It would seem not – at least not when it comes to the BBC’s antique programmes.
We’ve had first-hand experience of the way that Bargain Hunt is staged – often (always?) the experts find, negotiate and buy the items for the programme, before briefing the contestants on the items and having the production crew tell them what to say on camera.
It’s hard to see what some of the contestants get out of the experience – other than simply being on TV.
The latest story to emerge regards the way in which auctions are filmed – in this case for Cash In The Attic. The News of the World has a story in which not only was film edited to show a man bidding on an item that he didn’t buy, but the footage used was actually of him bidding at a different auction!
To be honest, I think this story has been dredged up from somewhere, as I first heard about this type of thing some time ago – and the BBC now claim that they use a more honest system when filiming at auctions. Still, you can’t be sure – anyone for a phone-in competition?
You can see the full story on the News of the World website.