Excitement is mounting as two new BBC shows - Antiques Under the Hammer and Antiques hit the road - are being aired on TV this week. A BBC spokesperson said to me that there seems to be a great hunger for more antique programming, and that it is up to them to satisfy that desire.
When I queried that statement, and pointed out that no other TV channel bothers with programs about antiques, he seemed upset.
He replied, "Why would they compete with us when we have practically every antique dealer in Britain working for us?"
The Independent Television Channels Organisation is also bemused with the BBC's obsession with antiques. Their Chief Executive told me that there are many other types of cheap TV that the BBC could produce instead, more game shows, for example.
On the criticism of antique overload, the BBC's spokesperson said, "All our programs are completely different: Cash in the Attic is for people who want to sell their antiques for cash. Flog it is for people with only one antique to sell for cash. Bargain Hunt is to show that normal people cannot price antiques, and usually end up losing cash. Antiques Roadshow is for posh people to show off their antiques that they wouldn't dream of selling for cash."
Finally, he gave me a list of the coming season of antique shows:
- The Antique Factor
- Meet the Antiquarians
- Ant and Dec's Antiques and Decorative Objects
- Britain's Got Antiques
- Help, I'm an Antiques Dealer, Get Me Out of Here!
For the complete list see the Radio Times or go to BBC.co.antiques/antique related/far too/many/antiques