Belfast Telegraph

Dowling's horrible treasure hunters

Antiques expert Curtis Dowling has admitted he wasn't always rooting for the people who appeared on his new show, Treasure Detectives.

The programme investigates whether people's treasures are real or fakes, and Cash In The Attic star Curtis explained not all of the contributors were people he wanted to see get good news.

He said: "We had all sorts of people on the show. This isn't the Antique's Roadshow where everybody is nice and everything's wonderful. Some of our contributors were lovely. We had a guy who found a dagger he thought might be worth a fortune, and he had a really sad story. There was another guy who thought he'd found a Warhol and he was genuinely broke - these could have been life-changing items for them."

Of other contributors, he said: "One turned out to be a criminal, so you want to deliver bad news so you can say, 'Caught you!'. Other people were just horrible, and you weren't sure if they were trying to trick you, or if they actually believed what they were saying. We've got some people you'll take an instant dislike to."

Curtis also told one of his favourite stories: "We were asked to authenticate a pair of cufflinks that Neil Armstrong had owned, he'd received them from the then President of the United States, Richard Nixon. This guy's granddad had been given them by Armstrong because he was a chef at one of the presidential dinners for astronauts. He'd told the story for many, many years and was a bit of a celebrity because of it.

"He held his grandfather in high esteem, so even though these cufflinks, if real, could be worth half a million pounds, it was more about the sentimental side and carrying on the respect for his grandfather's fabulous history. He brought them to us and started talking about his grandfather, and he was in tears. It made great telly, but he also genuinely adored this man, so we had a difficult thing of finding out the truth, but also being very delicate about delivering any information."

:: Treasure Detectives airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on Yesterday.

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