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Series / Bargain Hunt

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Bargain Hunt is a long-running BBC reality game show, wherein two teams (two contestants and an expert each) are given an hour to shop at an antiques fair with a limited budget, finding items they can sell at auction. Whoever recoups more of their spending wins, but any profit a team made will be given to them in cash regardless.

It began as a daytime show on 13 March 2000, hosted by David Dickinson. He later moved to a primetime version that aired from 22 August 2002 to 13 November 2004. Tim Wonnacott (best known for his recurring appearances on Antiques Roadshow) replaced Dickinson as the host of the daytime version; at this time, the budget was increased from £200 to £300, and the extended episodes added a "swap" option, where a team could use the remainder of their budget (if any) to swap one of their items for one purchased by their expert. Later episodes switched to a "bonus item" that can be added during the auction phase.

In 2016, Wonnacott stepped down for undisclosed reasons, and the recurring experts took over as host on a rotating basis (this was also done while Wonnacott was participating on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014).


Not to be confused with Bargain Hunters.

This series provides examples of:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: If a team makes a profit on all three items they sold, then they win the "golden gavel", which was at first a wooden trophy, but was later changed to a lapel pin.
  • Auction: The whole point of the show is to find items to sell at auction for a profit.
  • Bonus Round: Sort of in the form of the "bonus buy", a fourth item purchased by a team's expert using the "leftover lolly" (remaining cash on hand) that the contestants decide on whether or not they want to sell. If they do, it can add to their profits or losses like their first three items. If not, the item is sold anyway, but the item's profit or loss is not added to the team's total.
  • Celebrity Edition: Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds
  • Colour Coded Multiplayer: It's always the red team and the blue team.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cool Old Guy: Tim Wonnacott was certainly a good light-hearted chap on the show, which made his departure all the more disheartening to viewers.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Some of the items the teams find are bought on the cheap and even appraised just as cheap or even cheaper by the auctioneers, only to end up turning a big profit. Case in point, this plush 1930s tea cosy in the shape of a cockerel's head was bought by Jonathan Pratt as a "bonus buy" for £25. It sold for ten times what he paid for.
  • Heads or Tails?: Frequently used to settle haggling debates on the show when the team's expert and the seller cannot agree a price.
  • Insistent Terminology: There are no "losers" in Bargain Hunt, just winners and runners-up. Justified because it's a relatively casual show that's all in good fun, and if both teams made a profit, then they both earn the profit they each made in cash.
  • Long-Runners: Been airing since March 2000 and has over 1,800 episodes over 58 series so far. British Brevity certainly doesn't apply here!
  • Show the Folks at Home: The viewers at home will get a sneak peek at what the auctioneer thinks of the items the teams bought, and more importantly what the auctioneer thinks of the expert's "bonus item" that the team may or may not go with. Usually this is the auctioneer saying just exactly how badly the item in question is going to do.