Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Lock of Napoleon's hair discovered in brand new series of Antiques Road Trip

The brand new series of popular BBC Two Daytime show Antiques Road Trip kicks off next month with a remarkable discovery, as an extraordinary hidden treasure is uncovered at Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott's home in the Scottish Borders.

During a visit to the estate in Melrose, top antiques expert Anita Manning and Abbotsford's Jason Dyer examine a blotter book belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the many historic relics on display at the house. To their astonishment, the book reveals a small handwritten note dated 8 November 1827, written to Sir Walter Scott from a Mr Dalton and containing a lock of Napoleon's hair.

In his note, Mr Dalton explains that the lock of hair was given to him by Lt Col. Elphinstone who served under Wellington, and he believes it would be of great interest to Scott, who was notorious for his passion for collecting wild and wonderful things from across the world.

Jason Dyer, Chief Executive, The Abbotsford Trust, said: "We're obviously very pleased and excited by this latest rediscovery at Abbotsford. As part of a £14 million regeneration of this important historic house and its contents, we have recently begun the process of cataloguing and conserving Sir Walter Scott's incredible collections. We hope to uncover even more fascinating treasures in the coming months."

Wendy Rattray, Executive Producer at STV, said: "We're delighted to kick off the new series of Antiques Road Trip with a truly breathtaking find at Abbotsford. Our experts are always on the lookout for hidden treasures as they drive across the UK but never did we imagine we'd find something of such historical importance. It just goes to show that there are still hidden gems waiting to be discovered and our experts are still managing to thrill and excite the audience with their finds."

The popular TV series, produced by STV Productions, returns to BBC Two Daytime for a third series on Monday 12 September at 5.15pm, and will once again follow Britain's best-loved antique experts as they travel across Britain in classic vintage cars, hunting down rare and valuable antiques bargains to sell at a profit. The episode featuring Abbotsford will air on Wednesday 14 September.

In 30 brand new daily episodes, 12 antiques experts set off on a nail-biting road trip across the country to put their wits and knowledge to the test, competing in pairs to make the biggest profit buying and selling antiques.

Returning for the new series, top antique experts Anita Manning, Mark Stacey, Philip Serrell, Thomas Plant, Charlie Ross, Charles Hanson, James Braxton, Jonathan Pratt, David Barby and David Harper all have their eyes firmly on the prize, while newcomers Catherine Southon and Paul Laidlaw are just as ready for a fight.

Each week, a different pair of experts will set out on a cross-country challenge through some of the most beautiful parts of Britain, searching local antique shops and markets for hidden gems. With a starting budget of £200 the experts will go head to head, both determined to be the one with the biggest profit at the end of the week.

The series follows the following format:

Week one: Anita Manning and Mark Stacey kick off the brand new series in Scotland before taking their road trip to North East England. (Daily from Monday 12 September at 5.15pm)

Week two: In week two, Philip Serrell and newcomer Catherine Southon travel through Scotland and on to North West England. (Daily from Monday 19 September at 5.15pm)

Week three: Thomas Plant and Paul Laidlaw, also new to the series, take the competition to the Midlands and South of England. (Daily from Monday 26 September at 5.15pm)

Week four: Charlie Ross and Charles Hanson hit the road in week four, travelling through North East, East and South East of England. (Daily from Monday 3 October at 5.15pm)

Week five: James Braxton and Jonathan Pratt begin this week's journey in North West England before heading to West Midlands and the South West to seek out more profit. (Daily from Monday 10 October at 5.15pm)

Week six: In the final week of the series we follow David Barby and David Harper as they visit Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland and Wales. (Daily from Monday 17 October at 5.15pm)

The second series of Antiques Road Trip was hugely successful, attracting an average audience of 2.3m and a 14% share, and delivering one of BBC Two's biggest audience shares for the teatime slot in three years.

Antiques Road Trip is made by STV Productions for BBC Two. The BBC executive producer for Antiques Road Trip is Jo Street and for STV is Wendy Rattray.


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