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He is right to consider the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow separately. It has always been the one serious programme about antiques, both entertaining and informative.

The remaining programmes he refers to are primarily designed to be entertaining. The challenge to buy retail and then sell profitably at auction is almost impossible, hence the need to ask for swingeing discounts – otherwise the contestants would be constantly nursing losses.

Surely everybody realises this isn’t the real world of antique dealing? It is simply a device to give the programme a measure of excitement for the viewing public.

So don’t be too hard on the producers of these daytime TV programmes. They simply have different priorities to the hard-working dealer Mr Robinson refers to.

Chris Matthews

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