The Bidding Room



Nigel Havers


Estelle Bilson (2021-)
James "JB" Broad
Jane Cave
Melissa Downhill (2021-)
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. That said, they were right to introduce two new female dealers for the staccato second series, as the first series felt very blokey.


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


Episodes 1-12, 19 and 20 of the first series 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. No weekend repeats had been allocated for series 2, which meant that episodes 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 15, and 16 of series 2 had to wait until at least 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. BBC1 Wales had never intended to show these compilations, preferring the archive-and-comedy of Tudur's TV Flashback.

Web links

BBC programme page

See also

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

Four Rooms


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in