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Bury St Edmunds shop Smoking Monkey Antiques to star in BBC TV show

A Bury St Edmunds antiques shop which is celebrating its third anniversary is to star in a BBC TV show.

Smoking Monkey Antiques, in St John’s Street, welcomed dealer and auctioneer Raj Bisram last Thursday for an episode of Antiques Road Trip.

The BBC One show sees antiques experts travel across the UK in vintage vehicles in search of treasures which they then sell at auction to see who can make the most money.

Marcia Riddington, Raj Bisram and Liz Nugent. Picture submitted
Marcia Riddington, Raj Bisram and Liz Nugent. Picture submitted

It will be second time the Bury St Edmunds shop has appeared on the programme after Raj visited about two years ago and purchased a Roman pot, which made a small profit.

But owner Marcia Riddington is remaining tight-lipped about what Raj bought this time.

She said: “He bought an item but I’m not allowed to say what it is. It’s a secret until the programme comes out in the new year. It’s great fun to be honest and it makes a change on a Thursday morning really.

“It’s a staggeringly popular programme. Someone told me it’s The Queen’s favourite programme. I don’t know if that’s true or not but she has never been yet to the shop.”

Ms Riddington, 67, opened Smoking Monkey Antiques three years ago after retiring from a career of ‘sensible jobs’.

It is named after a monkey named Jacko, which belonged to a relative of shop worker Liz Nugent. He had a penchant for a cigar and a drink and, when Jacko died, the family had him stuffed. Jacko now takes pride of place in the shop.

“It’s our third birthday which is quite exciting and nothing short of a miracle really,” Ms Riddington said.

“I retired from doing sensible jobs all my life. I thought I just want to have fun now and I just bought a shop which on the face of it isn’t the most sensible thing to do but it has worked.”

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