The roadshow winds forever on…

Antiques Roadshow just keeps on trucking, doesn’t it? Personally I find it a source of huge comfort in our ever-changing world. There will always be an England whilst there’s a new series of AR showing on Sunday nights.

It gives a peculiar insight into the middle-of-the-road genius of the English: drenched in civility, conducted with humour but with a very beady eye on what things are worth. You can see how they almost inadvertently ended up with an empire.

The audience has remained very steady over the years, an indication that there’s always a new generation to take an interest (and why wouldn’t they? You need to keep an appraising eye on the inheritance). Fiona Bruce, something of a young person herself, at least in AR terms, has done a seamless job in picking up and refreshing the presenting role. But then they never seem to put a foot wrong here.

There appear to be two main criteria for presenting AR: firstly, you must be well-spoken (I believe I’m right in saying that they’ve only ever employed former news readers with the exception of that unique treasure Arthur Negus); secondly, you must emit a particularly English, low-key, almost diffident, loveliness. All the presenters have had these qualities in spades (I think the latter quality might even be defined as Aspelesque) and Fiona Bruce is no exception.

Anyway, a token of how Antiques Roadshow keeps finding a new audience is the not-so-young-now Adam and Joe celebrating the programme with a ‘rap’:

You’re bored, it’s Sunday, 6.15,
There’s nothing else on the TV
Check it out now, it’s the Antiques Roadshow,
Looking at old stuff, seeing if it’s worth dough

The sun is bright, the crowds polite,
And mostly white, but that’s alright
Check it out now, it’s the Antiques Roadshow
Looking at old stuff, seeing if it’s worth dough…

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12 thoughts on “The roadshow winds forever on…

  1. Worm
    October 19, 2010 at 20:07

    I remember once being at a posh dinner party round a huge table in the 1980’s with my parents and my rather drunken father was telling the grey haired chap opposite him how utterly tedious he found the Antiques Roadshow. The chap just smiled, raised an eyebrow and said “Oh, really?” The lady host at the end of the table then introduced him as “Hugh Scully, presenter of the Antiques Roadshow”


    October 19, 2010 at 20:41

    Nice one Worm.

    This Mitchell & Webb take on Sunday BBC telly was pretty good…

    October 19, 2010 at 21:51

    Adam and Joe have it in a nutshell, it’s so English like the ravens in the Tower, if it disappears, we’re stuffed.

    October 19, 2010 at 21:58

    ‘…drenched in civility, conducted with humour but with a very beady eye on what things are worth.’ Beautifully put (although sadly the civility sometimes wears a little thin these days).

    October 19, 2010 at 23:36

    Brilliant! But I still miss Arthur Negus.

    Gadjo Dilo
    October 20, 2010 at 05:54

    I’ve never seen this programme, sorry. I dread to think how it work if it was tryed over here: “So, Vlad, this giant iron trap is clearly either for catching bears or Gypsies, or maybe your grandfather had hoped to use it on some Hungarians one day. You could probably get 50p for it as scrap metal, or just keep it hanging on your living-room wall.

  7. Gaw
    October 20, 2010 at 07:44

    Hugh Scully looked rather like a woodland creature, a bit Wind in the Willows. I would hate to have seen any hurt in those big brown eyes. Worm, I hope you weren’t scarred for life by the experience.

    Brit, I’m finding Sunday nights hard-going nowadays (with the exception of AR, of course). The schedulers appear to have designated it ‘misery night’. There’s always a couple of completely harrowing programmes on – involving, say, death of loved ones or cancer.

    Malty, I think you’re right. I think cancelling might well precipitate some sort of genteel uprising.

    Thanks z. AR is a sort of time capsule for traditional civilities. Perhaps a cultural antique itself.

    Susan, don’t we all? What a great name too.

    Gadjo: I literally struggle to imagine how you can never have watched this programme. And I would love to watch your local version.

    Gadjo Dilo
    October 20, 2010 at 08:50

    🙂 You wouldn’t, though, you really wouldn’t: apart from classical music concerts it’s all a bit rubbish.

    October 20, 2010 at 09:40

    Well now there’s Downton Abbey of course, for a really good soapy Sunday night wallow in country houses, Edwardian dress and Maggie Smith as, just for a change, a Formidable Aunt.

    ian russell
    October 20, 2010 at 12:41

    I’m amazed at its chronic popularity. I mean, the last thing I’d think of as worthwhile or entertaining is looking at other people’s knick-knacks.

  11. Gaw
    October 20, 2010 at 13:01

    My wife isn’t a fan but she always starts paying attention if something’s being valued that her grandparents might have owned.

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