Fiona, 56, hosted a one-off edition of Antiques Roadshow entitled What Happened Next? as the presenter took a trip down memory lane. The episode featured some of the greatest valuations from years gone by and subsequently, what happened to the items once the cameras stopped rolling for the BBC programme. However, at the end of the show, the newsreader announced ceramics and Chinese artefact enthusiast David Battie, 78, was stepping down from the role he had held for over four decades.
The expert had been featuring on the programme since the first series aired on BBC Two 43 years ago back in 1977.
As of late, he hasn’t appeared on the show, offering guests up and down the country valuations on their prized possessions.
It was revealed this was because David had decided to retire from his profession and Fiona led the charge as multiple colleagues paid tribute to their co-star’s success over the past four decades.
Ending the programme, the newsreader said: “We bid a fond farewell to David Battie, who has retired after being a member of the Antiques Roadshow family since the very beginning.
“After 40 years of hard service, he is taking a well-deserved rest,” she continued, before a montage of clips played of the ceramic enthusiast’s best moments.
“David, I’m sure you’re watching and I remember you when I joined the show,” Fiona added as the camera returned to her.
“You were a real friend and you could be fabulously and hilariously cantankerous, but such a sweetheart. I will miss you.”
Then the host revealed some other familiar faces wanted to share their tributes for David with viewers of the programme.
First up was fine arts expert Hilary Kay, 63, who said: “You are the great beast, prowling through the Antique’s jungle.”
“But to your mates who know you so well, we know inside, you are just a pussy cat,” she remarked before historian Lars Tharp, 66, gave praise to his co-star.
“Hello, David. Garrulous, short-tempered, gruff…these are words I would have never of thought could be used about you.
“It’s always been a pleasure to work with you on the Antiques Roadshow,” he continued, with design and decorative arts specialist Paul Atterbury, 75, taking over.
“You were part of that great first team that really created the programme and set it on its course for the future. We will all enjoy that legacy,” he commented.
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Bunny Campione, 74, who is best known for offering her expertise on fine art, also shared a touching message to David.
The former said: “We will all miss you very much. Bye, David,” before blowing a kiss to the camera, leading to the final tribute.
This came from English painting specialist and gallery owner Rupert Maas, 60, who said: “The things I miss about David Battie.
“His humour, his humanity, his authority and, of course, his moustache,” before bidding his colleague a fond farewell.
Despite being a familiar face on the show since it’s inception 43 years ago, it wasn’t until 2010 that David made one of his most memorable valuations.
The ceramics expert was on hand to help a gentleman who had brought along a large Chinese bronze vase when the shoe visited the Saltaire Heritage site in West Yorkshire.
Making his analysis, the artefact enthusiast dated the piece back to the Yuan Dynasty, meaning the relic was over 700 years old.
It was a moment which down in the history books as it was the oldest piece of bronze to ever feature on the programme.
Published at Mon, 28 Dec 2020 06:58:00 +0000