Behind the scenes at Real Deal’s visit to Waterside

Dominic Hallgate with David Dickinson
Dominic Hallgate with David Dickinson

A child’s toy kitchen attracted the excitement of several experts when Dickinson’s Real Deal came to film for the first time in Aylesbury.

When owner Dominic Hallgate placed the black tin plated fully working 240 volt electric German made cookeronto a table at the Waterside it caused an independent valuer to immediately exclaim: “Wow wee, that is the bee’s knees of children’s toys.

“I haven’t seen anything on this scale sold at auction, I’ve seen smaller ones. It has been kept in remarkable condition.”

David Dickinson, the exeuberant presenter of the popular ITV daytime television show was called over and joined in with the admiration of the Marklin cooker.

He told Mr Hallgate and his wife Alexia, who live in Hartwell: “I like that. I can see Jamie Oliver wanting this for his kids. That might be worth a run at auction, it’s just a question of who is there on the day to bid for it. It’s a real curiosity.

“It’s all about getting it in front of the right person. A lot of people would go for this.”

The couple were given a lot of independent expert off-screen advice before Mr Hallgate, who is retired from the army, happily agreed to appear on the programme.

He was told not to accept the first offer, but to go in and have a bit of fun and then David Dickinson would join him.

He was filmed with Henry Nicholls, who said: “It is in remarkable condition, every child’s dream. It is absolutely exquisite, a rare thing.”

Mr Dickinson, wearing a slick black suit, sparkling tie and very shiny shoes, then joined the stage and suggested it would be a good move to take the cooker to auction, and that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey might buy it for his children.

Mr Hallgate bought the cooker complete with pots and pans when he was stationed in Germany and his daughter Courtney, who is now 15, enjoyed playing with it when she was small. He has taken great care of it over the years, oiling it regularly.

He took it to the filming on Saturday at the suggestion of his wife who said he collected a lot of things and loves watching the programme.

The couple will now go to Chiswick Auctions in north London in March for further filming.

Mrs Hallgate said: “It will be a nice day out.”

Series editor Paul Tasker was extremely pleased with the day’s filming and said: “This has been a very good day, an excellent turn out.

“We are making four programmes today, and the footage will be joined with filming from the auction.

“Thirty-six people have agreed to sell today and 12 are going to auction.

“We’ve had some very interesting things including a Moorcroft English pottery lamp, a 19th century oil painting and a pearl necklace.

“The best thing we sold today was a pair of pistols.”

Auctioneer Matt Caddick said the pistols from the 1820s were brought in by a lady in her late 80s who was a provincial French farmer’s daughter.

Her husband was a British pilot who crashed in France during the war.

They fell in love, married and came back to England and the pistols were given to them as a gift by one of their neighbours.

Mr Tasker said: “The things which have been brought along today are a good representation of the type of things we usually get and included a drum from the First World War, Victorian scientific instruments, watches, some Heather McCartney pottery which is a modern collectable, and some Russian silver spoons.

“We’ve had a lovely time, we try to go to different places for variety.”

Footage from the Aylesbury filming and the auction follow-up will appear on screen during the new series which starts on ITV in July.

The Bucks Herald was asked not to spoil viewers enjoyment and agreed not to divulge any of the valuations.