Tim Wonnacott has become the latest BBC high-profile celebrity to sever his links with a long-standing #Television programme. The ‘Bargain Hunt’ presenter has quit the popular daytime show amid suggestions of an altercation involving the producers of the show.
Originally suspended by BBC
The decision to step down was taken last week after Wonnacott had been suspended by the BBC in September in the aftermath of the incident. It has been suggested that BBC Bristol staff led the objections to the presenter’s behaviour, with rumours of potential “bullying” surfacing as a probe was launched to investigate the report.
Presented the show since 2003
As a chartered auctioneer and antiques expert, Wonnacott has developed into a ready-made replacement for David Dickinson since he took over the reins in 2003. Originally contracted for just 30 shows, the Barnstable-born star and former director at Sothebys has become a familiar face presenting the “Reds” and “Blues” teams since then.
Familiar face on BBC programmes
He also made regular appearances during the 90s as one of the experts on the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ and was a contestant on the twelfth series of the public service broadcaster’s flagship programme ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
He has become one of the most charismatic and dedicated professionals for the ‘Beeb’ during his tenure, after more than a decade as the front man for the lunchtime show. After the news had broken of his departure, the always impeccably dressed host commented that he was “pleased to have been part of Bargain Hunt for so many years” and had “thoroughly enjoyed every one” of the 1,200 or so programmes he had featured on.
Clarkson also left this year
It won’t be the first time that a popular and long-term presenter will have moved on from the BBC in recent times. Jeremy Clarkson was told that his contract with the ‘Top Gear’ show would not be renewed earlier this year, following an alleged verbal and physical attack on another BBC producer whilst on location.
Large boots to fill
Whoever steps in to replace 62-year-old Wonnacott has some large boots to fill. There should be plenty of candidates though, given that other regular guest experts have previously stepped in on an ad-hoc basis in the past. Initial reports suggest that a rota of hosts will be utilised during 2016 filming from the “team of experts” that have previously assisted the contestants on the show.
Charles Hanson has been one of the engaging alternatives employed to utter the infamous line “let's go bargain hunting!" in the past, when Wonnacott was freed from his duties for ‘Strictly’. Others to step in at that time were Anita Manning, Charlie Ross, Christina Trevanion, Natasha Raskin and Paul Laidlaw, although the BBC may favour a more familiar face in the longer term. #Celebrities #Art