14 May 2012 | MartinHafer
An American's view of this lovely show....
I am one of the few Americans who used to watch this British version of "Antiques Roadshow"--long before the American version came to Public Television here in the States. Because the Brits made the first, they are to be commended on taking such a simple idea and making it work. And, work it did, as the show has been on for over 30 years!! There are a few things I really like about the British version--mostly the nice outdoor settings as well as the sorts of items you see on the show (things most Americans would rarely, if ever, see). However, I don't give the show a higher score for one uniquely British reason. The reactions of many of the guests are AMAZINGLY muted. So, for example, when lady learns that her Rembrandt she picked up at a rummage sale is an original and is worth 139023941034092321 quid, I am gobsmacked (a good British word) that the reaction is so little! And, when the public does react, I noticed that they are frequently Americans living in the UK! This is NOT an anti-British statement--I am just saying that for viewers it's less fun to watch because the folks rarely seem very happy when they learn their trinkets are, in fact, worth a fortune. Still, it's a brilliantly simple idea that has stood the test of time and we Americans owe the BBC folks our thanks.