It's bric-a-brac, isn't it?
I'll just try and educate this man!
I hope to see you in the not-too-distant future.
Which way are you guys going?
JB: We're going this way.
JL: Shall we go that way?
So they're going towards the antique shops?
Yeah, they... it's just a park up there.
KD: Where does that leave us?
VO: Now, whilst there isn't a moment to lose, apparently there is time for a cheeky latte, in order to talk tactics.
Are you a competitive person, Tom?
No - no, I'm not a competitive but are you, against... against your namesake, James?
Not against anybody else bar James Lewis.
Oh, aye, James...
He is a man who needs to be beaten, I think.
He is your bete noire.
KD: I know we're all friends... but we are wanting to win.
Yeah, it'd be nice!
How do we go about this?
What do we do?
JL: Well, James is lovely... KD: Yeah.
..and he's a true gentleman, is James.
I don't think he's a hard-nosed negotiator, so that is somewhere where we might have an advantage, because I...
What, because we're not?!
JL: Well, I - me!
KD: We're underhand, shabby!
I will have a good old haggle.
VO: Right, then.
Let's go, shall we?
Tom and James's first shop of the day is Cliffe Antiques, where it's clear you can tell a lot about a person from their choice of collectables.
Oh, that's nice.
VO: Oh, yes.
And what do you like about it, Tom?
TC: The bum.
JB: (LAUGHS) VO: Don't be fooled - I think old Conti has an eye for a... bargain.
I rather like that.
JB: That's a fabulous mirror, isn't it?
Should we dismiss something so readily, all because it's... TC: Yes.
JB: ..silvery plastic?
JB: And broken.
TC: And broken.
But we could tell them that it isn't broken and it's silver.
I'm learning the trade.
There we are, there we are.
I think you'll make an excellent antique dealer.
VO: At the other end of the high street, the competition are having a poke around Emporium Antiques.
JL: D'you wanna have a wander... KD: Yes.
..and have a bit of freedom and just... KD: OK. JL: ..see...
Pick up anything that you like.
Just, if you want... if you want an idea of value, bring it over and we'll... we'll have a natter.
VO: Then again, James, perhaps this is a little soon for Katie to fly solo.
This is made in Los Angeles.
That ca... Is... is that good?
VO: It's early days.
I'm sure she'll get the hang of it.
James, what would this be?
Would this be some sort of... regimental... jam pot or something?
What would that be?
Well, it's... it's a stein.
KD: Oh it is, is it?
With a lid?
KD: I didn't realize.
JL: German... German drinking.
Oh, I see.
OK. JL: There's a fashion for... KD: A jam pot!
I'm far too twee, aren't I?
No, you see...
It... it's lovely that you don't know what goes on in these drinking dens JL: of inner Germany!
KD: I know, I'm ter...
I'm terribly innocent!
The funny thing is, traditionally, this has a very practical use.
Remember in all those ancient days, when you'd be sitting in your pub, you'd be having a very quiet jug of ale.
Somebody would slip a little bit of drugs in there and take you off, pressgang you and take you on board ship.
The idea of having a cover was so that nobody could put anything in your beer that you didn't want in your beer.
VO: So that's one German stein/regimental jam pot on the "maybe" list.
VO: As for Team Conti, they're leaving no stone unturned and so far have several candidates for purchase numero uno.
Look, here's a bit of fun.
That's quite fun.
That's a nice bit of Satsuma.
I thought that was a tangerine.
This is an area of Japan, which was famous for its pottery.
JL: Beautifully done this.
TC: Yes, isn't it?
Well what is the gold stuff?
JL: It IS gold.
TC: It is gold?
It is gold.
But the damage to this piece... TC: Oh, it's been sanded down, hasn't it?
Someone's sort of sanded it down a bit.
But we might come back to that one.
VO: Well, that's one possibility and strangely, so is this.
I think that's very unusual.
It's a double saddle, so warrior and missus behind.
But I mean, it'd be a very curiously shaped beast, wouldn't it?
Yeah, it's quite a long beast, isn't it?
A very long horse.
A long horse.
Do you think it's maybe not a horse?
Well, I think it could've... What else do you ride?
Or these tails might've been slightly... do you think, rather like a luggage rack?
Could be decoratively combined into a contemporary interior.
To be considered for later, is it?
I think it is... consider for later.
I think we may be very lucky in here.
It's a rich seam, I think.
I do believe your competitive side is coming out to play - marvelous!
Oh, a thousand pound note!
Although I'm slightly worried about Katie.
She's still trying to go it alone, in the dark.
This is what I would've spent hours, when I was a kid.
My grandma used to have something like this.
I mean, it's a... it's a dressing set.
I would assume that this would've been little pots for rouge and perfume.
VO: Ah, well - at least she doesn't think it's a jam pot.
We're making progress!
Just look - a dressing... a dressing box.
There we go.
But probably is...
But is the fact that it's not in very good nick, is this...?
It's been well loved, hasn't it?
KD: Loved, you see - loved.
JL: Let's put it down somewhere.
JL: Shall we put it on here?
OK. Cormac Brothers.
Isn't that lovely?
JL: Ludgate Hill.
Look, but look, but look, look, look.
I can't open it but look, it's got a secret compartment, James!
Here we go.
Have you lifted this?
KD: Oh, no.
JL: Go on, give it a go.
JL: There we are.
For pearls, probably.
Pearls and watches... KD: Yeah.
Let's see, that's...
These are for... for face creams and face powders.
The very best ones are solid silver.
These are plated.
So this would be more your common or garden?
