A Worksop businesswoman is set to appear on BBC's Bargain Hunt

Auction Day with Helen and Kathryn's opposing Blue Team
Auction Day with Helen and Kathryn's opposing Blue Team

The owner of Carlton House Vintage Arts and Crafts Centre in Worksop will be appearing on the BBC’s Bargain Hunt.

Helen Parry will be on the show on Friday, August 16, alongside her friend and fellow vintage enthusiast, Kathryn Cowell, also from Worksop.

Auction Day with expert Mark Stacey.

Auction Day with expert Mark Stacey.

This all came about 18 months ago when Helen was visiting the BBC website and read they were looking for applicants for the new upcoming series of Bargain Hunt.

And coming from a Family of Antiques and Vintage enthusiasts, Helen was determined to give it a go and she decided to fill out the online form.

Helen thought no more about it, until one Saturday evening last October 2018, she received a phone call from the Bargain Hunt Team and completed an enthusiastic telephone audition.

Helen said: “I was so excited.

“The phone call lasted for a good half an hour, chatting away about my background and interests in Antiques, Vintage and my love of shopping for bargains."

The BBC said they were looking for characters with lots of energy and confidence, so with that in mind, Helen selected her friend Kathryn to join her team.

The formal auditions took place in Barnsley on Sunday, November 17, where the ladies had to play a mini game of Bargain Hunt and be filmed talking about themselves and what they loved about foraging for Bargains.

Kathryn said: “this was the most nerve wracking thing for me, however Helen and I have a great rapport and this came across on camera to the Bargain Hunt production crew."

Helen and Kathryn were invited to film their show at the Harrogate Event Centre on Sunday, March 17.

Helen said: “We felt giddy with nerves and excitement as we arrived at the venue, however the BBC team put us immediately at ease, they were so down to earth and friendly."

They were sharing a Green Room with their opposing team and another set of teams filming the same day.

The Bargain Hunt presenter Anita Manning was the first person to introduce herself to the group, with her jovial Scottish charm, she recounted to them that she’d been filming the show’s introduction since 7am on a freezing cold Golf Course, breaking the ice and settling everyone’s nerves.

Helen and Kathryn were chosen to be the Red Team, suited up in the famous Bargain Hunt Fleeces and ready for filming.

Their expert was unknown to them and revealed as a surprise during filming, with smiles all round to have the highly experienced Mark Stacey on their team.

The ladies were only permitted one hour on a timer, to investigate the length and breadth of an incredibly large Antiques Fair, with hundreds of traders, showcasing thousands of items, whilst interacting with each other, their expert Mark Stacey and their every movement and comment being filmed by the BBC Team following them around.

Kathryn said: “I found the shop super stressful."

The opposing Blue Team had Antiques Expert, Kate Bliss guiding their choices.

Helen said: “It was an emotional experience, Kathryn and I are both very competitive and wanted to do well.

"We only had one hour, which feels like a long time but it flew by and there was so much to try and look at”.

A couple of weeks later they were off to Auction in Darlington, to find out whether or not they had indeed had a Bargain Hunt.

This was a completely different type day, with a host of Teams from three months of filming and celebrity Bargain Hunt Experts everywhere, chatting with ease and sharing their memories of their shopping days.

Neither Helen or Kathryn had ever been to a proper auction before.

Helen said: “There was such an electric buzz in the air, the BBC crew were really upbeat and encouraging. It was all live filming with no stopping or re-recording in the Auction Room and members of the public placing their bids. It was so exciting, we loved it."

Kathryn said: “My favourite part was the auction. My two daughters grew up watching Bargain Hunt at their grandmothers house, so it brought it all to life for me."

The entire experience was rounded off in a local hotel, where all the teams took turns to film their final segment with presenter Anita Manning and their experts, to find who won on the day and whether anyone achieved a Golden Gavel.

Helen said: “We are so proud to represent ourselves and our local town of Worksop on the flagship BBC programme Bargain Hunt.

"Knowing that our friends and family will get the opportunity to see how much fun we had when it airs on August 16, is incredibly exciting.

"This is the kind of thing you tell your grandchildren about one day and thanks to modern technology, we’ll able to show them.”

Helen and Kathryn’s episode of Bargain Hunt is scheduled to be screened on Friday, August 16, at 12.15pm.