‘Antique Roadshow’ flips the script with celebrity editions

Published:Nov 29, 202314:06

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This picture launched by WGBH-TV exhibits Katy Kane, left, as she appraises celeb chef Carla Corridor’s classic purse assortment in an episode of "Antiques Roadshow Celebrity Edition". Picture Credit score: WGBH/PBS through AP

Chef, cookbook writer and TV host Carla Corridor has at all times puzzled about an vintage wood highchair her household has lengthy cherished.

What's its historical past? How a lot is it value?

She lastly received solutions when PBS’ ‘Antiques Roadshow’ visited her Washington, DC, house. It seems that the highchair shouldn't be hand carved and dates to between 1880-1920. It’s value solely about $100.

Even so, Corridor nonetheless adores it. She and her husband are remodelling their house in a extra trendy fashion, however the highchair is staying.

“This will still be front and centre somewhere in our modern house,” she says after the TV go to. “I’m not selling anything.”

Corridor was considered one of a number of celeb friends on 4 new particular episodes of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ that had been filmed in the course of the pandemic.

Jay Leno on 'Antiques Roadshow'
Jay Leno on 'Antiques Roadshow' Picture Credit score: fb.com/RoadshowPBS/

The producers flipped the script. As a substitute of individuals — and their would-be treasures — coming to fulfill the appraisers in a giant corridor, the appraisers went to the folks. And this time, the folks had been well-known.

“I think it’s very humanising. They share with you this very vulnerable moment. They are just like any other `Roadshow’ guest,” says ‘Antique Roadshow’ govt producer Marsha Bemko.

The primary celeb version aired on Could 3 and featured comic Jay Leno, actor S Epatha Merkerson, writer Jason Reynolds, Olympic determine skater Nancy Kerrigan and professional golfer Dottie Pepper. Celebrities have appeared on ‘Antique Roadshow’ earlier than, however that is the primary time they’ve been featured for a complete episode.

Kerrigan will get a pair of her Olympic medals appraised in addition to a number of aggressive costumes, together with the Vera Wang wedding ceremony costume outfit she wore on the 1992 Olympics. A torch from the 1996 Summer season Olympics that she purchased for $300 as a part of a relay is now value as a lot as $7,000.

Reynolds wished to know in regards to the worth of a Langston Hughes letter, a complicated reader copy of Claude Brown’s ‘Manchild in the Promised Land’ and a primary version signed copy of Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved.’ Merkerson has a group of Black memorabilia, and Pepper has a golf cup and an heirloom desk.

Leno wants much more assist from the group. He and his spouse had been immediately obsessed with a 16,000-square foot property in Newport, Rhode Island, and acquired it just about on the spot, with all of the furnishings. However he has no thought what he’s received, from work to sculptures.

“He did knock on the door and buy everything — ketchup included — and doesn’t know what’s in there. So it was a real chance for us to help him,” says Bemko.

Future episodes — airing Could 10, Could 17 and Could 24 — embody the likes of humorist John Hodgman, actor Ronny Chieng, cartoonist Mo Willems, journalist Soledad O’Brien, clothier Christian Siriano and TV character Carson Kressley.

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Dressmaker Christian Siriano. Picture Credit score: Shutterstock

“This is true across the board of everybody we visited on this show and all the others: They are human beings like you and me,” says Bemko. “They really are curious about what they own and they want to know, and not just because of the money. It’s not all about the value.”

The celeb episodes had been a intelligent reply to the pandemic and an opportunity to shake issues up in the course of the twenty fifth anniversary of ‘Antique Roadshow.’

Initially, with flying not an possibility, the celebrities chosen to be featured had been inside driving distance of the present’s Boston headquarters at WGBH. Everybody needed to drive in separate automobiles, keep masked till cameras had been rolling and had been Covid-19 examined repeatedly. Some celebrities felt extra comfy displaying their collectibles on their garden. Others allowed appraisers inside.

For Corridor, a fan of the present, it was an opportunity to get solutions for the gadgets her household has lengthy held pricey, together with an vintage desk, previous seltzer bottles and stylish purses collected by her grandmother.

Corridor additionally learnt one thing. Her highchair converts right into a stroller, one thing neither she nor her mom knew till the appraiser pointed it out. “That just was so wild,” she recollects. “I never knew that it did that. That was the biggest shock.”

She says she discovered the visiting ‘Antique Roadshow’ expertise attention-grabbing and enjoyable: “I wanted to know the story before they got to me, but I didn’t care about the value of them because they meant so much to me,” she says.

The celeb editions are infused with good will and mild training as is the unique present. Or, as Bemko places it, “we ultimately teach history with material culture.”

“That is the beauty of what `Roadshow’ does: You are actually learning history, but not in a way that you even noticed,” she provides.

Whereas the celeb episodes had been born out of necessity, Bemko hopes the idea will dwell on. “I think we found something else here that’s special. And I’d like a way to see it go beyond these four shows,” she says. “I think we can do both. I want to do both.”

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