Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow title logo
Created byBBC Studios
Theme music composerPaul Reade and Tim Gibson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series44
No. of episodes866 (list of episodes)
Running time60 minutes
Production companyBBC Studios Factual Entertainment Productions
Original networkBBC One
Original release18 February 1979 (1979-02-18) –

Antiques Roadshow is a British television programme broadcast by the BBC in which antiques appraisers travel to various regions of the United Kingdom (and occasionally in other countries) to appraise antiques brought in by local people (generally speaking). It has been running since 1979, based on a 1977 documentary programme.[1]

The series has spawned many international versions throughout Europe, North America and other countries with the same TV format. The program is hosted by Fiona Bruce and it is in its 44th series.[2]


Paul Atterbury examines an antique cricket bat
Paul Atterbury examines an antique cricket bat

The programme began as a BBC documentary that aired in 1977, about a London auction house doing a tour of the West Country in England. The pilot roadshow was recorded in Hereford on 17 May 1977 and presented by contributor Bruce Parker, a presenter of the news/current affairs programme Nationwide, and antiques expert Arthur Negus, who had previously worked on a similarly themed show, called Going for a Song. The pilot was so successful that it was transmitted and the format has remained almost unchanged ever since. Negus appeared on Antiques Roadshow until 1983. In the original BBC programme, various towns or famous places are advertised as venues. The show has since visited a number of other countries (including Canada in 2001 and Australia in 2005) and has been imitated by other TV production companies around the world.

In the United Kingdom, annual children's Christmas specials aired from 1991 until 2006, under the title Antiques Roadshow: The Next Generation (except for the 1991 edition, which was titled Antiques Roadshow Going Live) and used a specially reworked version of the regular theme music. However, there was no children's special in 2007; instead an edition was devoted to "antiques of the future" dating from the 1950s to the present day. Since then individually themed specials have been aired, though not every year.

A spin-off programme, 20th Century Roadshow, focusing on modern collectibles, aired between April and June 2005. It was hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. Two other spin-off programmes, Antiques Roadshow Gems (1991) and Priceless Antiques Roadshow (2009–10), revisited items from the show's history and provided background information on the making of the show and interviews with the programme's experts.

In the 1980s, a girl wrote in to Jim'll Fix It to ask if Jimmy Savile would "fix it" for her to "accidentally" drop and smash a seemingly valuable vase in an episode of the show. This was broadcast as part of a regular edition, as well as in the Jim'll Fix It episode, with many of the Roadshow spectators looking on in astonishment, until antiques expert David Battie, who retired in 2020, explained the ruse.[citation needed]

The most valuable item to ever appear on the show featured on 16 November 2008. This was an original 1990s maquette of the Angel of the North sculpture by Antony Gormley, owned by Gateshead Council, which was valued at £1,000,000 by Philip Mould.[3] Glassware expert Andy McConnell later valued a collection of chandeliers at seven million pounds (their actual insurance value), noting as he did so that this beat Mould's record; however these were fixtures of the building in which the show was being filmed (Bath Assembly Rooms) rather than an item that had been brought in. In reality, the two most expensive objects to be sold as a result of being discovered on the show are the 1932[4] camera found by Marc Allum, which realised over $600,000 (US) in 2013 and the Christofle et Cie Japonisme jardiniere filmed by Eric Knowles, which sold for £668,450 (including buyers premium).

Conversely, many items brought before the experts are without commercial value, if not outright counterfeits. They are seldom shown in the broadcast episodes, to spare embarrassment for the individuals involved,[5] although counterfeit objects are sometimes included, to give experts an opportunity to explain the difference between real and fake items. Value is not the only criterion for inclusion; items with an interesting story attached, or of a provenance relevant to the show's location, will often be featured regardless of value. An episode commemorating the end of the First World War and featuring personal mementoes, included no valuations. All items are appraised, although most appraisals take place off-camera, with only the most promising items (around 50 on an average day) being filmed, of which about 20 appear in the final programme.[citation needed]

The Artist's Halt in the Desert by Moonlight, watercolour, by Richard Dadd
The Artist's Halt in the Desert by Moonlight, watercolour, by Richard Dadd

Some significant items have been acquired by museums after being sold once their owners were appraised of their true value. An example is the watercolour painting The Artist's Halt in the Desert by Richard Dadd, discovered and shown by Peter Nahum in 1986 and purchased the next year by the British Museum[6] for £100,000.[7] Another such item, later dubbed "Ozzy the Owl", is a Staffordshire slipware jug, valued by Henry Sandon on a 1990 show at £20,000 to £30,000,[7] and subsequently acquired by Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.[8]

The original theme music was Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (for several years in a Moog synthesiser version by Wendy Carlos), but was changed in the early 1990s to an original piece. This theme was written by Paul Reade and Tim Gibson and published by Air Edel.[9]


Visitors (predominantly from the local area) bring along their possessions to be evaluated for authenticity and interest (especially related to the venue) and an approximate valuation is given. The production team selects the items whose appraisal is to be televised. Often, the professional evaluators give a rather in-depth historical, craft, or artistic context to the item, adding a very strong cultural element to the show. This increases the show's appeal to people interested in the study of the past or some particular crafts, or certain arts, regardless of the monetary value of the objects.[citation needed] At the core though, the focus of the production is on the interplay between the owner and the evaluator.