KD: Nice... JL: It's... m... KD: Nice but not so nice.
It's middle class.
JL: Um... KD: Darling, aren't we all?!
But... Well, I aspire to be!
Um... so, what's that worth?
I think that will make £60 at auction.
So us spending 180 on it wouldn't be a very good deal!
VO: While Katie's yet to get into her groove, baby, a certain movie star is in his element, and currently, he's getting into women's clothing... so to speak.
Wasn't it a token of affection, gloves?
Didn't you give your sweetheart gloves?
TC: (MUTTERS) TC: That's where I went wrong!
JB: (LAUGHS) I think... I-I-I'm talking...
I'm talking of a slightly earlier age than you.
These are seven.
VO: Actually, Braxton is bang on.
A chivalrous gentleman of the 17th century might indeed send a pair of gloves to his true love, then if she wore them to church on a Sunday, it would signal her acceptance of his proposal.
And... And we could buy... one of the stretchers... Stretchers, yeah.
..to go along with it.
So you get the stretcher and the... JB: ..and the gloves.
Nice one, Tom.
Up here for thinking, down there for dancing.
Oh, my goodness, yes.
These are ivory.
And... er... And they're, erm... TC: Yes.
With this fabulous relief carving.
VO: Although ivory, it's not to everyone's taste.
Fortunately, this piece is pre-1947 and therefore legal.
JB: So, on a day like today... TC: Yes.
JL: ..when you're absolutely... TC: You come home... JB: ..saturated...
Your umbrella gloved hand was alright but the other one... Yeah.
So... so you put the stretcher all the way in... JB: In need of attention.
TC: ..and you... Yeah.
..just do that, and... And you get its shape back.
Get its shape back, yes.
It's very clever.
Well, I-I-I think this might be quite fun.
JB: Do you think that's a nice... nice little tableau?
Yes, I think... Can I leave you to sort of negotiate a bit?
And, er... Sure.
OK. And I tell you what... (WHISPERS) It might be worth asking the man...
If you buy this successfully...
It might be quite cheeky, you know - he's obviously been burdened by that Satsuma item.
He might like to throw that in for free.
Anyway, I'll leave you to it.
VO: This is the true test of an antiques geezer... or geezerette.
Tom, two pairs of gloves, £4 each.
The glove stretcher, 29.
VO: Now, meet your opponent.
They call him Mark.
Right, so here we have the gloves, which are four each... £4 each.
So I'll do the pair for seven.
And this can be... erm... 22.
VO: The whole lot at £29.
I don't think so!
Go in low, Tom - now!
Erm... how about the whole thing for 28?
JB: Low... lower, Tom!
TC: Lower, no.
We've done the deal now.
We've done... we've done it...
He... 28 for the whole... for the whole thing.
Do you think he might throw in the Satsuma?
DEALER: I will.
There you go.
To help you.
We might have a bit fun with that.
So that's for free.
Thank you very much indeed.
VO: Thanks to Braxton, that's £5 saved on the dish.
Conti, you must try harder!
See me later!
JL: So, imagine this... KD: Yeah?
..is what you're blowing.
VO: Now working as team - thank goodness - Katie and James Lewis have finally found a few pieces of interest.
Both of them are bronze.
That's had a patination applied, to make it look duller.
These are censers.
So they would fill them with sand... Yeah.
..and they would put incense to burn.
Um... Chinese market very buoyant.
The problem is, because they're doing so well, it attracts the fakers.
And these are fake.
VO: Well, that is a problem.
But James, old sausage, are you absolutely sure?
It's a remarkably good one!
You're telling yourself, "It's a fake, it's a fake," but...
But... Well, but I mean, could you be fooled, do you think?
KD: I mean, do... Or rather, could you be double-bluffing yourself?
Everything in my heart and soul is telling me, "James, "it's wrong, it's wrong.
It can't be."
I've seen these, exactly this model, imported.
I've seen them on the markets in Shanghai but they don't look as if they have that sort of age to them.
Oh, I dunno.
VO: Unable to make a decision, so onto the "maybe" list it goes.
Now, Katie, 10 points if you can get this one.
JL: That's for a lady... KD: Oh, look, yes.
OK. JL: Jewelry - simply because it's silk-lined.
They would have been used for powder as well.
The thing is with these silver things, they...
The ultimate professional!
I know - it's the rain, and darling, it's all over!
Anyway... You know, I don't even wanna look!
That's the... VO: Come on - focus, team.
Hm... Oh, is it?
But the thing that attracted me to it was that.
KD: Er... there's something... JL: Ricketts.
KD: Oh, Ricketts!
KD: OK. And Ricketts was one of the leading fruit painters at the Royal Worcester factory.
So although the panel, you can't see a mark, that's Royal Worcester porcelain.
VO: In other words: forget the jewelry box - this piece of porcelain could be worth a fortune just on its own.
Oh, Steve - are you free?
How much could that be, please?
I think bearing in mind the condition, £75.
STEVE: OK. KD: Yeah, thank you.
Is there a little bit of movement there?
Little bit of movement.
I think it's got potential.
Shall we hold on to this?
What would be...?
What could you do with that?
Very best, £60.
STEVE: £60, yeah.
He's coming down.
Almost half price.
How about 50, and you've got a deal.
Would you go with it if...
I've gotta, I've got... KD: Yeah, yeah.
JL: I've got a partner.
Because... You can see, clearly an expert in the field!
If he said yes, would you go with it?
Yeah, I'd spend £50 of our money on that, definitely.
Would you take 50?
Thank you very much.
Thank you, thank you.
Got a deal.
