UK

BBC’s Antiques Roadshow: Fiona Bruce’s famous celebrity run-ins and Roadshow moment she says was ‘too cruel’ to air


Fiona Bruce is loved by many for her time on the BBC’s legendary Antiques Roadshow, which she has presented since 2008.

However, Fiona, 57, has also fronted many programmes that perhaps aren’t so family-friendly, such as Crimewatch and Question Time.

The journalist is used to tackling tough topics, grilling politicians and dishing out tricky questions for her guests.

READ MORE: BBC Celebrity Antiques Roadshow: Clever way Wes Nelson used club nights and parties to become millionaire aged 22

The nature of her role has certainly led to a few heated conversations throughout her career.

One of the most notable is her exchange with Lord Alan Sugar.

Back in 2009, Fiona followed Lord Sugar around for a fly-on-the-wall documentary about his life but things got a little heated after the pair discussed employers asking women about whether they plan on having children.

After Alan suggested that employers should be able to ask whether their female employers intend to have children or what their childcare arrangements are, Fiona said: “I cannot tell you how insulted I would be if my employer said to me, ‘I just want to check what your childcare arrangements are’”.

Alan said that the answer would be “my childcare arrangements are perfect, they’re fine”, and Fiona responded: “Well my answer would be ‘it’s none of your business, actually’”.



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Recalling the tense encounter, Fiona told Express.co.uk: “Alan Sugar letting rip in the confines of his private jet is quite something, I can tell you”.

“I was asking him why women should have to declare their intentions to their employer about having children and he did get very angry – I got the hairdryer treatment.

“But what you saw on the programme was only the tail end of the argument because the battery went on the camera when he was at his angriest. He probably wondered why we never used it and it is one of the biggest regrets that I have to this day.”

Fiona has also had a slightly awkward exchange with the late Prince Phillip, after interviewing him for his 90th birthday in 2011.

She described the Duke of Edinburgh as “spiky” and said it was clear that he “didn’t want to be there”.

When Fiona asked him if he felt he had been successful in his role, he replied: “I couldn’t care less. Who cares what I think about it, I mean it’s ridiculous.”

Fiona also pushed Prince Philip on his “slitty-eyes” comment about British students staying in China.

He said: “It has no effect in China if that’s what you’re worried about,” and stated that he had “forgotten about it”.

Fiona later met Prince Phillip again at the Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace, and described him as “actually very cheery”.

While Fiona has dealt with some of the UK’s toughest characters, she has evidently not let the encounters chip away at her empathy.

In fact, she has previously recalled an Antiques Road scene that has never been aired that would have made “great television”, but she deemed it “too cruel” to show.

Speaking to The Guardian, she recalled a smartly-dressed man arriving to the set and presenting a glass bottle that he’d bought for £1,000 at an antiques shop.

The show’s glass expert examined the ‘antique’, and said: “I’m afraid it’s an empty olive oil bottle, Tesco, circa 2008. It’s worth nothing at all.”

Fiona suggested that while the incident would have captured viewers’ attention, it was too unfair on the man to show it.

She said: “I suppose we could have broadcast it – but it was just too cruel. The guy was devastated.

“There’s a tiny bit of my brain that realises it would have made great television,” she added.

“But it’s just not what the show’s about. Poor chap, poor chap. The thing is, if you come on the Roadshow we are not going to humiliate you.

“The thing about the Antiques Roadshow is not to humiliate people.”

You can watch the next episode of Antiques Roadshow tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

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