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Paul Laidlaw

How do you find life on the road?

In truth I miss my family, though I love being immersed in the fun-but-serious world of Bargain Hunting. It’s all about the thrill of the chase and that intense one-hour roller-coaster ride with the blues or reds.

What is your favourite part of your role?

Being the third member of a three-person team, thrown together to out-buy our oppo’s in just one hour. What a blast

Why did you choose a career in antiques?

Antiques allow me to time travel. Need I say more.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t working in the antiques trade?

Well at 18 I rejected a profession in the world of antiques to study astro-physics, Plan A then was to work at NASA, so let’s say astronaut.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to work in antiques?

If you are as exhilarated as I am by this fascinating world then chase that dream. Read, read, read, and then read some more. Never stop studying. Adopt the ‘Zulu Principle’ and become an expert in something you love.

How did you get involved in Bargain Hunt?

BH came to film with me as the auctioneer. As I recall we set record profits. When they returned I was asked if I’d consider screen testing as an expert on the programme. It was the last thing I wanted to do (being shy of sticking my head above that particular parapet), but mindful of my mum’s advice that it’s better to regret having given something a go than not to have tried, I stepped up to the mark.

Who has been your most memorable Bargain Hunt team?

I kid you not, I’ve loved every outing and couldn’t pick. For that hour and beyond into the auction we’re comrades in arms!

What has been your best ever Bargain Hunt find?

Again, don’t torture me with such questions! I recall once finding a bronze age axe head in a cabinet of tools and curios at a fair; to find an artifact of such antiquity so serendipitously is the dream.

Which fairs do you particularly like shopping at when ‘bargain hunting’?

Edinburgh of course; it’s my birthplace. That said, we’re so well met there. The Scots traders are good craic, they’re canny and looking to do business, a perfect combination.

What’s the most profit / greatest loss you’ve made at auction?

Can’t remember the former and in denial of that latter!

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Buying antiques. How shocking is that?! I can’t stop seeking that ‘must have’ piece, but at the end of the day, deep down I know I don’t need another antique; it’s all just stuff in the end, (I firmly believe in the Buddhist principle that it’s the wanting of material objects which leads to unhappiness). That said, I’m an addict.

How do you spend your free time?

See answer above and make a guess. Seriously though when I’m not being an antiques anorak all I want to do is have fun with my family. Rounders in the park, pitch-and-put at the golf course, walking in the Lakes, hi-jinks at the pool, that’s happy me. Oh, and cooking.

Do you collect anything?

Are you serious? Arms and armour of course, Georgian glass, Georgian silver, books, netsuke, watches, the next thing I’m going to obsess over...

Why do you think Bargain Hunt has such appeal?

Sport, fun, information, people-watching, eccentrics, treasure hunting, car crash TV... all of the above. It’s magic!

Why would you encourage anyone to appear on Bargain Hunt?

You’ll experience the shortest hour of you life, and possibly the most fun too!