Canadian antiques enthusiasts Brian and Dina O’Connor have flown more than 4,000 miles to meet Charles Hanson and visit his auction house near Derby.
The couple, who live in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada, are enjoying an 11-day break in the UK and are touring a handful of auction houses they have come to know and love through their favourite TV show, BBC Bargain Hunt.
They said it was well worth making the 4,394-mile trip from Williams Lake to Hansons in Etwall to meet a man they had watched on TV ‘for many years’. They had their picture taken with the well-known auctioneer on Monday (Oct 22) and he gave them a signed photo with a personal message.
“I just love Charles’s enthusiasm when he’s on the rostrum,” said Dina, 53. “I like the way he talks about the items – he’s so passionate.
“I work in a call centre supporting people and sometimes it’s 11pm before I get home after a difficult shift. It’s nice to sit down afterwards and wind down watching something light-hearted and fun.”
Brian, 60, who is retired but used to own a taxi company, said: “Charles is like a conductor when he’s on the rostrum. We both enjoy watching him and are really interested in history, antiques and genealogy. My mother has traced our ancestry back to Edward I.”
The couple said their friends were surprised by their plans to do a Bargain Hunt tour of the UK and visit the Midlands, a part of the country many tourists fail to reach, but they were really enjoying it.
“We’d like to come back in around two years’ time and stay for longer,” said Dina.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “I was delighted to welcome Brian and Dina to Hansons. It’s a great honour to think they’ve travelled so far to see us and proves the enduring popularity of BBC Bargain Hunt all over the world.”