Nigel Havers’ Bidding Room sounds like a hit for Leith Theatre – Susan Dalgety

The Bidding Room is one of those delightfully easy-to-watch TV programmes that dominate daytime television.
Nigel Havers is the host of the BBC's Bidding Room (Picture: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)Nigel Havers is the host of the BBC's Bidding Room (Picture: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
Nigel Havers is the host of the BBC's Bidding Room (Picture: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

The premise is very simple. Viewers bring along interesting items they think have some value and try to convince one of five antique dealers to pay them a decent price for their precious hoard, all under the urbane and watchful eye of Nigel Havers, a man so genteel, he’s almost an anachronism.

The BBC programme is to move from its current base in Yorkshire to the Leith Theatre, itself a much-loved city treasure that has been sadly under-used in recent years.

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It’s a big coup for the city’s film commission team, Film Edinburgh, who persuaded the show’s production company to make the move north, and a tribute to the trust who brought the venue back to life.

The Bidding Room might not be your cup of afternoon tea, but it attracts a healthy audience and is a significant boost for the theatre and Leith.

The programme’s producers are, as always, on the hunt for people to take part in the show, urging folk to get in touch about their “prized antique, a collectible or anything else you think is desirable”.

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I don’t know about you, but in recent years, I have got rid of most of the “desirable” objects that used to clutter up my home, from some inherited Royal Doulton Toby Jugs to souvenir newspapers of election victories.

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The only collectible I have left is Sean Connery’s autograph, which he scribbled on my invitation to his Freedom of the City ceremony. Oh, and a piece of the Berlin Wall. I doubt if either would cause much excitement in the Bidding Room.

I do have a couple of vintage designer handbags, as reminders of a time when I had more credit cards than sense, but they have been promised to my two granddaughters. My grandsons turned down my Bowie LPs on the premise that he’s dead and they listen to music on their phone.

But I am sure there will soon be a constant stream of people catching the number 10 bus down to Ferry Road with their prized antiques, and I look forward to watching them persuade the hard-bitten dealers to pay what they think it’s worth.

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