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Page last updated at 07:46 GMT, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 08:46 UK
Hatfield House host BBC One's Antiques Roadshow
Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.
Hatfield House in Hertfordshire plays host to the Antiques Roadshow.

Fiona Bruce and the Antiques Roadshow team are at Hatfield House today.

BBC One's popular, Sunday evening programme will film an episode at the Hertfordshire estate for their thirty third series.

Anyone wanting to appear on television and have their antiques valued can go to the West Garden area free of charge.

Teddy and doll expert for the popular Sunday evening BBC one programme, Bunny Campione told BBC Three Counties she is looking forward to going to Hatfield.


"I've had a 90 year old who queued for four hours. I was worried she was going to collapse. She was fine when she sat down but I was worried she would never get up," Bunny revealed.

"Once you get in and past the reception you tell them what items you have.

Presenter, Fiona Bruce.
Presenter, Fiona Bruce.

"You then get a ticket for each item and queue to see the expert in that field."

Parking and entry to the West Garden area where the recording is taking place is free.

The restaurant will be open throughout the day but admission to the house is £5 per person and the East Garden is closed.

Human Story

Fiona Bruce told the BBC about the programme she has been presenting for three years:

"For me it's one of those rare and very lucky coincidences in television when you get to work on a show that you already love to watch.

"Exploring the human story behind every object is what makes the Antiques Roadshow so fascinating.

"Everyone loves the agony and ecstasy of the 'what is it worth?' moment.

"It is not just about antiques it's history, beauty and drama all wrapped up in one," she said.

Some of Britain's leading antiques and fine arts specialists will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors.

You are invited to raid your attics and bring along your family heirlooms, household treasures and car boot bargains for inspection by the experts.

Series Editor for the Antiques Roadshow, Simon Shaw said:

"The team are all looking forward to visiting such a splendid venue as Hatfield House.

"It's always exciting to see what will come to light on the day. We regularly see between 1500 and 2000 visitors on the day. Despite the high turnout everyone will get to see an expert."

Last time

The last time the Antiques Roadshow was near Hatfield was in 2000.

The show was held at Knebworth House where some great items were filmed.

Among them was bronze figure of Ecstasy, the mascot on the Rolls Royce, bought for £400 in New Jersey in the 1980s. It was valued by the experts at £10,000.

There was also a Minton majolica umbrella stand in the shape of a heron which had been dumped in the garden but was worth £4000 to £6000.

The umbrella stand and the glass cabinet were items which would have been brought in on the furniture round.

Knebworth House.
Knebworth played host in 2000.

Back in the office the team are compiling a folder containing letters and emails from people in the area with furniture and large items too big to carry to the show.

Items in the past have included paintings, large pots, bedsteads and even a military cannon.

The weekend before the show two of the team will arrive in the area with the folder and visit as many of the people who have contacted the show as possible.

Some of these people will have their items transported to the roadshow by the team and a few lucky ones may end up being filmed on the day.

Be prepared

The organisers of the event ask you to be prepared.

As it's an outdoor roadshow it could be wet and cold or hot and sunny and even indoor roadshows can get very hot so wear comfy shoes.

Bring whatever items you want to know more about. It is often the items that you think are worthless that are the most interesting.

Do not bring a whole tea set just bring a cup and saucer or even a drawer and photo of a piece of furniture.

Look out for Fiona, she will be filming pieces during the day.

She has a press call at 10am but otherwise she may be seen around the venue either filming or chatting to the public.

This sculpture is the first 1m object to be valued on the Antiques Roadshow.
This maquette is worth 1m.

If a specialist is interested in filming your item they will fill out a request slip.

If the producer says yes you will be given a timeslot and taken to the waiting room where you will find refreshments while you wait.

There have been five presenters of the Antiques Roadshow - Bruce Drake, Angela Rippon, Hugh Scully, Michael Aspel and Fiona Bruce.

During the past 33 years there have been 592 programmes made at 479 different venues and the show has been abroad to 11 countries.

Often the Roadshow gets quieter in the afternoon so it might be a good idea to come after 2pm.

The highest value item ever seen was a maquette of the Angel of the North valued at a million pounds at Gateshead in 2008, before that it was a collection of Mayoral silver at Arundel Castle in 2006 which was valued at £300,000.

Hatfield House

Hatfield House was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Elizabeth I.

The deer park surrounding the house and the older building of the Old Palace had been owned by Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII, who had used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary.

It was while she was living in the Old Palace, in 1558, that Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne.

The Cecils' former home was at Theobalds, also in Hertfordshire.

Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury.
Robert Cecil built Hatfield House.

In 1607, Elizabeth's heir, James I offered to exchange Theobalds for the Old Palace and manor of Hatfield.

A draft Parliamentary Act of exchange survives in the Cecil Papers at Hatfield, dated May 1607.

Salisbury began building work immediately.

The main architect of the house was Robert Lemynge but Simon Basil, the Surveyor of the King's Works and Inigo Jones also contributed to the design.

Salisbury had been appointed Lord Treasurer in April 1607 as well as Chief Secretary, but, he became ill and died, aged only 48, in April 1612.

Although he was buried in Hatfield, he didn't live to enjoy the house that was to become the home of his descendants for the next 400 years.

Early Autumn

The Antiques Roadshow will be at Hatfield House on Thursday 15 July 2010 from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

The new series is being filmed over the Summer and is due to be shown on BBC One in early Autumn.

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