A NEW antiques emporium in Manningtree has featured on a BBC television show after a chance phone call to a customer in his shop.

Ken Hewitt’s Manningtree Emporium in Jubilee End, Lawford was on Monday’s episode of the new BBC show Make Me a Dealer.

The episode followed Clacton amateur antiques dealer Noman Hussein and Katie Jeffryes as they competed to see who could make the most money.

The pair were sent to an auction in Diss, Norfolk, before returning to Essex to try to sell their items on. But Noman was struggling to find antiques buyers for his last item, a leather suitcase.

Ken said: “It was a complete fluke. Four weeks into being open we had an antiques dealer come to look around.

“His phone rang and it was the BBC, they were in Colchester filming and one of the contestants had run out of contacts to sell his stuff.

“He wasn’t interested but handed the phone over to me.

“They came over and filmed from about 4pm to 8.30pm.”

The item for sale was a small leather suitcase with a newspaper inside dating back to 1964.

Noman upcycled it into a side table with a decoupage interior using the newspaper and a world map.

Ken said: “He’d added a wooden board in the suitcase and screwed through the bottom to put on wooden legs.

“Inside he had decoupaged to make it more interesting.

“I’ve seen things like that done before.”

Ken looked over the table and despite a bit of hesitation, agreed to buy it for £50.

He added: “This should be really good publicity for us, it’s five minutes on prime time BBC - you can’t buy that.”

Manningtree Emporium opened in August and already has 39 dealers selling items from the warehouse-style shop with more on the waiting list.

Ken said business has been great since opening and is hoping to see even more people come through the doors in the run up to Christmas.

Make Me a Dealer is on BBC Two again tomorrow, Saturday, November 24, at 4.15pm.