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The Family Silver - Murder Mystery Evening

  • Saturday 23rd March, 2019 7:00pm to 10:30pm

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  • Saturday 23rd March, 2019 7:00pm to 10:30pm

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Murder mystery evening set at the filming of a TV antiques show.

“The Family Silver”, hosted by Hugo Firth, is a hugely popular daytime TV series which follows in the tried and tested footsteps of shows like “Bargain Hunt”, “Cash in the Attic” and “Real Deal”. The format of the show is that contestants bring in their family heirlooms to be appraised by the three resident experts on the show. This panel of experts have free rein to be as disparaging, or indeed downright rude, about the antiques presented to them. However, should a ‘worthwhile’ piece be brought in, then all three experts then take part in a closed auction, budding against each other. The winning bidder takes ownership of the item, paying his or her own money to the contestant, so long as an independent valuation of the asset has at least been met, if not exceeded.

TV audiences love the rudeness of the three resident panellists. The show combines familiar elements of popular shows such as X-Factor and Dragons’ Den, and the three panellists are now in demand with chat shows and magazines, and are fast becoming popular celebrities in their own right. There are now talks taking place to sell the format to the lucrative American market.

Today sees yet another episode of the programme being filmed in the sleepy village of Mellingham. The three panellists, Terry Tallboys, Anne McQueen and Lawrence Chippendale are here, as well as Hugo Firth. Also present are the producer of the show (Percy Laine) and the show’s researcher Tifanny Glass.

Today’s episode is being filmed at a lovely country house hotel in the village. The three panellists are in place, seated behind a long table topped with a white cloth. Each contestant brings their item up in the hope of hearing that their item is some long-lost masterpiece. In most cases, however, they are hideously ridiculed by one or more of the panellists. Percy Laine and Hugo Firth are trying hard to keep the members of the public under some sort of control. Contestants bring a range of pieces up, but the judges are clearly unimpressed.

Then, a member of the public comes forward, a small parcel under her arm wrapped in brown paper and string. Miss Pearl Ware has brought along a little oil painting by an unidentified artist, believed by the experts to have been painted in the early 1940s. She explains to Hugo Firth that she inherited the painting from her mother, who had been born in Germany and smuggled it out when she left the country in 1939, just before war broke out. It hung first on her mother’s bedroom wall, and then her own, since then.

The panellists are intrigued. All admit that the painting is somewhat naive in style, but given its provenance they may be interested in bidding for it. The host takes the painting, and returns a couple of minutes later with the independent valuation in an envelope. He announces that the auction will commence...the three panellists will take part, and the winning bidder will become the legal owner after paying the contestant their money – so long as it meets or exceeds the valuation in the envelope, which is only opened after the auction.

The auction starts, and the three judges begin bidding slowly against each other...