It's got a good chance - good... good artist, good ceramic, bit of silver, useful.
Well done you.
Oh, well done you.
JL: I'm glad you like it.
KD: Yes, I know...
I need a bit of moral support, you know.
I worked very hard, finding this!
Bring my expertise to bear.
But... VO: And if you're quite finished with the lurve-in, there's still the question of whether the Chinese bowl is a bargain or a fake.
JL: What's the story behind it?
Where did it come from?
It came in from a private house.
If it was reproduction, it wouldn't be in the state, would it?
I'm convinced it's not.
I thought it wa...
I immediately said "Oh, yes, it's a fake" and then thought "Actually..." What could that be?
What could the be...?
Could be £40.
You'd knock a bit more off if we took the two, wouldn't you?
That's your lot.
VO: So that's £80 for both.
JL: What d'you think?
KD: I like it.
I like the fact that you got excited about it.
But for that, for something 100 years old, of that type, at the moment, that's a good price, is it?
JL: Oh, yeah.
KD: I think we're intrigued.
Thank you very much.
STEVE: OK. JL: Thank you.
VO: Thank you.
Well, after a slow start, Katie and her mentor now have two auction lots.
Has the rain stopped?
JL: It has.
Bri... Oh, yes, yes.
VO: Conti and Braxton, meanwhile, only have one but they've crossed the threshold of the Lewes Antiques Centre, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
See now, this is...
I want to bring these back into fashion... because we're driven mad, where I live, by mechanical devices cutting hedges and leaf blowers.
Oh, leaf blowers.
People who invented the leaf blower should be hanged.
VO: Oh, Tom!
In with anger, out with love.
Speaking of which, I love this.
JB: 95% of these tables would've been made with four legs, wouldn't they?
TC: Yes, I suppose so.
And then somebody's taken... had a bit of fun and they've produced... they've overcomplicated the whole thing and they've produced six legs.
And I think that's rather nice.
So do I.
And it doesn't look as if it's been butchered.
That's a lovely item.
Yes, very nice.
Six legs is so unusual.
I like that.
Yeah, me too - definitely.
I think it will sell.
I think it's good, yeah.
And are you gonna be a bit... bit harder this time?
None of this sort of...?
I thought we did terribly well the last time.
What've we got?
I think if you could get that for 30... JB: £30.
TC: Yeah... VO: It's round two.
Conti's back in the ring.
And this time, can he save more than one pound?
Go for it.
What we can afford for this table is about 28 quid.
Do I start laughing now?
You can, if you like.
I don't know how much good it'll do either of us but... VO: Be gentle with him, Alison.
I want higher.
You want higher?
VO: They all say that.
It should be 40 but I'll meet you halfway - 35, cash, and it's yours.
How about... how about... er... how about 33?
VO: Ah, well - he's getting a bit better.
Though maybe James should do the negotiating from now on.
Just a thought.
What a car - look at that.
VO: The next destination is the town of Uckfield, which has been a stopping off point for weary travelers for at least 700 years.
Uckfield's also home to the magnificent Oak Hall, which today houses the biggest collection of Gilbert and Sullivan memorabilia in the world, celebrating a partnership that brought us HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and, of course, The Mikado.
And the man who's spent the last 50 years putting together this collection - which you can now view by appointment only - is Melvyn Tarran.
Lovely to see you.
Do come in.
Oh, my goodness!
VO: Yes - exactly.
And much of what you see comes from the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, founded by one Richard D'Oyly Carte, who, in the 1870s, brought together composer Arthur Sullivan and writer William Gilbert, who used his background in drama to write those famously quirky lyrics.
JB: As a fellow collector, Melvyn, what... what... what possessed you to sort of suddenly catch the bug?
I mean, it started off when I worked in London, in a hotel, and the... one of the chefs there had been the first trombone in the D'Oyly Carte orchestra.
TC: Oh - good heavens!
How do you get from a trombone, to a chef?
I... (THEY CHUCKLE) And... er... he was telling me about the various operas.
So when they came to Golders Green Hippodrome, I took myself off to see them.
And that was it, you know.
MELVYN: I thought "wow!"
And little did I know in years later I would know a lot of these people and they've become friends, you know, or that I'd have some of the dresses I was seeing on the stage.
VO: Melvyn's passion for Gilbert and Sullivan eventually inspired him to open a themed restaurant, where the staff were dressed in Victorian costume.
But as his collection continued to grow, he kept running out of space, which eventually brought him here to Oak Hall, as it's just down the road from his house.
MELVYN: The... one of the things that I really love is this little decanter.
Um... and this was what Gilbert used to put his nightcap in and take to bed.
It's a whisky noggin.
MELVYN: Ah, right, right.
TC: Ah, a noggin.
JL: A wee noggin.
And at very smart dinners, you'd have a white wine glass and you'd have a red wine glass and you'd... there would be a whisky noggin there, so you could have whisky with your dinner and pass away on the wine.
Why's it called a "noggin", do you know?
I think it's just a rather nice, JB: colloquial measure.
VO: And here's another fun fact - despite their 25 year partnership, Gilbert and Sullivan didn't actually get on!
Their very different personalities made them a great professional pairing but not great friends.
Now, I don't know if you've seen the film Topsy-Turvy, Mike Leigh's film?
Yes, of course, I did see it, yeah.
Well, of course, Jim Broadbent took the part of Gilbert... TC: Yes.
This is his underwear, that he wore in the film!
I mean, this is the sort of thing you collect, you see.
This is the underwear... Well, it's not the sort of thing I collect!
I don't want...
