In the past, the antiques dealer was often regarded as a pretty shady character that came knocking on your door asking whether you had any old furniture to sell. If you had anything of value and were foolish enough to invite him in, the item sold would almost certainly be for a lot less than it was actually worth.
However, Lovejoy televised between 1986-94 embraced the idea of the dodgy dealer. He aligned himself to a member of the aristocracy, brought in other shady characters to assist him to solve antiques based mysteries, created the mystique of the divvie who had the knack of recognising a treasure just by looking at it and made us all fall in love with him. Added to the mix were the brooding good looks of Ian McShane which ensured that the programme stayed on air for nearly ten years and is still repeated today.
The antiques dealer or ‘expert’ has now become the familiar and trusted face on television shows such as Flog It!, The Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt. So far from being presented as shady characters, these dealers and auctioneers have become well known personalities. However the persona of the seedy antiques dealer has not altogether disappeared and is presented on Dickinson’s Real Deal where, whether rightly or wrongly, the viewer is led to believe that behind the mask of dealer Mike Melody’s cheery banter, there is a trickster waiting to get out. However, David Dickinson is always on hand to ensure that the customer gets the ‘real deal’.
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