To describe this most eagerly watched and utterly convincing art-related programme as “irritating” and “somewhat of a joke” is quite extraordinary.
How the first show lived up to its name, as presenters Philip Mould, Fiona Bruce and experts on John Constable proved that an oil similar to The Hay Wain was indeed a prototype by Constable for that iconic masterpiece. Having sold the picture for £35,000 some years back, Mould accorded it a new valuation of £2m.
The programme is not “irritating” but full of twists and turns to delight the audience. I recall when, in an earlier series, the Wildenstein Institute refused to accept that a painting was by Monet despite strong evidence to the contrary, I – and the show’s millions of viewers, I suspect – were left in shocked disbelief.