This was the moment a savvy bargain hunter realised the £2 trinket she took to auction was actually worth thousands of pounds.
Helen Lambert brought the “Spook” figurine to the Blackpool Tower Circus, where the long-running BBC series Flog It was being filmed.
And yesterday, viewers tuning in to the first episode of the latest series saw the car boot sale bargain valued at between £200 and £300 by on-screen expert James Lewis – before going on to fetch £4,250 at a Fylde coast auction house.
It turned out the Royal Doulton figurine was a particularly rare piece, produced in 1922 and believed to have a prototype glaze, but Mrs Lambert admitted she wasn’t impressed when her husband, David, brought it home.
She said: “When David brought the figure home from the car boot sale I didn’t like it at all.
“I was totally shocked when it sold for so much at auction – I think this sort of thing is a once-in-a-lifetime thing to happen to people, and we don’t expect it to happen again.”
Helen brought the inconspicuous figurine to the resort back in October 2012, when Flog It presenter Paul Martin was touring across the country filming for the BBC show.
But the item caught the eye of experts, who selected it for filming and entered it for auction with a resesrve price of £180 – despite costing only £2 at a car boot sale.
The resulting bidding frenzy, which started at £650, left Mrs Lambert, who lives in Colne, and antiques experts speechless.
Louise Hibbins, series producer of Flog It, said: “The whole team were delighted for Helen and David when the Spook sold for such a high price at auction.
“Flog It really is full of surprises, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable to watch.
“Uncovering such a rare piece of Royal Doulton is certainly an exciting start to our twelfth series of the show.”
The antiques show first aired in 2002, and still attracts audiences of more than 2.5m to its programmes.
The first episode of series 12 aired yesterday afternoon on BBC One.