I don't want Jim's underwear, really at all!
You're on your own here, Melvyn, yeah!
(THEY CHUCKLE) VO: Yeah.
Thanks a million, Melv!
And on this happy note, it's time that our two maids should be off.
Determined to pick up one more auction lot before the day is done, Katie and James are visiting the same shop their competitors were in earlier on.
And guess what they've fallen in love with.
You see, I have to say, when I first saw that, I thought it was some sort of sledge.
Looks like a sort of sledge, doesn't it?
It's actually a double saddle... Everybody wants one!
You know, you go down the high street... And you could... you could hang it on your wall.
You told me you only need two bidders.
Where are we gonna find two bidders for that?!
Yeah, well alright - fair enough!
VO: Excellent question.
But rather than ponder the answer, these two are instead off to negotiate the £45 ticket price.
I think it's got a chance at 30 but I think it's got a slim chance.
If it helps you, it can be £20.
Oh, OK. Well, that certainly helps.
JL: D'you wanna do it?
Do the deal then.
I think I might have 20 quid in my pocket.
We'll shake on it.
Oh, oh look KD: what I have in my pocket!
JL: Thank you very much.
JL: (LAUGHS) That's your change from earlier!
VO: While the price is definitely right, Katie and James still have their doubts.
So what better way to reassure themselves than to try the saddle out?
That's... that's how it works.
VO: That's ridiculous!
VO: On a passing tourist!
So that... so that's definitely what it's not for, OK... Oh, God, you poor thing!
Are you alright?
VO: Perhaps now might be a good time to leave town, fast, and I'm thinking it might be fastest to take the MG. Maybe not.
VO: As the sun rises in England's picturesque south, the pressure's on for our celebs and experts alike to find that special something and make a bucket-load of moolah.
JB: It's very, very nice, all this dappled sunlight, isn't it?
It's going to be a corking day, I think.
VO: So far, both teams have barely touched their original £400 stake, though they have spent a small fortune on lattes.
KD: Got a bit of money to splash around today.
We could... we could go crazy, James.
We could go crazy.
VO: Yeah, stir crazy.
Katie and James have parted with £100 for three auction lots.
Mark you, one of them could be a fake.
God, is it right?
Oh, I dunno!
VO: As for Tom and James, well, they've spent even less than their competitors, the skinflints!
Just 62 smackers, also for three auction lots.
TC: I'm hoping that we might find something kind of spiffing today.
JB: Would be nice, wouldn't it?
VO: Yeah - just hold that thought, as our first stop this morning is the lovely town of Westerham, in Kent, where the shopping really is quite something.
JB: Westerham has always been famous for its antique shops.
There's quite a few here.
Oh, I see.
And of course, Winston Churchill used to live near here.
VO: Indeed he did, James - in the fabulous Chartwell Manor.
And this neck of the woods was also home to Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland.
VO: Now, enough of this encyclopedic stuff - your next shop awaits.
Oh, look at that.
Aha, now... here's something from my past.
These things here are called Marcel waving irons, and you heated them in a gas flame and then you spun them round, to cool them...
I came from a family of ladies' hairdressers - that's how I know all this!
And then you curled the hair.
My father was a great hairdresser.
He won prizes all over the place.
VO: And apparently, he wouldn't have been a great fan of Tom's current hairdo.
This... this catastrophe at the moment is because of a movie called Batman, um... and they cut all my hair off!
What, really close?
Yeah, really close - much closer than this, yes.
And... er... it's just slowly growing back.
People do double takes!
My wife screams every time she sees me!
VO: So, while the girls talk about their hairdo and do their nails - ha!
- Team Derham are headed northwest.
KD: Any idea where we're going?
It is the Wacky Races - I am Penelope Pitstop!
You could be either Dastardly... JL: Dastardly... KD: ..or Muttley.
I'm more Muttley!
VO: Despite having no sense of direction, Katie and James are en route to Goudhurst, which is old English for "battle hill".
And it's in this locale that they're about to discover Finchcocks Musical Museum.
Housed in this fine Georgian manor, and boasting a fabulous collection of more than 100 of history's most important keyboards, and this musical journey begins with the harpsichord.
Take it away, Alastair!
This is... this is the harpsichord room.
The oldest, in fact, is this one here, from the late 1600s.
ALASTAIR: Made in Naples.
The interesting thing about an Italian instrument is the instrument itself was removable, so in other words, all this here, you can take out of the box.
Normally, you'd take it out with... other string players or wind players, you'd play it in the room, then when you'd finished, you'd put it back in the box, close up the front and close the top.
Oh, my word!
Look at that!
Which is equally decorated there.
That is amazing!
KD: Is this original?
VO: Now, as their appearance might suggest, these exquisite looking instruments were, at the time, considered quite the status symbol, often boasting elaborate painting and the highest standards of craftsmanship.
The harpsichord was an instrument for the extremely well off - nobility and aristocracy.
I mean, for the average person, you would have to work for five years just to pay for one of these.
KD: My word!
VO: Curiously, the harpsichord was designed to be played standing up, and as it happens, someone in this room is no stranger to the keyboard.
I'll give you a hint - it's not James.
So, did you learn to play the piano originally or was it...?
Yes... no, I learnt to play the piano when I was... when I was about five, I started playing.
I wanted to beat my big brother.
Usual story, you know!
He was having lessons, so I wanted them too.
So I played a lot as a kid but I don't... You know, like all of us, you know, you get busy with jobs and families and I don't play as much now.
I think the last time was probably when my daughter wanted me to accompany her singing songs from Glee!
It's not really harpsichord style!
