Natural Born Dealers


David Harper


Leopard Films for Channel 4, 25 July to ? 2005


Originally piloted as Dealing Duel, this is essentially Bargain Hunt in reverse.

It has often been noted that Bargain Hunt works the wrong way round, having the contestants buy at fairs and sell at auctions. It's all part of the fun, of course, but it also means that, often as not, everybody loses money. Natural Born Dealers takes the opposite course, with contestants buying at auction and then selling privately.

Three things save this from mediocrity - first, the teams buy some half-decent stuff with their £300 budget, so we're dealing in suites, writing desks and pottery rather than "a load of old tat". Allowing a week-long timescale gives the teams a bit more breathing space to research their items and sell them properly, and situations aren't as stagey as BH ("Oh Michael, come and have a look at this...") Also, some of the bargains they pick up sell for hundreds of pounds in profit. The winning pair of the two teams get to keep the profit and original stake for both sides, so there's something to play for.

However, it's a wee bit sad that Channel 4 are chasing the tail of the BBC and ITV who've churned out several years of this antiques malarkey in a multitude of flavours. Where's the next Crystal Maze, chaps? Heck, we'd settle for Babble.


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