Sunday, September 2, 2007

The extraordinary Tim Wonnacott

I watch Bargain Hunt on BBC1 more regularly than any other TV programme.

I say "watch". I don't listen to it.

This is because it is shown on the TV screen in front of my face when I do my treadmill exertions three times a week in the gym.

The sound is always turned down and replaced by the overwhelming blast of Capital Radio.

Nevertheless, I have grown very familiar with the Bargain Hunt.

Tim Wonnacott's dress is extraordinary. Does he get all that remarkable clothing provided by the BBC or is it actually his clothes?

On one show, Tim Wonnacott was standing there in darkish orange trilby hat, pink shirt. blue and green spotted bow tie, striking brown checked tweed suit and a purple waistcoat with gold watch chain. Next to him was a male expert who had on a straw boater, a pink and blue striped bow tie, a green shirt and a purple and blue striped jacket.

It was like watching a camp Edwardian picnic party.

I notice that Tim Wonnacott has a "nod and wink" style with the viewer which is very endearing, in contrast to the rather unnerving David "Cheap as chips" Dickinson. And, of course, Wonnacott is very authoritative on his antiques, having been a director of Sothebys.

It is marvellous to see Tim Wonnacott doing so well, given that he attended the same school as me, I understand, in the wilds of Exmoor. He started as a humble junior auctioneer with John Smale and partners in Barnstaple, as a recent BBC1 programme showed us.

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