TV & Movies

Bargain Hunt stars now – Life saved by stranger, co-worker romance, jail stint

BBC Bargain Hunt contestants have made a "whole lot of lolly" throughout the years, as former host Tim Wonnacott would say.

Tim was just one of the many hosts and experts on hand to give advice about hidden gems, rare finds and novelty items that have either made a loss, or provided a pretty penny for the contestants.

Since 2000, he and experts including David Dickinson, Natasha Raskin Sharp and David Barby have also become almost as iconic as the programme itself.

READ NEXT: Bargain Hunt experts' most expensive finds – vampire slaying kit to cockerel tea cosy

Here, Daily Star takes a look at where some of the Bargain Hunt stars are now.

David Dickinson

British icon David Dickinson MBE presented Bargain Hunt for more than three years between 2000 to 2003 – where his famous tan was just as iconic as the show itself.

Prior to hosting Bargain Hunt, David had already made a name for himself selling antiques in the early 90s, before landing his TV break on Bargain Hunt.

However, David has spoken openly about his life before fame, revealing that he once spent three years in jail for mail-order fraud when he was 19 years old.

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: "I hated every moment but I knew I had to get through. I vowed I would never do anything to put myself back in this position. I had brought shame on my family, I’d been a cocky young thing."

Describing the moment he was arrested, he said: "I will never forget the moment. It all happened so fast, the handcuffs, being read my rights. The fear was horrendous.

"All I could think was, 'what have I done?"

After leaving the BBC in 2005, he took on the role of hosting the ITV daytime show Dickinson's Real Deal, and has since hosted programmes including David Dickinson's Name Your Price.

It is no surprise then that the star has an estimated net worth of over £2.5m.

Away from the limelight, David has been married to his wife Lorne Lesley since 1968, after the couple met while she was working as a caberet dancer at a nightclub.

David also adopted Lorne's two children from a previous relationship, and are grandparents to three grandchildren.

Tim Wonnacott

Tim Wonnacott seemed born to host Bargain Hunt, after he followed in his father's footsteps as an auctioneer.

After landing a job at the prestigious Sotherbys, he founded Tim Wonnacott Associates, which provided independent expert advice to both buyers and sellers of antiques.

However, he entered the limelight in 2003 after he replaced David Dickinson as the host of Bargain Hunt – becoming one of its longest running presenters until departing the show in 2015.

It is reported that there was an alleged disagreement between him and the producers, although this has never been confirmed.

At the time of his departure, the BBC commented: "Tim is not currently in production on Bargain Hunt and we are using guest presenters.

"We wouldn’t comment on individual staff matters."

Tim also released a statement at the time, saying: "I am pleased to have been part of Bargain Hunt for so many years and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of my, roughly, 1,200 programmes hunting out bargains with the contestants.

"Alongside continuing to voice Antiques Road Trip for the BBC, I look forward to developing new programme ideas."

Tim still has his foot in the antiques TV show door, as he currently narrates Antiques Road Trip, and was recently stunned when a £10 tea set was sold by expert Charles Hanson for a huge £260.

He could be heard saying: "I think I need to sit down. That's outstanding."

That's not all, as he also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Natalie Lowe, until the couple were eliminated in week four.

In his personal life, he has been married to his wife Helen since 1984 and the couple have three children together.

David Barby

David Barby was one of Bargain Hunt's resident experts, who would regularly offer advice to teams on the hunt for a hidden gem or two.

He had a love of antiques growing up and put this passion to use when he became a partner at the Leamington Auction House from the late seventies.

His passion spilled onto the screen, after he made his TV debut on Flog It in 2002, before landing expert roles on both Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow.

In his personal life, David was also married to his wife Janet.

However in July 2012, David suffered a stroke and died two weeks later in hospital on July 25, at the age of 69 years old.

Fans and friends from the world of antiques paid tribute to the star, with Bargain Hunt expert Charles Hanson telling the BBC that he was "a great friend," adding that "no other expert…could rival his great human touch."

A statement from the Flog It team at the time also paid tribute, saying: "David was an ambassador for antiques TV and loved every minute spent making the many, many episodes of Bargain Hunt, Flog It, Antiques Road Trip and more.

"We all remember David with great fondness, and send our condolences to his family and many friends in the antique trade and beyond."

James Lewis

Another famous antiques expert to previously appear on Bargain Hunt is James Lewis.

After studying Fine Art at University, he founded Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers, along with providing expert advice on Bargain Hunt, Flog It, Cash In The Attic and Antiques Road Trip.

He also landed his own documentary on the BBC called Treasures Of A Nation in 2014.

That's not all, as he has also raised money for charity through his auctioneering work.

In 2013, he raised nearly £60,000 for 10 local and national charities after selling 2,000 lots in just over 26 hours.

He also attempted to break a world record for the longest continuous auction on the longest day of the year, June 21, back in 2019.

However in the same year, James also revealed that his life was saved by a stranger, after the expert suffered a cardiac arrest while out and about in Staffordshire.

James collapsed at the equestrian centre in Leek, Staffordshire, but was saved by a gentleman who had popped in unexpectedly as he had heard how delicious the venue's oatcakes were.

The stranger started CPR and saved James' life, with the expert telling Stoke-On-Trent Live: "I am so lucky that he was there and knew what to do and without doubt he saved my life for which I am very grateful.

"He has since told me that he only went there on that day because he had heard three years before that the place did very good oatcakes for breakfast, so he went to try them."

Away from the limelight, James tends to keep his personal life private.

Natasha Raskin Sharp

One of the current hosts of Bargain Hunt is Natasha Raskin Sharp – the daughter of famous artist Philip Raskin.

Along with providing expert advice on TV series including Antiques Roadshow, For What It's Worth, Flog It and Susan Calman's Antiques Adventure, she also appeared on shows in the US including Baggage Battles.

However, she may never have entered the antique trade at all, as it is reported that she studied law at university, before switching to study art instead.

It is not only fame that she has found during her time on BBC antiques shows however, as she also found love.

Natasha married husband Joe Sharp in 2016, after she met the producer and director behind the scenes three years earlier.

The couple tend to keep their personal life private, but Natasha did reveal that they are big fans of eating out.

She told Daily Express: "My partner and I are guilty of eating out too much.

"Glasgow has so many great restaurants, too much of my spare time is spent eating delicious food and not enough time is spent working it off in the gym."

Christina Trevanion

Another famous expert to currently host Bargain Hunt is Christina Trevanion.

Like her Bargain Hunt counterparts, she started her career in a famous auction house – this time Christies.

She is also an auctioneer and an antiques valuer in the Shropshire-based Trevanion & Dean, which she founded with her business partner Aaron Dean.

From there, she has since provided expert advice on BBC shows including Antiques Road Show, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is and Flog It.

Away from the cameras, Christina tends to keep her personal life private, but has revealed she is married with two children.

Speaking to Daily Express, she said her home life was: "pretty noisy, hectic and good fun" with the children and their dog.

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