After a triumphant first season, the popular BBC One daytime show, The Travelling Auctioneers, is set to make a comeback on Monday, 8th January, unveiling a revamped presenting team for 2024. Auctioneering expert and original cast member Christina Trevanion is back, this time accompanied by newcomers JJ Chalmers, Robin Johnson, and Izzie Balmer. The quartet is geared up to hit the road in their iconic little blue auction van, bringing their auction house and workshop to various locations across the UK.
Christina, known for her expertise, is joined by JJ Chalmers, a former craft, design, and technology teacher with a knack for DIY and restoration. Robin Johnson, star of Quest’s The Woodland Workshop, and an accomplished restoration specialist, is also on board. Izzie Balmer, a renowned auctioneer featured on Antiques Road Trip and Bargain Hunt, brings her expertise in the field, leading a specialized jewellery and silver department in a West County auction house.
In this 20-episode series, the team splits into pairs, taking their mobile auction house and workshop on a journey to uncover hidden treasures across the UK. The dynamic duo of Christina and Izzie utilize their auctioneer connections and expertise, while the skilled craftsmen JJ and Robin breathe new life into neglected items, preparing them for exciting on-site auctions at the end of each episode.
The Travelling Auctioneers airs every weekday at 4.30 pm on BBC One, and all episodes are available on iPlayer.
Q&A with the Travelling Auctioneers Team
In a recent Q&A, the team shared their motivations for joining the series. Robin expressed his excitement about travelling the UK with experts like Christina and Izzie, transforming lost treasures on people’s doorsteps. Izzie found it a privilege to assist in finding new homes for cherished possessions, fascinated by the restoration work of Robin and JJ. JJ, despite his unexpected life journey, was thrilled to discover forgotten treasures in need of restoration.
Hi everyone – and JJ, Robin and Izzie, welcome to the show! What convinced you to sign up for the series?
Robin: How could I turn it down? Driving around the UK with experts like Christina and Izzie, fixing lost treasures in people’s driveways… what a great way to spend a summer!
Izzie: It was a privilege to be entrusted with such beloved possessions and to help find new homes for them. I was also fascinated to see the repair and restoration work of Robin and JJ. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start and yet they turned tired and broken objects into beautiful, useable items, giving them a new lease of life.
JJ: My life has certainly gone in an unexpected direction, from Helmand, to the Invictus Games, to my career as a TV presenter. But in real life, I’m happiest in my workshop, and whilst I’ve let cameras into it in recent years, I was very happy to head out on the road with The Travelling Auctioneers to discover more forgotten treasures in need of restoration. After all, I know more than most about second chances!
And Christina, what brought you back for more?
Christina: The format of the show is essentially what I do as an auctioneer on a daily basis, so it’s a very natural fit for me. I love my job because you never know what you’re going to find in somebody’s cupboards, cellar, garage or loft. In fact, it feels a bit like Christmas every day!
Both JJ and Robin are an absolute joy to work with. As an auctioneer, I have never had to be involved with restoring objects – we just catalogue and sell items as we find them – so it’s been a fascinating process and a real learning curve.
For new viewers of The Travelling Auctioneers, describe the show in three words.
Christina: Fun, educational, inspiring.
Izzie: Hmmmm – heartfelt, positive, and engaging!
Each contributor on The Travelling Auctioneers has their own unique reason for taking part in the show. Was there any story this series that particularly resonated with you?
Christina: The family in episode five really touched me. Husband and wife David and Janine had had an incredibly tough couple of years after losing their parents, followed by David himself experiencing ill health. Janine was the glue that held the family together, while also holding down her own job, looking after David, and bringing up their son Ryan. They were trying to raise money to send Ryan to fulfil his dream of competing for Team GB at horseball. I found the whole experience very emotional. They’re a gorgeous family and it was a total honour to help them.
JJ: Terry, in episode two, was an army veteran who had been at Christmas Island, so had lived through the early nuclear bomb test and lived with the consequences. He was quite a guy. Aside from the respect he deserved for everything he had endured, he was just an absolute gentleman and a real character. It was an honour to spend time with him and help him out.
Sustainability is a key focus of the series, and by helping bring new life to neglected treasures, you all play a big part in this. Why is it so important?
Robin: I could be here for days talking about this! It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz around sustainability and think that you need to drive a new electric car or cycle everywhere, but for me it’s about so much more. In the not-so-distant past, things were really built to last, and with just a little TLC they can keep going, rather than going to landfill or having to be replaced with new things.
Are there any celebrity homes that you’d love to trawl for hidden gems to bring back to life?
Christina: Ooh, good question. I would have loved to have had a good rummage around Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection when she was still with us.
JJ: Maybe Leigh Francis because he has a love of quirky, collectible things. I’m sure there would be some absolute gems in his house! But I’ve learnt from this series that EVERYONE has something hidden away in their home – they just may not appreciate its full value or potential.
Can you tell us any funny behind-the-scenes stories or gossip from the show?
Robin: When we filmed at Blenheim Palace, Christina revealed she’s on first-name terms with the Duke of Marlborough after attending a party there in the past – she really is the social butterfly of the group! Also, every time JJ had the van, it came back to me totally clean and organised in the back – a state it definitely didn’t return in, I’m ashamed to say…