VO: Actually, we don't have any sheet music for Glee, but how about a bit of Bach?
We could do a mash up.
ALASTAIR: That's a hard one.
JL: Is it?
Well, Katie's good.
Yeah, famous last words!
I'll do a complete cycle.
I'd love to be able to do that - just to go and see some music and do that.
Only play it properly!
Well, is it very different?
Oh, it's a completely... feels completely different.
You did pick up quite a hard piece for me!
You did say... That is one of the hardest pieces.
JL: Is it really the hardest?
You know, where's the Bach equivalent of Chopsticks for me, you know?
It was just...
It was the one that was there!
VO: By the 19th century, the harpsichord was very much out of fashion.
Suddenly the piano was all the go, thanks in part to one key breakthrough: rather than plucking the strings as the harpsichord did, it strikes them, with a hammer.
This one here is made in Vienna... OK. ..and unlike a modern piano, which just has two pedals, this has six.
Oh, good Lord.
Oh good lord!
VO: And even more unusual, it has its own built-in percussion.
(BELL RINGS IN TIME) JL: Jeez!
KD: (LAUGHS) Where did that hit?
Well, it did all sort of things.
What it did, a drum... head hit the soundboard underneath... ..under the strings here.
These bells were activated.
Nobody wrote for that, though, did they?
Was that just an added extra you... you know, if you were feeling a bit virtuosic, you bring in a bass drum?
All this... all these kind of gimmicks were something the English didn't approve of... but for some unknown reason, they were very popular in Vienna.
But they were used, essentially, for... for dancing.
So when you had this piano and you had your friends round for a dance, you had the built-in percussion section.
So this is the piano you'd've had in the dance hall... ALASTAIR: That's right.
JL: ..for a bit of fun.
VO: Although if you were looking to party in the 1760s, then perhaps this chamber organ, which stands 12½ feet high, would be just the job.
ALASTAIR: ..a two person job.
In other words, you have to have the player... KD: Yes.
ALASTAIR: ..who was the squire, and then the poor lackey, the servant, would have the job of pumping the wind at the side.
JL: Pumping the wind?
You know... you know what's coming, don't you?
KD: Yeah, yeah.
JL: Poor lackey, yeah!
As the lackey, I'll pump the wind!
Now, we... We definitely need... VO: And on the keyboard, it's Katie Derham.
So what's it to be this time?
SHE PLAYS: "Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside" VO: Actually, Katie, poppet, maybe it is time to stop believin' and give someone else a go.
I can play it with one finger!
You've gotta be able to do better than that, Alastair, I'll try the chords, if you want.
Try the chords?
Yeah, go on.
ALASTAIR: Are you... are you OK?
JL: Yes, I'm happy pumping.
He's about to have a heart attack and I'm about to be upstaged!
I know my place!
VO: So, once again, take it away, Alastair!
HE PLAYS: "Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside" There's normally water!
VO: Oh, dear - that's awkward!
Get the oxygen!
Unable to find that special something in Westerham, Braxton and Conti are headed, in a leisurely fashion, yet further north.
TC: I wonder what the others have bought.
I haven't a clue.
James plays things quite close to his chest.
TC: I was quite safe.
I'm not going to say anything about Katie's chest.
Yes, I... VO: Oh, no!
We don't want any of that!
This is a family show!
Our next stop on this celebrity road trip is the small village of Brasted.
It's here you'll find Courtyard Antiques, which, as it suggests on the tin, is three separate buildings, surrounding one central courtyard, and it's home to 23 different dealers, so that could make negotiations a tad complicated.
Thank you, Hopkins.
Very well done.
VO: Great shades.
Mark you, the lads seem to be quite taken by the first thing they've seen - this rather striking bust.
Although I have just one question - who on Earth is it?
Lenin, isn't it?
Is it Lenin?
Russian revolutionary and creator of the Soviet Communist Party?
It is certainly not him.
I love these big busts.
Who is it, Tom?
Do you know?
Signed by artist but it doesn't... "The French plaster."
Given a sort of bronze finish.
JB: I can't resist busts.
I like them myself!
JB: I think they're so good.
(LAUGHTER) JB: What?
Oh, go... James, you're so naive.
You see, I'm such a nice innocent.
VO: Ah, yes.
Much as I love a little double entendre myself, the boys need to get a wiggle on, because the competition is just next door - literally.
That's lovely, isn't it?
Sweet little thing, isn't it?
"18th century mahogany pot cupboard."
We know what kind of pot they're talking about, don't we?
VO: Yes - the potty pot.
JL: How much?
I've got 300 smackers in here but not 985.
Get a proper toilet for that!
VO: Just as well there's plenty more to see, then, and before long, James is once again drawn to the Orient.
Though he's not a huge fan of the price tag - £195.
Would this be a sort of... a copy of a Chinese style?
This is... Yeah, Chinese but the styles were... um... traditionally taken from one generation to another, so whereas we often say that today that a lot of the Chinese are faking things, in earlier periods, the fact that it had an 18th century mark but was made in the 19th century wasn't necessarily to fool - it was just in homage.
But this really is late 19th/early 20th century, but let's just find out how much it is.
OK. Has it got a price on it?
What's the best that that could be?
I'm looking for a fabulous deal here.
Something that's going to make us jump up and down with joy.
Oh, that's not fabulous!
160, I guess... 160.
..is the best I could do.
What was it marked as?
There it's there.
VO: So in other words, let the search continue.
They're just not... Oh, but... Oh, you're not gonna buy that, are you?!
Oh, no - it's a catastrophe.
