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Paul Martin, presenter of ‘Make Me a Dealer’. Image courtesy of BBC, Osian Davis.

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But when the BBC announced it was axing Flog It! after 17 years many were sad to see it go, not least those specialists who had regularly appeared on it.

Its presenter Paul Martin wasted no time in returning to our screens with two new series. He had already pitched one programme idea before the decision was made by the BBC to cull Flog It! and this new game show, called Curiosity, is currently advertising for contestants.

But in the meantime his other show, Make Me A Dealer, which debuted last week, has already generated plenty of opinions – on social media (a sample of which is reproduced below) as well as letters to ATG (a selection are printed below).

Each episode of Make Me a Dealer features two amateur enthusiasts competing against each other to buy at auction with their own money. With advice from Martin, they then hope to sell on their wares and the winner is the contestant with the most profit. In its favour is its depiction of buying at auction: demystifying the process, thereby making it more accessible to the average viewer, as well as clarifying the costs involved.

Martin is his usual affable and enthusiastic self – appealing for the daytime audience. He hopes the show will encourage more people to start dealing. “In this show the contestants are investing their own money and we are buying at auction. This is the right way round compared to other shows so hopefully reallife dealers and the trade will appreciate that.

“Being a dealer is taking the knocks and the risks and this programme shows that. This series has already seen two of the contestants take space in antiques centres. The more dealers there are, the more stock will come on the market which is good for everyone. At the end of the day this is entertainment and hopefully some dealers will find it funny.”

ATG letter: Little originality

MADAM – I have just watched Make me a dealer, and if this is the BBC’s idea of updating and improving its daytime offerings then this is no substitute for Flog It!.

Outside of Antiques Roadshow it is clear that the BBC has given up any idea of producing intelligent programmes about antiques.

At least Flog It! featured good antique items that we are able to learn something about from the experts, plus the educational value from Paul Martin’s visits to places of historic or cultural interest which strongly added to the watchablility.

They do say that you should give something time to develop, but to replace Flog It! with a show where the ‘contestants’ basically buy and sell a load of old tat has little originality or lasting interest.

I would rather watch endless repeats of Flog It! than this insipid piece of programming.

Clive Bayard

Brentwood, Essex

“At least Flog It! featured good antique items that we were able to learn something about from the experts"

ATG letter: Not realistic

MADAM – I watched the first episode of Make Me a Dealer, and was horrified at the depiction of the trade.

I don’t understand why the BBC thinks it is acceptable to constantly belittle the trade, and make everything look easy.

They wouldn’t make a programme and call it Make Me a Car Mechanic, or Nurse, or Journalist... but the antiques world is fair game!

Everybody has to start out somewhere in the trade but you need love for antiques, time, brains, experience, a good eye, a thick skin and many other qualities to make your living in the antiques trade.

The show was totally unrealistic and ‘fixed’, like most of the afternoon programmes about antiques/ collectables.

This is not the real world. Many of us in the trade laugh at these programmes, and tell tales. I remember being asked by a researcher for one programme to sell an item to a contestant on Bargain Hunt for £20 but accept the £50 ticket price. I refused to be shown on the TV doing this.

It is disappointing that Paul Martin, the former presenter of Flog It!, which was perhaps the only realistic afternoon ‘antiques’ programme in that the public had items valued by valuers and then saw what the market thought of them in auction, should be involved in this sort of misleading codswallop.

We have all seen new people in the saleroom with redundancy money spending away. They don’t usually last long, but with the help of the TV researchers they will all be able to make their fortunes!

Jan Crawford

Twitter reaction

Clare Edwards @clarehurd

Just watched #MakeMeADealer. What an awful patronising programme. The TV crew happened to be there every time they sold an item for a stupidly high price. Gives antique dealers a bad name.

Maggie Dods @MagDods

No substitute for Flog It! We watch these programmes for the THINGS, and the experts, not a lot of meaningless games and empty “how do you feel” banter.

AmberJack @AmberJack1904

Can I request a TV licence rebate from the BBC for inflicting this rubbish on me and the rest of the British public?

Andrea Smalley @easmalley

I want to like this new series but after watching episode 1 I’m not loving it. Paul is worthy of hosting a better programme than this.

kerry bacon @kelbacon

ANOTHER new series about the antiques ‘business’. Make Me A Dealer where people are taught the tricks of the trade. Hope it includes ungodly-hour start, box lugging, stand set up, sit while public point & say, ‘my Nan had one of them’, then pack up & lug out again. For nothing.

hinge_Xanderl @hinge_xanderl

So BBC One has spun the random antique show generator again and come up with a cross between #BargainHunt and #AntiquesRoadTrip hosted by the bloke from #FlogIt.

michael baggott @baggottsilver

Please, the decision to cancel #FlogIt wasn’t taken by any of the experts or presenters of the Show (all were sad to see it go). The Controller of BBC Daytime made that decision, so please address your concerns there, don’t give Paul or the Production team a hard time.

CartersCollectablesUK @CartersCollecta

I caught Paul’s new show and I quite liked it – particularly like the buyers’ comments (LOL – but also quite helpful). I still don’t think the powers that be should have axed #FlogIt though. It was a more realistic alternative to the (excellent but sometimes unattainable) Roadshow.

Paul Martin @paulm_presenter

Lovely to be @bamfordsauction for today’s #MakeMeADealer & James Lewis on the rostrum. Great audience figures yesterday & I enjoyed today’s show. Some good feedback & support – if you’re not sure, let it grow! Isn’t in my power to bring back #flogit.