Celebrities

David Dickinson’s emotional encounter with injured fan: ‘You said I could do this’

Michael McIntyre's The Wheel: David Dickinson puzzled by answer

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David is back on screens today as he fronts the ITV antiques show Dickinson’s Biggest and Best Deals. It will see the Bargain Hunt star delve back through the archives and show some of the most exciting finds the fabled antiques expert found on his flagship Real Deal show. The much loved presenter has been a fixture of daytime television for decades, and found success with the BBC’s Bargain hunt before making the switch to ITV in 2006.

Prior to his career on-screen, David was an antiques salesman, before he met a BBC producer at a barbecue which led to him being the star of a two-part documentary on him preparing for a show at the Olympia.

Throughout his career, David has been a regular daily fixture on screens, and such is his affable manner, he has become a charming figure viewers have fallen in love with.

And David even recalled a chance encounter he had with a fan, who went further, saying he was his “idol”

Writing for The Sun, David said he didn’t mind it when people shouted his catchphrases at him, such as “cheap as chips”, as his fans have helped him make a “great living so I can’t knock it”.

He continued in 2017: “Two weeks ago I had an encounter that was very humbling. I was in Barbados on holiday and a man hesitantly came up to me.

“He said: ‘I have to say something because you’re my idol.’ It turned out he had a very bad accident 15 years ago, when he was crushed in an industrial presser. He was in hospital for nine months and he watched me on Bargain Hunt every day.

“He said: ‘You were saying to me: ‘You can do this, you can get better.’”

Although most viewers love David, on occasion he has had people, and celebrities poke fun at him.

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Known for his flamboyant style and language, David’s apparent tan has also been a stick used to beat the dealer with.

Such was his popularity, he was even immortalised by impressionist Alistair McGowan on his popular Big Impression show.

But David explained he didn’t mind and that the jokes “don’t make me feel self-conscious at all”.

He added: “It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek and I don’t mind having the p*** taken out of me.

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“I know I’m a bit of a character and that’s the way it’s always been. If you can have a laugh at yourself, I believe people warm to you more.

“I’m half-Armenian so I have olive skin and I go on four or five holidays a year.”

After his breakthrough on TV, David would go on to make regular appearances on This Morning and BBC Two’s The Antiques Show, before he landed his landmark role on Bargain Hunt.

But prior to stardom, David served three quarters of a four-year prison term, after he was sentenced at the age of 19 for mail-order fraud.

The scam saw the future daytime star buy goods on credit, before selling them and recycling the money back into the business to gain a better credit rating.

He served the majority of his sentence inside Manchester’s Strangeways Prison, and told comic Leigh Francis in an episode of Shopping with Keith Lemon in 2019 about his experience.

He said: “And then as I got older, I got involved ‒ because I was a bit of a cocky little b***er ‒ I got involved in fraudulent type activities and got sent to prison.

“And I deserved it and it was the best thing in some ways that happened to me.

“It wasn’t short and sharp, I was there for about three years, but that put the fear of God into me and I didn’t want any more of that.”

Dickinson’s Biggest and Best Deals airs today on ITV from 4.30pm.

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