David ‘The Duke’ Dickinson’s sartorial elegance is matched by his immaculate manners and irrepressible charm. From his distinctive head of hair to his designer shoes, he’s the original “bobby dazzler”. Find out more about the legend in our exclusive interview.
How did you make your break into tv?
In 1996, I was at my daughters house and by chance I met a TV producer who was interested in me for a project he was working on.
Where did you love of all things antique come from?
In the 1970’s I opened an antique shop with my childhood friend Chris Haworth. The idea to set up an antiques business came about when, myself and Chris and our wives were sharing time together. Chris enjoyed collecting and I had already started buying and selling antiques. We bought a little shop in the centre of Disley.
What are your top tips for successful bargain hunting?
My top tip is quality, originality and as tough a bargain as you can make, within your budget.
Describe the bargain you are most proud of?
There have been so many, but I recently bought a set of chairs catalogued in the price collection in Sothebys 18 months ago at £20,000 – £30,000. They didn’t sell on the first sale. They were re-entered on the lower estimate of £12,000 -£18,000. They still didn’t sell so were transferred from the Bond Street Sothebys sales room, to Sothebys Olympia, where I snapped them up for £4,000.00 plus commission.
What item has made you the biggest profit?
About fifteen years ago, on behalf of an American client, I flew to Australia and found a very exotic piece of Minton porcelain. A piece about four foot high. It was a peacock, probably one of their greatest pieces by a man called Paul Comolera, and I located this and sold it to an American for what seemed an enormous sum then, of about £25,000. And I suppose made a profit of 25-30% and was very delighted to do so. A couple of years ago just one of those pieces sold in Christies for £95,000.
Why did you stop presenting Bargain Hunt?
It was a difficult decision to stop making the daytime Bargain Hunt shows, I made the decision in October 2002 shortly after picking up The National Television Award for the show. I took Bargain Hunt to a prime slot in 2002, topping 8 million viewers and went on to make many successful series’ of prime time Bargain Hunt. I simply could not continue to make the day time shows and take on the prime time slot
It was a challenge and an opportunity I couldn’t really turn down and I hope it will lead to more opportunities in the future.
Thanks to David for this interview. Hopefully we will get a chance to speak to him again in the future. Until then check out the link below for some Bargain Hunt highlights!