A great time hunting down antique bargains with Jo Brand

TV antiques expert CATHERINE SOUTHON is staging her first auction of 2023, on February 8 at Farleigh Golf Club. But as she outlines here, she’s been busy driving around the country looking for bargains with a fellow Palace fan

Road trip: Jo Brand (left) was an antiques enthusiast when recording with Catherine Southon (right) at this dealer’s shop in Kent

I am very fortunate with my career in the world of antiques and as a BBC expert, as I get to work with some incredibly talented people and some fascinating celebrities.

As part of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, we get to travel the length and breadth of the country shopping with celebrities and sending the items to auction in a desperate attempt to make a profit.

Regular viewers will appreciate that this is a lot harder than it sounds. Although we do manage to find items that make a profit, it is not aways the regular occurrence that we would like.

I have been working on Celebrity Antiques Road Trip for many years and have worked with some great talent including actors, presenters, Olympians, politicians and comedians. One of the first road trips that I filmed was with Craig Revel Horwood from Strictly Come Dancing and politician Anne Widdecombe on the south coast. Both were a real hoot and surprisingly competitive – and of course Anne won!

Last summer I was paired up with comedian Jo Brand, and I must admit I was a little apprehensive before the filming as I know she is known for being rather outspoken.

However, we hit off immediately and our mutual love of Crystal Palace Football Club cemented our friendship on the road.

Our first stop was a fantastic antique centre in Chilham, near Canterbury in Kent. Jo was fascinated by all the antiques and had a genuine interest in the items which is really refreshing – there is nothing worse than a celeb that would much rather be somewhere else. Within an hour of browsing the shop we had purchased our first three items and were on the road to the next shop.

Jo was incredibly professional although she wasn’t that keen on the driving – we had been lumbered with an old Land Rover that drove like a tank and the brakes were a little temperamental. One of the highlights of the filming for me was a member of the public running out from her cottage with her autograph book and thrusting it through the window when Jo was attempting a hill start while being filmed!!

Up for sale: this George I Chinoiserie chest is one of 700 lots to be auctioned at Farleigh on Feb 8

The auction in that episode was a huge success. The viewing took place at Leeds Castle. However, the item that we were convinced would make us money bombed and one lesser piece made us £200 profit and meant that we were the winning team.

But that’s auctions for you – totally unpredictable!

We will be staging the first of our own regular auctions at Farleigh Golf Club in Warlingham on Wednesday, February 8, from 10am, with viewings there on the Monday and Tuesday, February 6 and 7. The full catalogue will be available online on my company’s website here.

If you have something that you would like auctioned, please call us on 020 8468 1010, or visit us at one our valuation days listed below:

Tue Jan 17 12pm-4pm: Oxted Community Hall, RH8 9NB
Thu Jan 19 1.30pm-4pm: King Charles the Martyr Church, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5TA
Fri Jan 20 10am-1pm: Crowborough Community Centre, TN6 1FE
Fri Jan 27 10am-1pm: The Old Chapel, Chislehurst, BR7 5AP
Mon Jan 30 10am-1pm: Uckfield Civic Centre, TN22 1AE
Wed Feb 1 9.30am-12.30pm: Ashted Peace Memorial Hall, K21 2BE

We will also be holding a valuation day at Farleigh Golf Club on Monday February 20, from 10am to 1pm.

  • Listen to out Under The Flyover podcast with Catherine Southon here:

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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