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EXCLUSIVE Here’s what you DIDN’T know about Bargain Hunt: We went on the show and saw producers change prices, were banned from buying items and told how people CHEAT


For more than two decades Bargain Hunt has been a BBC staple, with thousands of contestants having tried their luck at making a profit. 

Under the watchful eye of an antiques trade expert, two pairs go head to head as the Blue and Red teams and are given an allotted time to make their purchases at antiques fairs. 

The items are then taken to auction and whichever team makes the most profit (or smallest loss) is the winner.

Father-daughter duo Simon and Rosie Ellis appeared on the show last year and although they made a loss, they still triumphed over the Red team and were crowned the winners. 

Speaking to MailOnline about their experience, the duo revealed they loved their time on the programme but were surprised by the show’s behind-the-scenes secrets.

Here's what you didn't know! Father-daughter duo Simon and Rosie Ellis appeared on the show last year and were surprised by the show's behind-the-scenes secrets

Here’s what you didn’t know! Father-daughter duo Simon and Rosie Ellis appeared on the show last year and were surprised by the show’s behind-the-scenes secrets

Among these was the fact producers would jump in to dictate prices during the haggling process because of one of the unspoken rules of Bargain Hunt. 

Marketing Assistant Rosie revealed: ‘We originally haggled down our first item to £3.50 but they said the Bargain Hunt can only show sales in pounds so we had to go up to £4. We could’ve got more profit!’

Managing Director Simon added: ‘There’s also certain things you can’t buy because of copyright reasons. 

‘You couldn’t buy a picture of Marilyn Monroe for instance, because if you showed it on the camera that would be copyrighted and they’d have to pay a fee.

‘We wanted to buy a Coca Cola sign but were told to leave it.’ 

In the show, contestants are given one hour to make their three purchases, with viewers watching the teams frantically racing against the clock. 

Yet in reality the filming process is far longer, with Rosie and Simon revealing they were out at the antique fair for at least three hours. 

Rosie explained: ‘They keep stopping the timer to go back over the scenes. You’ll film an interaction and they’ll jump in and say “no, no, no, you can’t do that”. 

‘So they’ll go back and tell you to put your hand somewhere different and repeat what you said and then they start the timer.’ 

Confirming there’s ‘lots of stopping and starting’, Simon revealed that lots of time is also taken confirming where they can film and who doesn’t mind appearing on camera, quipping ‘I think some of those antiques might have been dodgy dealings!’ 

Winners! Although Simon and Rosie made a loss, they still triumphed over the Red team and were crowned the winners after the goods went to auction (pictured with show experts Kate Bliss, far left, and Gary Pe, far right, and presenter Eric Knowles)

 Winners! Although Simon and Rosie made a loss, they still triumphed over the Red team and were crowned the winners after the goods went to auction (pictured with show experts Kate Bliss, far left, and Gary Pe, far right, and presenter Eric Knowles) 

While the filming process was longer than expected, the longest wait came before even getting on camera, with the pair revealing that five episodes of Bargain Hunt are filmed in the same day, with contestants made to wait in the green room until being called up to film. 

After shooting their episode the contestants are told to remove their Bargain Hunt fleeces and are given free rein to  wander around the market stalls, meaning they often all end up in the background of each other’s episodes.

Speaking about the waiting around, Simon explained: ‘It’s a big room with the whole production crew, the cast and all the teams in the room together. 

‘You get a little table and you’re there for the whole day. It’s quite boring because you sit at a table until they call you out. You’re made to stay there until you’re filmed.’ 

After being filmed making their purchases the groups then face a week long wait before their items go to auction, during which time they’re instructed not to tell the other team about their items or to check the status of their goods on the auction house website. 

Rosie and Simon revealed producers had warned them about looking up their items online because teams can cheat by getting friends or family to bid along and drive up the profit. 

‘It’s so obvious in the episodes when someone has cheated though,’ Simon mused. ‘You can always tell when someone’s like “oh wow, that’s made a lot of money” and it’s not like they lose anything because you keep the profit.’

During the auction day the teams have to wait for their lots to be called and then are filmed watching the auction live. 

Afterwards they face another long wait until the results are revealed at the end of the day. 

Rosie revealed they had no clue if they’d won or not until presenter Eric Knowles – who the pair revealed was really kind and friendly – announced the results. 

‘Those were our real reactions on camera,’ she confirmed. ‘ I mean, in theory we could have just asked the other team how well they did and figured it, out but this way was more fun.’  

Simon added: ‘That’s the spirit of the game. They do a good job of making it all quite real and there wasn’t any kind of trickery so that was good.’  

While they may not have made a profit, Rosie and Simon were still pleased with their win as well as the fact they kept their Bargain Hunt fleeces and were given a travel mug and key ring by the production team. 

Although they were surprised by some aspects of filming, Rosie and Simon recommended the experience for everyone, urging anyone who is a fan of Bargain Hunt to apply and try their luck. 

Give it a go! Rosie and Simon recommended the experience for everyone, urging anyone who is a fan of Bargain Hunt to apply and try their luck

Give it a go! Rosie and Simon recommended the experience for everyone, urging anyone who is a fan of Bargain Hunt to apply and try their luck 



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