Auctioneer Angus Ashworth stopped by the A1 in the Yorkshire Dales to talk about herding the herd of (fake) sheep of Judge Strictly Come Dancing Craig Revel Horwood.
Not just that, of course. He talks about journalist John Sergeant, comedian Debbie McGee, and the various other famous names he’s raided homes to find relics worth putting under a hammer.
Celebrity Yorkshire Auction House, which focuses on the drama of the deals made at Ashworth’s Ryedale Auctioneers, Kirkbymoorside, by the North York Moors, is a star-studded version of a show that has already been a hit with viewers.
Rare Mouseman furniture carved by a refugee fleeing the Nazis sold at high prices …
Throughout the five hour-long episodes, it also explores the homes of impressionist Jon Culshaw, actors Catherine Tyldesley, Christopher Biggins, Claire Sweeney, presenter Rav Wilding, dancer Wayne Sleep and former model and racing driver Jodie Kidd.
“They were great people and Craig was a lot of fun, really lively,” says Ashworth.
“I know sometimes in Strictly he plays the judge a little bit meaner but, you know, I think in real life he’s a really nice guy.”
Ashworth says that one of the perks of adding celebrities to a show like this is that viewers get a glimpse of the real human being behind the veil of stardom.
“You kind of see them in a different environment, you don’t see them in their TV character, if you will,” he said as he pulled up in his car near Thirsk on his way home. ‘A Job – Ashworth and his team rack up around 60,000 miles driving home clearances each year.
“These are their own homes, so it’s a little nicer, you can see a different side of them. You see them out of context and in an environment in which they feel comfortable.
He adds, “I could have been talking to John Sergeant all day. His career as a journalist and the places he has visited are simply fascinating. I think it’s the joy of my job, you know you’re not sitting at a desk, you’re learning different things – you never stop learning – and I’m very lucky to doing a job that I love to do. “
After the first series was a big hit for the Really channel, the show was restarted – proving to be another feather in the course of the region’s film and television production growth illustrated by programs such as The Yorkshire Vet and Our Yorkshire Farm.
Father-of-three Ashworth, 37, said: “The regular series that came out earlier this year and has been hugely successful in terms of reception, viewership – one of the best shows to air on Really for a number of years, in terms of audience numbers, I think that struck a chord with a lot of people.
“It was about people and stories rather than about the money and profit people can make. It’s there, you see what people are doing, but it’s not the determining factor. It’s a warm program and I think people like it.
“Based on that, they are looking to do more, which we are doing. I think the celebrity series was a natural progression of that, actually, because the format works. It’s not just them who come in and do something, it comes into their lives and for very genuine reasons. “
In the example of Revel Horwood, he was moving to live in the Midlands with his fiance Jonathan Myring.
As mentioned, among the loaded items were a number of false garden sheep.
Revel Horwood’s dad had a real herd and the star tells viewers, “He called them all Dolly. So I decided to buy some resin sheep. I thought five is a good number. So they became my best friends.
Ashworth was also tasked with rummaging through the dancer’s disco balls and studded shoes in her wardrobe to get a feel for what items might be salvaged.
He says, “There are a variety of reasons people need our services. Sometimes it can be quite sad and sometimes very emotional because someone has passed away and they have a property to clear or an estate to manage, which can be quite raw and emotional for people.
“But sometimes, you know, it’s just a need for good reasons – they bought a new house and some things just don’t go.”
Part of his job is to manage this process, often with sensitivity.
“It’s not just about selling things, it’s about people.”
He was a famous Yorkshireman, in fact, who can be credited at least in part with Ashworth’s childhood interest in historical objects.
“Sean Bean, to me, is an absolute legend,” says Ashworth.
“My main area and specialty is military memorabilia and it all came from reading Sharpe’s books and watching Sharpe (Bean played the Richard Sharpe, a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars, in the TV adaptation) and it probably preceded my first career in the military and got me into that industry.
“Maybe if there was another celebrity streak, if Sean wanted to invite us over to sell his stuff, that would be fantastic!” “
Ashworth started his career with David Duggleby Auctioneers when, on his 16th birthday, after leaving Ryedale School, he moved into a studio in Scarborough to start learning his craft.
After rising through the ranks at Duggleby’s, he joined the family business and the Territorial Army, the latter leading to tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But her love of auctions and the whole process stuck, which prompted her father to suggest that she get back to it professionally.
With the continued support of his wife Gemma, with whom he has been for 19 years, he started Ryedale Auctioneers in 2010.
Since then, his expertise has enabled him to work with Cash in the Attic Online – an offshoot of the popular BBC TV series – and his charisma has caught the attention of TV producers, earning him appearances in shows such as Antiques Road Trip. The first series of her own show, The Yorkshire Auction House, aired in March.
What prompted him to return to the profession?
“I think it’s the variety of the job. Every day is different. Yes, in principle, we go looking for stuff to sell and we sell it but I think it’s so much more than that because every day you meet different people, you go to different houses, you see different objects and I think that it’s joy for me – you never know what you’re going to see next.
Celebrity Yorkshire Auction House airs on Really Mondays at 9 p.m. and is also available to stream on discovery +.