The Bidding Room



Nigel Havers


Dealers: James "JB" Broad, Jane Cave, Natasha Francis, Adrian "Adi" Higham, Ian Humphries, James Gooch, Moses Otunla, Lucy Ryder Richardson

Resident antiques expert: Simon Bower


Ricochet for BBC One, 8 June 2020 to present


Selected applicants present a curiosity, rarity, or antique. After discussing their item with an expert, they will have the opportunity to offer their exhibit to five dealers for sale, and to sell it to the highest bidder for cash.

Each round follows a similar course. We'll meet the seller, and find out what the item means to them. We will often hear about the seller, and the good cause they're supporting.

A seller talks about her curiosity.

Resident expert Simon Bower tells us about the object, and concludes with his estimate.

Simon Bower gives his professional opinion.

Our seller goes into The Bidding Room, and shows their object to today's panel of five.

Today's five to bid.

After discussing it, they bid up the price. The seller has the option to take the highest price, or to walk away with their object.

Will the dealers make an offer the seller cannot refuse?

A very nice result.

Repeat that four times to make up the complete show.

It's a very low-stakes game: the seller will either walk away with a wodge of cash, or they'll keep their original item. Everyone wins a few minutes with Nigel Havers, and a professional evaluation of the object.

Nigel Havers examines another thingamajig.

The Bidding Room differed from the German original in a couple of ways. Their version has further jeopardy, where the expert needs to confirm that the seller can reasonably get their target price. It's a faffy complication and we're glad not to see it.

The Bidding Room also differs by changing its dealers every day. Five from a panel of eight experts appear each day; the German original kept the same dealers in each programme until the format was firmly established. We fear the Germans got this right: we need to see the same characters each day, it's how they build a rapport with us.


Adapted from Bares für Rares, a hugely successful afternoon show on Germany's ZDF channel.


The first series was Episodes 1-12, 19 and 20 aired at 3.45pm as a consequence of Covid-19; on days when Coronavirus Updates were not aired, episodes aired at 4.30. In addition, episode 25 was preempted due to impromptu resumptions of waffle, and aired at 3.50 on Sunday; after episodes 27 and 29 were also bumped, it was decided to air episode 25 the following Monday and episodes 27 and 29 the Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week. When episode 2 of series 2 was bumped, no weekend slot had been set aside, so it is likely that it'll be appended to the end of the run.

A ten-part compilation series was planned to air from 6 January 2021 but - you've guessed it - the first episode was bumped, this time for a Question Time special to discuss the previous afternoon's jibber-jabber, and aired on the second channel.

Web links

BBC programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review and comparison with Bares für Rares.

Four Rooms


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