Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce reveals worst show blunder which was 'too cruel' to air

For 35 years, BBC legend Fiona Bruce has been at the helm of several of the broadcaster’s flagship shows, ranging from hard hitting news and politics in BBC News and Question Time, through to more light hearted offerings such as Fake or Fortune and the Antiques Roadshow. Yet while Fiona is often regarded as unflappable on set, there have been moments where situations have taken her by complete surprise.

Recalling one instance on The Antiques Roadshow in particular, the TV star recently revealed that one scene had been cut from a broadcast as it would have been “too cruel” to air, after a guest was heartbreakingly informed his ‘antique’ was actually a supermarket bottle.

Fiona Bruce has recalled one moment on set that was   'too cruel' to broadcast
Fiona Bruce has recalled one moment on set that was 'too cruel' to broadcast -Credit:BBC

Chatting to The Guardian, Fiona explained how one gentleman had come to the show to get a valuation of a unique glass bottle that he purchased for £1,000 at an antiques shop. Initially hoping for a high estimate, the guest was utterly devastated when the it was discovered to actually be a Tesco olive oil bottle, circa 2008 - worth nothing at all!

Although the news would no doubt have sent viewers howling with laughter, it was decided that it would be “too cruel” to air by show bosses. Fiona said: “I suppose we could have broadcast it – but it was just too cruel. The guy was devastated. There’s a tiny bit of my brain that realises it would have made great television.”

She then added: “But it’s just not what the show’s about. Poor chap, poor chap. The thing is, if you come on the Roadshow we are not about to humiliate you. The thing about Antiques Roadshow is not to humiliate people.”

Fiona Bruce previously locked horns with Lord Alan Sugar over his views on employment questions
Fiona Bruce previously locked horns with Lord Alan Sugar over his views on employment questions -Credit:Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

It wasn’t the only awkward situation Fiona has had to overcome in her career however, as she previously also locked horns with The Apprentice star Lord Alan Sugar while producing a documentary about his life back in 2009.

During the documentary, Fiona followed Alan throughout his day-to-day life to give a fly on the wall insight into the life of a business tycoon, but things swiftly took a turn for the worse when Alan revealed he thought it was acceptable to ask any female employees about whether they had any plans to have children and what their arrangements for childcare would be.

Speaking at the time, Fiona fumed: “I cannot tell you how insulted I would be if my employers said to me, ‘I just want to check what your childcare arrangements are’.”

Fiona stood her ground as she called out the sexism behind Lord Sugar's opinion
Fiona opened up on her tense exchange with Lord Alan Sugar -Credit:BBC

Alan then chimed in that the correct answer would be: “My childcare arrangements are perfect, they’re fine” to which Fiona argued: “Well my answer would be, ‘It’s none of your business, actually’.”

Even after the moment had passed it was still clearly a sore point for Fiona, as she later told Express: “Alan Sugar letting rip in the confines of his private jet is quite something, I can tell you. I was asking him why women should have to declare their intentions to their employer about having children and he did get very angry – I got the hairdryer treatment.

“But what you saw on the programme was only the tail end of the argument because the battery went on the camera when he was at his angriest. He probably wondered why we never used it and it is one of the biggest regrets that I have to this day.”