It's absolutely... No, I wouldn't...
I'd advise strongly against it!
Don't worry - we're not!
You are now an expert, like me - much like me!
Yeah, absolutely - I know everything!
Everything there is to know!
Did you buy anything this morning?
No - we can't find a damn thing.
(THEY LAUGH) JB: No, we... we have not.
TC: It's a worry, it's a worry.
JB: It is a worry.
Which... We can't stand around, chatting, come on.
Tom... Tom, shall we leave them, leave them to it?
VO: Actually, Braxton has an agenda.
He still wants to get his hands on that bust, despite the fact that no one - including me - knows exactly who it is.
Most busts tend to be of monarchs, politicians or... composers.
It's very interesting how... That's just the bust of a bloke?
It's a bust of a bloke.
How would we go about identifying it, if it is someone of any note?
Erm... you would... er... National Portrait Gallery would be probably the first.
Er... Well, it's quite an exciting thought, isn't it?
TC: It may be quite good fun.
It's a race against time.
VO: But if our chappie here turns out to be someone famous, well, there could be good money to be made.
So, we got... What've we got on the back?
We've got a sculptor's name here, it's signed, and dated 1887.
Oh, look - there's the opposition.
They're looking at a vase.
Well then, let's buy that, quickly, before they do.
TC: What did Flaubert look like?
JB: I don't know.
I don't know.
He does look of that era, though, doesn't he?
Slightly more comfortable... um... What era?
I hope not!
It's a real antique!
Very, very old.
Ignore those two - the important questions now are: Can you put a name to this face before the auction?
And have you seen the price tag?
It says £395!
Well, it's a...
It would be an adventurous purchase.
It would be a... a bit of fun.
Shall we ask, Tom, what their - fingers crossed - what...?
Should we ask what...?
What his best price is?
Well... what'll it be.
VO: Now I did you tell that there are 23 dealers based in this antiques center, and it seems most of them are here today.
But which one will it be to give our boys the best price?
VO: Hm... not her.
She definitely won't.
The man in the cap!
Got it up for 395... Yeah.
..25... 25%'s about... about me limit on that.
Er... love to be able to help you but... it's what it cost me.
Don't drive yourself into a corner, sir.
I'll be honest...
I'll be honest with you.
I'm pretty much in that corner at the moment.
JB: It's a gamble for us... DEALER: It's a gamble, yeah.
..because we'd like to do a sort of quick scramble... Yeah.
..tomorrow and try and... identify it.
It would be lovely if you could do 250.
There's very short profit.
I'll push it down to 280.
That's... That's really my limit.
We can just do that, can't we?
If you can do 280... VO: Oh, James!
You don't look too sure, mate!
What d'you want to do?
I hope I've done the addition!
JB: (LAUGHS) No, we can, Tom.
OK - you're OK with that?
Thanks very much.
Excuse me - I'm just gonna pop out and have a cry.
I won't... VO: So now it's a race against time, as Braxton and Conti try to discover the identity of our mystery man, and at £280, I sure hope it's worth the gamble!
Now, in this shop at least, news travels fast.
They've been buying!
Oh, have they?
They bought the bust!
D'you think they did?
They did, yeah.
Right - the pressure's on now.
VO: Yes, James, it is, but you do have £300 in the coffers, so don't be afraid to spend it, eh?
Lot of money for a ladle, isn't it?
Maybe it's a special, magic ladle, I don't know!
It's quite heavy.
It's got a bit of weight to it - is that what you say?!
That's what we're looking for.
Ooh... KD: It's possibly the ugliest clock I've ever seen in my life!
JL: That is vile!
W... W... DEALER: 210.
JL: (SIGHS) I looked at those - tinsel pictures.
But believe it or not, these are really quite collectable.
Um... Oh, it's a lot of money!
VO: So, after much consideration, what big ticket item are Katie and James going to go for?
JL: This bronze lion here... DEALER: Oh, yes, yes.
JL: How much is that?
I'd do that for 55.
Can we have a look?
Is that it, then?
KD: He's quite a handsome fellow, isn't he?
JL: I think he's quite handsome.
He's... KD: Smiling at us.
And I think... um...
I think that's one of those "What are we going to get our godson for his 21st?"
I can... Know what I mean?
I can imagine it as a... You know, in one of those very fine, big country houses, as a desk weight.
JL: Er... so OK - go on, then.
You've got it for 40.
JL: For... 40?
KD: I'm happy with that.
And I... and I clearly am the expert here, so...!
I think that's fair enough.
35 and you've got a deal.
You're screwing me, it's gotta be 40.
It's got to be 40.
What d'you think?
You heard me already, I think that's good.
If the auctioneer's going up in fives... Yeah?
..give us £1 off for luck, then we might make £1 out of it.
You want it for 39?
Sounds better, that's all!
VO: Well, let's hear it from the last of the big spenders!
(SAD FANFARE) VO: Right then - with the shopping done, let's motor on, as it's time to reunite our contestants.
JB: There's great ambient heat in this car, isn't there?
Is it on fire?!
JB: I don't... (THEY LAUGH) VO: Team Conti and Team Derham, please reveal to each other what you've bought.
What of that?
Look at that.
Isn't that special?
Fine bit of painting, that.
JL: It is.
KD: Well, yes.
This is what you got very excited about, isn't it?
Well, I-I thought it was alright but I...
I think it's probably Worcester, don't you?
I think it should be Worcester.
JL: Do you?
TC: Oh, I see... JB: Little ring box.
Isn't that pretty?
I would say around 150.
JL: We paid 50.
JB: Well done.
