BBC’s Antiques Road Trip hits Norfolk towns in search of bargains

A popular BBC program scoured Norfolk this week as it hunted for the best antique bargains the county has to offer.

More than a decade-long Antiques Road Trip followed Irita and Phil Serrell as they traveled in a vintage 1976 Aston Martin.

The search led them to the All Saints Antiques Center in Norwich, the Shirehall Plain Antiques Center in Holt and Timeless Antiques in North Walsham.

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They also visited one of Great Yarmouth’s most famous attractions, the Hippodrome Circus, where the spotlight was shone on Norwich-born Victorian showman Pablo Fanque and they spoke to impresario Peter Jay about his ties to the Beatles.

Holt is one of the prettiest towns in all of Norfolk

The program was about the rags to riches story which saw Fanque leave the Norwich workshop to become a circus icon performing daring stunts on horseback.

But the circus’s popularity declined due to the advent of the music hall and he died penniless, despite being “as big as the Beatles” and mingling with the royal family.

Program researchers found a poster advertising a benefit concert organized by Fanque for a Mr Kite, with the text taken verbatim by John Lennon for the track of the same name.

Mr Jay had a copy of the poster and toured with the Beatles in 1963.

He said: “His legacy lives on in diversity.

“The circus has never been a place of discrimination. It is the only art form where everyone is accepted for who they are. It has always been equal and it is the same now.”

Antiques Road Trip Series 24 Episode 16 is available on BBC iPlayer.

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