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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 17:39 GMT
Aspel takes Antiques job
Michael Aspel
Aspel makes his Roadshow debut in the autumn
This is Your Life presenter Michael Aspel is to take over from Hugh Scully as presenter of the Antiques Roadshow.

Aspel, 67, will make his debut on the popular travelling treasure trove programme, which regularly attracts more than 11 million viewers, when it begins its 23rd series in the autumn.

Hugh is so good that I'll have a great deal to live up to. To me, Hugh is part of the furniture - Sheraton, of course

Michael Aspel
He said he was delighted to be taking on his new role.

"The Antiques Roadshow is literally a national treasure and it's a great honour to have a chance to be involved in the show.

"The idea behind it is so simple, but it's got all the elements needed for fantastic television. I have always been a big fan."

New dimensions

Scully, 56, is leaving the Antiques Roadshow to host the internet auction house website.

He will make his final appearance when the current series winds up on 21 May, after having fronted the show alone since Arthur Negus retired in 1983.
Hugh Scully
Hugh Scully: Taking his knowledge online
Aspel said of his predecessor: "Hugh is so good that I'll have a great deal to live up to. To me, Hugh is part of the furniture - Sheraton, of course."

But Scully said Aspel was more than qualified to follow in his footsteps.

"I couldn't be more delighted that Michael is taking over at the Antiques Roadshow. He is one of the very best presenters in the UK, and has a unique and witty style that will bring a new dimension to the show," he commented.

Fans of Aspel on This is Your Life have nothing to fear, says a spokesman for the programme, as he has everything intention to juggle his duties on both shows.

Broadcasting stalwart

Aspel succeeded the late Eamonn Andrews as presenter of This is Your Life. The show switched from ITV to BBC One in 1994 and still enjoys high ratings.

But Aspel has long been a popular personality in British broadcasting. He began as a radio actor in 1954 and went on to become a TV newsreader.

Later his career took in radio's Family Favourites, and for television he appeared in Crackerjack and Ask Aspel for the BBC, and ITV shows Aspel and Company, Give Us A Clue and Child's Play.

Commenting on whether he had any specialist knowledge of his new subject area, Aspel said:

"I do have a few antique pieces at home. But I wouldn't claim to be a collector - although all that may change after I've done a few Roadshows and become more knowledgeable.

"It's going to be a steep learning curve and a terrific challenge for me, and one that I'm thoroughly looking forward to."

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