Antiques Roadshow has filmed up and down the country, from Chatsworth House to Bletchley Park, but to mark the show’s 40th anniversary, it will add a new – and somewhat surprising – location to its long list of venues: the set of BBC1 soap EastEnders.
A special episode to mark the show’s fifth decade will be recorded on Albert Square as Fiona Bruce and her team of antiques experts descend on the television set to value a selection of objects from the world of film, television and music . Think items with showbiz anecdotes and celebrity momentoes…
The one-off episode will be filmed in 2017 and has been 18 months in the planning, according to Antiques Roadshow’s executive producer Simon Shaw, who has had to fit production around EastEnders’ intensive filming schedule to land the “perfect setting” for an entertainment special.
“We tune in quite closely to what our viewers enjoy and watch their feedback, and we know there is a desire for, occasionally, special programmes which focus on one topic,” he told the Telegraph.
“I think they’re very revealing these kinds of stories. They give people an intimate snapshot of often unpublished tales about how well-known productions have come about.
“I hope our audience will find them revealing and in a warm and charming way be able to see the kind of stories we will be able to share.”
Unlike other episodes, the EastEnders-set special will require participants to submit background information on their memorabilia in advance in order to be selected.
The EastEnders set is just one of a string of venues to mark a special year for Antiques Roadshow. Exactly 40 years on from its pilot episode – filmed at Hereford Town Hall on 17th May 1977 – the team will record at Minehead Railway Station, home of the west Somerset Railway – the longest heritage railway in England.
The new series will also see them visit Castle Howard, Northern Ireland’s Parliament Buildings & Stormont Estate, and Cardiff Castle.
Fiona Bruce – who has presented the show since 2008 – said: “As well as the 40th series of Antiques Roadshow, it will be my own 10th series on the programme next year. Where does the time go? Meeting fantastic people, hearing their stories, going to fabulous locations and, best of all unearthing hidden treasures clearly makes the time fly.
“I hope as many people as possible come along to see us in 2017 at one of our fascinating venues. It’s a great, free day out, you can see behind the scenes of one of your favourite shows, and, who knows? We’d love to make your 2017 extra memorable with surprising news about your treasures.”