That's a terrific profit, if... if that's the case.
If it... if it... well... VO: As for Tom and James's mystery man, no news yet, I'm afraid.
JB: Yes... Do you recognize it?
KD: We like this gentleman.
JL: "How much is that?"
"I'm afraid it's sold" was the... KD: Yeah.
JL: ..was the response, yeah.
KD: So who do you think's going to bid for him tomorrow?
Obviously a lady or a gentleman of taste.
It's someone who's looking for something... im... imposing to put on their hall table.
Yes, and pretend is their great grandfather.
VO: And then there's this.
What do you think, James?
Is it real or a very good fake?
I think it's 19th century.
19th century, yeah.
Er... that's what I thought it was... Amazing, isn't it?
..as opposed to... 2005, that most of them are!
I... Chinese is quite... you know, they're after certain things, aren't they?
They love their jade and things like that.
Erm... to what extent they're busily buying their 19th century bronze I don't know.
Yeah, this is our second item!
KD: Oh, good Lord!
Matron, what's that?
JL: They're good!
Oh, that's a hair ornament, isn't it?
VO: Oh, Katie!
And you were making such good progress, girl!
The clue is in the gloves.
KD: Stretching fingers?
TC: Stretching, yeah.
Altogether I would say... s... £80.
I think they're worth that, at least.
We paid 28.
I think that that, so far... That's... yeah.
..is the best out of all of them.
Are you ready?
What you just need to remember with this is you don't realize how much every home needs one of these.
TC: (LAUGHS) JL: Are you ready to be ridden?
There we go.
JL: Apparently, it's an Afghan saddle.
TC: Afghan saddle.
When I saw this, I suddenly had this... this vision of all sorts of people with... wonderful sort of expensive loft apartments, KD: wanting interesting things.
And just... somebody might spot that and think, "Ooh - great towel rack!"
Towel rack, absolutely!
You know, or perhaps a plant holder.
A sort of curiosity really, have... haven't you?
You think "What the heck is that?!"
It'd be a good talking point, wouldn't it?
KD: In your flat.
Here we are.
We've gone for a bit of Oriental.
JB: It is the most... JL: Ooh.
Oh, that's pretty.
JL: That's lovely - but broken.
JB: It is broken.
If you shove that in a tank and extracted the 22-karat gold off that, there is more than £22 of gold on that.
And that's the attitude I love to hear from an antiques expert!
Soak it down... JB: I think there's a couple of grams of gold in that.
TC: Hey... KD: Look at this fella.
JB: He looks as though he's got a bit of age, doesn't he?
JL: He looks Regency, doesn't he?
KD: And would make a nice paperweight!
It would make a nice one.
Yes, it's very nice, it's really nice.
You can imagine that in a big, country house, couldn't you?
On a smart desk.
Go on - what d'you... what d'you think?
TC: 40 quid?
JB: I don't...
I think they're quite crafty... Yeah, I was gonna go 30 to 50 they paid for it.
JB: How much d'you pay?
KD: They're a bit good KD: aren't they, today?
JL: Go on, then.
No - 39!
Well done, Tom!
JB: That's very good.
JB: And the last one... TC: And the last one... JL: It's this table, isn't it!
KD: Oh, this is such a trick!
Look at this!
That's a really good trick!
Oh, well done.
D'you know, we should've dropped that lion, shouldn't we?!
I just love everything that's slightly over-engineered.
Wh... why... Ja... Why is that, James?!
99% of occasional tables have four legs.
This one... six.
What's happened to this leg here?
Don't worry about that.
Don't you worry about that.
That leg's been off.
KD: They've had his leg off.
Well, good job it's got another five!
VO: Well, quite a positive reception there.
But what do our competitors really think?
You see, if I walked into a house and saw a bust, I'd say "Who's that?"
KD: "We don't know."
Maybe we'll find out but we don't know."
And... yes he's a handsome and sort of serious-looking fellow, but unless you're gonna lie and say, "Oh, yes - "he was my great grandfather.
He was a mill owner, you know."
Or, "He was a composer, yes."
I... Yeah, I mean...
I like it, actually... JL: Yeah.
KD: I like it - but it was an awful lot of money.
I like it, I think it's striking but I think it's too much.
It's great fun to have bought that crazy saddle thing...
I know - it is funny, isn't it?
They had more guts than we.
I must say, his enthusiasm, I think, for the Chinese incense burner is a bit misplaced.
In my experience, they haven't... you know, the Chinese are after certain things.
The ordinary they tend to skirt over.
VO: After kicking off in Lewes, sadly our celebrity road trip comes to an end in Wandsworth, South London.
VO: And it's here at Criterion Auctions that Katie Derham and James Lewis, Mr Tom Conti and James Braxton now gather, each team hoping to fetch London prices, and of course, be declared the winner.
Is this your first auction?
It's the first one in about 20 years.
The first... first time I've ever tried to sell anything.
And hopefully it won't be the last.
Both teams began this journey with £400 in their pocket, and two days later, Team Conti has spent an impressive £342 on four auction lots.
Team Derham, meanwhile, has been a little frugal, parting with just £139, also for four auction lots.
VO: Now it may look like no-one's actually turned up for the auction, but the bidders are here - they're just hiding.
So let the auction begin.
First up, it's James and Katie's Chinese incense burner, which we are now all convinced is 19th century.
20, if you like.
KD: Oh... Come on.
AUCTIONEER: 10's bid.
KD: Oh, come on.
AUCTIONEER: At £10, we're away.
KD: Oh, not 10.
KD: Oh... no!
