Emsworth antiques expert takes on TV favourite

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An antiques expert from the Emsworth area is taking on TV favourite Eric Knowles in a clash of the titans next week.

Cash in the Attic valuer John Cameron, from Warblington, will be competing in BBC2’s Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, a show which involves antiques experts trying to make a profit on items they’ve bought at antique venues with the profit going to charity.

John, who said the televised face-off was ‘intimidating’, will be raising money for Action Medical Research, a West Sussex-based charity which has invested more than £100m into research for sick babies and children.

He became aware of the charity’s good work after doing a charity auction for Davina McCall, who is a patron of the charity.

Scooter enthusiast John (pictured on his Lambretta SX 150) admits the series was a challenge he relished, and he was proud to have held his own working with the former Going for a Song star.

“It was great working with Eric Knowles. It was an achievement but also slightly intimidating,” he said.

He first met Eric at a Southampton Institute graduation ceremony in 1997, where his rival was receiving a Fine Art Honorary Masters degree. Such is his regard for the ceramics expert he calls him the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ of the antiques world.

John said: “His knowledge is second to none. He has this amazing abilty to recall knowledge, names and dates which you have to be able to do in this business.”

John took on Eric at locations including the Porte De Vanves market in Paris and the auctioneer, who works from Portsmouth, remembers a strategy he deployed at the flea market.

“Eric is a authority on Lalique glass. And I saw a good piece of Lalique glass at the fair in France.

“I knew Eric was coming along any minute and would buy that piece. So I bought it, just so he couldn’t buy it. And then I was stuck, thinking now what am I going to do with this piece of glass?”

Other filming in Hampshire included shooting at 36 On The Quay in Emsworth.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is airs on BBC2 between April 16-20 from 5.15pm.