Going for a Song
Going for a Song was an antiques quiz show broadcast by the BBC from 1965-1977. It was a forerunner of the Antiques Roadshow. The original television series was hosted by presenter Max Robertson, with Arthur Negus appearing as the resident expert and antique valuer. Revivals of the programme were made in the 1990s, hosted by Michael Parkinson (1995-1999), and Anne Robinson (2000), with Eric Knowles as the resident antiques expert, and in 2001 by Michael Aspel.
The host would introduce an antique to a panel of antique experts, valuers and celebrity panellists who would examine the object and give its date and value. Negus would then present its actual age and worth. Midway through the show Arthur Negus would also present a piece of furniture which he would give detailed information about; this was done to effectively break the show into two segments and allow the panelists to relax and listen midway through the show.
Originally, Negus wasn't involved in the show. The original resident expert was Harry Leigh. The producer of the show was John King and the programme was recorded at the BBC's facilities in Bristol. Harry Leigh was a personal friend of John King and would stay with him at his home during production having travelled to Bristol from Portsmouth. This was rather unfortunate for John's son, Simon, who would be turfed out of his room for the night in order to accommodate their guest. Simon King is now involved in nature documentaries.
All versions of the series were characterised by a caged bird automaton singing over the programme's opening and closing credits, accompanied in the original series by the first movement from Respighi's suite Gli Uccelli ('The Birds).
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