Oh, come on, oh, come on, oh, come on.
Are we all done for 35?
VO: The good news is that's a £5 profit.
And the bad news?
There's still commission to pay.
That was our big hope.
VO: Next it's Team Conti's inspired lot of ladies' gloves and a pair of Cantonese glove stretchers.
Interest at 40 and five.
At £45... 45?
50 now - well done.
At £40 I'm out... JB: Keep going.
JL: Come on.
At £50, are we all done for 50?
That's alright, that's alright - there's a profit.
Steady little work there.
VO: Come on, cheer up, Tom - that's still a £22 profit, pre-commission.
VO: Meanwhile, Team Derham's next great hope is this Venetian brass paperweight.
At £20 somewhere.
10 is bid.
15... JL: Oh, what?!
KD: Come on.
At £45 now.
JL: Come on!
KD: Come on.
JL: One more.
KD: Come on.
Are we done?
At 45... We end on 45.
VO: I won't lie - it's not looking good, is it?
So on we go to that six-legged table.
An Edwardian, inlaid mahogany occasional table.
(SHOUTING) Oh, very well shaped... VO: Which James Braxton is now risking a small hernia to display.
He's a desperate man.
VO: Yes, it's true.
Tenner if you like.
10 is bid.
At £15, are we all done?
Six legs - have a look.
AUCTIONEER: All done for 15?
Oh, lovely and heavy, it is.
AUCTIONEER: And lovely and heavy - he's a strong lad!
At 15... And away we go at 15, and gone.
VO: Oh, don't worry, James - there's a medicinal brandy on the way.
See, that's why you should never hold up items.
I killed that one.
VO: And despite the excruciating pain, I'm afraid that's still a loss, putting Team Derham into first place.
And now these two are hoping that the Royal Worcester inlay of their jewelry box will finally get this lot excited.
Again, with interest, 55 got.
At £55, are we all done for 55?
60 - I'm out.
85, we're at the back now, at 85.
Are we done?
110 way back.
At 110... VO: Oh, my!
Look at that!
This party's off the hook!
140, telephoned money.
Are we all done at 140?
JL: Well done.
JB: Well done, well done.
KD: That's alright isn't it?
KD: That's OK isn't it?
VO: It's more than OK, Katie!
You've just made £90 profit before commission - wow!
Mind you... this Satsuma dish can't fail to make a profit, as James and Tom didn't pay a penny for it.
50 if you like.
And here to go, 20, then.
20 is bid.
At £20 away... That's not ours.
It is, Tom.
25, new place.
We all done at 25?
JB: It is a profit.
TC: It's a profit.
Because we bought it for zero.
VO: It's a much-needed win for Team Conti.
But they're still on the back foot.
VO: And next it's the item Katie and James believed loft-living Londoners would go crazy for - it's the Afghan saddle.
And £100 for him.
KD: Oh, come on!
Thi... 30 is bid.
At £30 now.
KD: Oh no... At £30 now.
Are we all done AUCTIONEER: for 30?
JL: Come on!
Help the cause.
At 30, somewhere?
At 30... oh, five.
AUCTIONEER: In competition now.
JL: Come on!
AUCTIONEER: At £40... JL: That's better!
Are we all done at 40?
KD: No, it's gotta be more than that.
(GAVEL) BOTH: Ugh!
VO: Oh, well - perhaps London's not quite ready for Katie's interior design tips.
Finally, it's Tom and James's bust, and in case you're wondering, the research has been done, so we can now reveal the mystery man is... ..Augustine Gilson... ..a-not-so well-known Belgian bloke, who was high up in the tram business.
So, any takers?
Marked thing indeed - interest indeed.
150 I have.
It's in at 150!
AUCTIONEER: Five I'll take.
JL: Go on!
JL: Go on!
JL: Go on!
AUCTIONEER: At £200.
Someone's on the blower!
Perhaps to Belgium.
240... VO: Oh, no - wrong number.
KD: That was much better than... Much better than I anticipated.
It wasn't such a catastrophic loss, no?
No, it wasn't!
VO: That's right.
Still, at least you haven't gone... bust.
(DRUM RIMSHOT) VO: Thank you.
Wow, that's it!
That is it.
That's the last lot, folks.
I think we're up - as a group.
I don't know.
I don't know.
VO: Oh, dear!
Well, allow me.
Both teams began with £400 each, and after commission, Tom Conti's foray into the world of antiques has seen him make an overall loss of £71.40.
So Tom and James end their road trip with £328.60.
Such a dirty shame.
VO: As for the lovely Katie Derham, the cautious approach has obviously paid off.
After commission, she and James have made a profit of £74.20, giving them a grand - and winning - total of £474.20, and enough time for another hair flick.
What do you think?
I hate auctions!
I hate them!
You're an auctioneer!
It's not good, is it?!
TC: Yes... And that old phrase, "He who dares wins."
Well, you dared with that bronze or the... the bust... TC: Yeah.
JL: And you didn't win.
TC: We didn't win.
JB: We didn't win.
JL: We did!
(THEY LAUGH) We're alright, Jack!
And off we go!
Come on - let's go for a beer!
It has been good though.
VO: Oh yes - what a steep learning curve it's been.
We found out all about precious metals.
What is the gold stuff?
It is gold.
VO: We discovered Afghan towel rails aren't as much fun as you might think.
VO: And of course, we now know to beware of strange men from Belgium.
I love these big busts.
VO: Me too.
The money our celebrities and experts raise in this series will go to Children In Need.
So thank you, everyone - especially today's winners, Katie Derham and James Lewis.