'It's my favourite day out – I love it,' he enthused. Lloyd Farmar, his partner, who also works on the Roadshow, was even more enthusiastic. Lloyd, who grew up nearby has been visiting for over 20 years. Indeed, he claims it was the pig who once lived in the beautiful stone sty there who turned him vegetarian. 'It got up on its hind legs, poked his head over the wall and looked me straight in the eye,' he laughs. 'After that, I just couldn't eat meat any more.' Clearly, this was going to be no ordinary Roadshow.
Despite the threatening rain clouds and blustery winds, visitors queued in their thousands to see the specialists. The paintings and ceramics teams were kept especially busy with enormous queues snaking along the lanes, while the miscellaneous department had its skills well and truly tested giving valuations on everything from dog collars to a stunning 1950s Metropolitan convertible.
There were plenty of other highlights too. My personal favourites included Fiona Bruce modelling Shirley Bassey's coat (it made her look a bit like Darth Vader in leopard skin), Katherine Higgins jive dancing on the lawn and Roadshow favourite Henry Sandon congratulating Fiona on her 'Rear of the year' award (to much applause), announced the night before.
For the full stories look out for our coverage in coming issues or tune into the new series every Sunday night from late September.
Natasha Goodfellow, deputy editor