Big Issue vendor Simon Gravell will be showing off his haggling skills to the nation next week when he appears on Antiques Road Trip.
The Norwich seller will go head-to-head with expert Philip Serrell on Monday’s edition of the BBC show after he decided to branch out into antiques as a sector to move into beyond selling the magazine.
Simon, who sells outside Topshop in the Norfolk city, insists that the presenter drove a hard bargain on the show when it was filmed in the spring at St Gregory’s Antique’s Centre in Norwich.
“Selling The Big Issue has given me the self-motivation and confidence to set something up,” said Simon.
“I have always been interested in old things and antiques so I saved up my money and started going to the auctions. I built it up enough to the point where I had my own display cabinet at the local antiques centre, funnily enough, I used to sleep rough behind there so when I was going there to sell it was almost like coming home.
The Big Issue magazine is a social enterprise, a business that reinvests its profits in helping others who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or whose lives are blighted by poverty.
“I was down for my duty day and was told that the Antiques Road Trip people were there so I popped my head around the door and said hello to Philip Serrell.
“He was fantastic and I didn’t care about haggling too much to be honest because I was on the telly – he could have had them both for a couple of Brussels sprouts for all I cared!”
“I told him that I had previously been homeless and that Antiques Road Trip was one of my favourite shows and had inspired me to get into antiques.”
Serell was the city to find the most profitable antiques in the East of England alongside fellow presenter Louise Gostelow.
And Simon was able to catch the veteran expert’s eye with a vintage French chamber stick as well as some of his silver items and the vendor insists that he is looking forward to watching the outcome again next week.
“It’s a nice bit of publicity for my pitch and I’ve had some people coming up to me saying that they’re having a clear out if I would like to have a look,” Simon added. But I’ll be looking forward to seeing myself on the telly and I’ll be watching round at my girlfriend’s.”
Simon will appear on Antiques Road Trip this Monday (October 1). The programme airs at 4.30pm on BBC One and will also be available on BBC iPlayer
Images: STV Productions/BBC