Antiques Roadshow has been hosted by:

Programme experts for 2021/2022

See also: List of Antiques Roadshow episodes

Antiques Roadshow has a team of experts numbering over 60. Many have areas of speciality, some of them are long tenuring experts on the programme.[11]

Arms and militaria

Books and manuscripts

Ceramics and glass

Clocks and watches




Pictures and prints




Main article: List of Antiques Roadshow episodes

Episodes are usually filmed during the spring and summer and aired the following autumn and winter (into the following year). Each location visited is covered by one or two (exceptionally even three) episodes.

Filming and valuation venues for 2020

They were:[15]

Announced venues for 2021

The filming locations for 2021 are:[16]

Items reviewed

Main article: List of Antiques Roadshow episodes

International versions

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In 2005, part of the BBC team visited Australia and produced six one-hour episodes in conjunction with The LifeStyle Channel (XYZnetworks). These were titled Antiques Roadshow Australia.[17] A special was also made about the visit to Australia, entitled Antiques Roadshow Australia: Behind the Scenes.


In Flanders, the television channel VTM has been broadcasting a local version,[18] called Rijker dan je denkt? (in English: Richer than you thought?) since 2012, which is hosted by Staf Coppens.


Eastward Ho! (1857) by Henry Nelson O'Neil was appraised on Canadian Antiques Roadshow
Eastward Ho! (1857) by Henry Nelson O'Neil was appraised on Canadian Antiques Roadshow

In Canada, Canadian Antiques Roadshow – a programme based on the British and American versions[19] - debuted in January 2005 on CBC Television and CBC Newsworld. The show has also been aired on CBC Country Canada. It was hosted by Valerie Pringle.

The most expensive item featured was Henry Nelson O'Neil's "Eastward Ho!" oil on canvas. Recommended insurance: CDN$500,000, later sold at Sotheby's in London for GB£164,800 (about CDN$300,000 at the 2008 exchange rate).


The Finnish version, known as Antiikkia, antiikkia,[20] which just means Antiques, antiques, has been running on YLE TV1 since 1997.


In Germany, various versions are broadcast regularly on the public regional channels of the ARD, the eldest being the BR production Kunst und Krempel (in English: Art and Junk), which came into being in 1985. Other formats include Lieb & teuer (in English: Near & dear), shown on NDR, Kitsch oder Kunst? (in English: Kitsch or Art?), shown on HR, and Echt Antik?! (in English: Genuinely antique?!), shown on SWR.


The show Tussen Kunst & Kitsch has been aired in the Netherlands since 1984.[21] This programme, translating to Between Art & Kitsch, is based on the BBC-format Antiques Roadshow.[22] Shown on the public broadcaster AVRO (since the end of 2014 by AVROTROS), the programme is usually set in a museum in the Netherlands or sometimes in Belgium and Germany. It has become so popular through the years that even specials have been made in which the experts take the viewers on a "cultural-art-trip" to places of great importance in the history of art.

In 2011, a painting of Joost van Geel with the title Het Kantwerkstertje (in English: The Little Lacemaker) was discovered with an estimated value of 250,000 euro, which is the highest validation ever in the show.[23] The programme has been presented by Cees van Drongelen (1984-2002) and Nelleke van der Krogt (2002-2015), celebrating its 30th series in 2014, and features presenter Frits Sissing, since September 2015.


Main article: Antikrundan

The Swedish version started out as a co-production between SVT Malmö and the BBC, where the Antiques Roadshow would visit Scandinavia for two programmes.[24] Antikrundan, its Swedish title, premiered in August 1989 on TV2. Since then, it has been shown on SVT every year.

As of 2019, 30 seasons have been shown and most of the experts have been with the programme since its start. Jesper Aspegren was the original host. He left in 2000, and from the 2001 season Antikrundan is hosted by Anne Lundberg.

The BBC original is also shown regularly on Swedish television, under the name Engelska Antikrundan ("English [sic] Round of Antiques").

