AN antiques dealer is now helping to put Barnsley on the map after appearing on popular daytime TV shows inspired by his lifelong passion.
Carl Masters has worked as an antiques dealer at Elsecar Heritage Centre for the last 15 years.
After discovering an interest in antiques at just eight years old, Carl gave up his career as a businessman to pursue his dream of becoming a dealer.
Since then he has worked with customers and celebrities alike in his role as an antiques and collectables valuer.
“I remember getting really interested in antiques after a visit to Cannon Hall,” said Carl, 59. “Ever since then I have had a fascination with anything old, and when the opportunity to wok at the heritage site came up, I jumped on it.
“There is a rich history in Elsecar with the pits, and even now I still get items that I have to research as I don’t know what they are. There’s never a dull day and each brings something different.”
For the past eight years Carl has been a regular face on daytime TV shows such as Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip where he helps provide teams with knowledge about items in the shop.
“I do really enjoy it when the TV crews come into the shop,” he said. “They usually film all day for what might be a short segment, but it’s always really fun to show the experts and celebrities what we have.
“During my time working on the shows I have met Shaun Williamson who played Barry in Eastenders, newscaster Louise Minchin and actress Vicky Entwistle who was actually really lovely.
“I think the thing I love the most is introducing them to the history of the area and finding obscure items that might be interesting for the show.
“Some of the items on from the shop have been auctioned off for thousands of pounds which does make me quite proud because I helped to pick that item out.
“Despite being on the show so many times, I’ve never actually watched an episode - I find it a little bit awkward.”
Carl said that despite his burgeoning fame through his television work, his passion will lie with finding local antiques for the centre.
“For me, antiques are a passion and I love what I do,” he added. “I’ve been fascinated with them since I was eight and I think that passion will continue for as long as I live.
“As long as there are new items to discover, I will be interested in finding them.”