Godstone Emporium recently welcomed 1980s icon Samantha Fox through its doors, when she visited for BBC series Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. The contestants are on the lookout for hidden antique gems which they can sell for profit at auction, and Ms Fox was in competition with her friend and fellow ‘80s pop star Sinitta to see who could make the most money.
The Emporium, which is situated on the high street in Godstone, houses an eclectic mix of items, including vintage clothes, jewellery, pottery, furniture and collectibles. The programme has been filmed there several times before, and the 16 on-site dealers take it in turns to appear on camera. This time, it was Graham Russell, who lives in Lingfield and has had a stall at the Emporium for four years, who got to negotiate with Sam over a Georgian silver cream jug.
“It was really interesting to have her and Steven (Road Trip presenter Steven Moore) in the Emporium,” said Graham. “The jug was on sale for £38 but Sam asked if she could buy it for £27. I told her the lowest I could go was £30, and even though she fluttered her eyelashes at me, I stuck to my guns and she bought it!”
Sam, along with fellow celebrity Sinitta, also visited Hever Castle as part of their trip, meeting head gardener – and Tandridge Independent columnist – Neil Miller, who showed them how the Tudor herb garden was used for cooking, medicines and pest control. Assistant curator Kate McCaffrey gave Steven and co-presenter Tim Medhurst an overview of Hever’s most famous resident, Anne Boleyn.
Graham was a professional trumpet player for over 30 years, touring with Shirley Bassey and working with Paul McCartney, among many other career highlights. He was the lead trumpeter in Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Richard Stilgoe’s Starlight Express for a number of years, and fans of sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf may remember his trumpet intro in the opening titles of the first two series.
Although now officially retired, Graham still plays regularly with other musicians and bands, as well as having formed his own jazz ensemble, the Graham Russell Sextet, this year. He’s the director of the Redhill Community Big Band and is part of the orchestra for the annual Woking pantomime, where he often also becomes an unofficial music teacher:
“I usually end up giving the cast trumpet lessons: last year I taught Gok Wan, and I’ve shown Gary Wilmot how to play too! I also taught Victoria Wood when I played in the orchestra on her series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV.”
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip is available on BBC iPlayer.