United States

Main article: Antiques Roadshow (U.S. TV program)

American public broadcaster PBS created a show in 1997 inspired by the Antiques Roadshow.[25] The American version of Antiques Roadshow is produced by WGBH, a PBS member station in Boston, Massachusetts. Mark Walberg is host and Marsha Bemko is executive producer.

PBS also airs the original BBC programme, though it is called Antiques Roadshow UK to differentiate it from the PBS version. Values of items in United States dollars are often superimposed over the pound sterling values given in the original broadcast.

Related shows


Overseas specials

Hugh Scully hosted a Beaulieu based show on 3 January 1993,[26] a Jamaican based show on 14 February 1993,[27] a Cork based show on 13 February 1994[28] and a Brussels based show on 16 April 1995,[29] all on the BBC.

Antiques Roadshow Detectives

Fiona Bruce together with individual Antiques Roadshow appraisers investigate the history of significant items, uncovering the stories that form the history of family heirlooms and finding out about their origin and authenticity.[30]


This one-season programme was broadcast in 2015 and comprises 15 episodes.[31]

In Sweden it was shown on SVT in Autumn 2018 under the name of Engelska Antikrundan: Arvegodsens hemligheter ("English Round of Antiques: The Secrets of the Heirlooms").[citation needed]


Ellen E Jones of The Independent called the first episode, about a Cromwellian escutcheon, "a welcome addition to the schedules".[32]



The BBC published a monthly Homes & Antiques magazine until 2011, which offered behind-the-scenes insights into Antiques Roadshow, as well as offering tips and advice on buying and evaluating antiques.[33] This magazine still exists, now published by Immediate since 2015.[34]

There is also a spin-off magazine of the American version of the show called Antiques Roadshow Insider, which gives fans an inside look at the show as well as offering special features about antiques and collectibles from the programme itself.

Further reading

See also


  1. ^ "BBC - Cult - Classic TV - BBC - Title Sequences - The Antiques Roadshow". BBC.
  2. ^ "Antiques Roadshow - The team - BBC One". BBC.
  3. ^ "Antiques Roadshow's Highest Valuation Ever", BBC Channel on YouTube. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  4. ^ "Bonhams: An extraordinarily rare Leica Luxus II, 1932". Bonhams. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Antiques Roadshow: Collector left embarrassed after told his expensive 'antique' came from Tesco". Daily Mirror. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Artist's Halt in the Desert by Moonlight by RICHARD DADD". Peter Nahum At The Leicester Galleries. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Singh, Anita (14 October 2008). "Antiques Roadshow memorable moments". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Museum Treasures: Ozzy the Owl". The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  9. ^ Frequently Asked Questions at Archived 25 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Bruce to host Antiques Roadshow". BBC News. 22 June 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  11. ^ "The team".
  12. ^ Watson, Fay (30 December 2020). "David Battie Antiques Roadshow: Why has David Battie quit?". Daily and Sunday Express. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Antiques Roadshow expert Paul Atterbury on Augustus Pugin Antiques expert Paul Atterbury shares his love of the gothic revival work of Augustus Pugin". Homes and Antiques. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Emotions run high on Antiques Roadshow as expert Fergus Gambon uncovers rare dolls worth £200,000". Metro. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  15. ^ "The Antiques Roadshow venues for 2020".
  16. ^ "Antiques Roadshow venues for 2021".
  17. ^ Antiques Roadshow Australia
  18. ^ (in Dutch) Rijker dan je denkt infotainment VTM 2015
  19. ^ Canadian Antiques Roadshow
  20. ^ (in Finnish) Antiikkia, antiikkia
  21. ^ (in Dutch) Official website Archived 11 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, AVROTROS
  22. ^ (in Dutch) Nachtwacht decor van Tussen Kunst en Kitsch, RTL Boulevard
  23. ^ "Duurste vondst ooit bij Kunst en Kitsch: kwart miljoen". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 8 February 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  24. ^ Antiques Road Trip Why it's a vintage period for antiques on television
  26. ^ "Antiques Roadshow (UK): Beaulieu".
  27. ^ "Antiques Roadshow (UK): Jamaica".
  28. ^ "Antiques Roadshow (UK): Cork".
  29. ^ "Antiques Roadshow (UK): Brussels".
  30. ^ "On TV, March 12–18: including Antiques Roadshow Detectives and Black Work - The Listener". Noted. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  31. ^ "BBC Two - Antiques Roadshow Detectives". BBC. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  32. ^ "Antiques Roadshow Detectives, BBC2 - TV review". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  33. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Homes & Antiques magazine creates 1950s living room for Festival of Britain anniversary celebrations". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  34. ^ "Immediate - Homes & Antiques Magazine relaunches with exiting new look in its May issue, on sale 2nd April 2015". Retrieved 22 March 2018.