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Lots of bother… as Bez rigs Bargain Hunt

1 October 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Last week’s hotly anticipated celebrity episode of Bargain Hunt – which saw members of the Happy Mondays pitted against Britpop-era rivals from Pulp – turned out to be tainted by scandal.

Usually a sedate competition, the show sees contestants shopping for antiques that they then try to sell on for profit at auction. In this instalment, the Happy Mondays’ Bez and Rowetta were initially declared the winners, having made a profit of £8 on a range of items including a vintage turntable and a novelty horseshoe mirror; Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and Candida Doyle, meanwhile, made a miserable loss of £95, principally due to Cocker’s questionable investment in a distinctly dodgy Russian painting.

All was not as it seemed, however. Shortly after shooting wrapped, it became apparent that the Happy Mondays team had cheated: unbeknownst to the show’s producers, Bez’s girlfriend had been at the auction house, bidding on – and winning – the band’s lots. The ending was re-shot, with Pulp being named as winners by default and Bez making a public apology. ‘It was a genuine error,’ he claimed. ‘My girlfriend thought she was helping out.’

In other news…

Rachel Whiteread’s first permanent public sculpture in Britain has just been unveiled in Yorkshire. Cast from a wartime Nissen hut and located in thick woodland, it inspired some intriguing proposals from the local authority. ‘They wanted it to be part of a Gruffalo walk,’ Whiteread told the Observer. ‘I said no to that.’


The late, great Mark E. Smith has been immortalised – on the side of a chip shop in Prestwich. Created by graffiti artist Akse P19, the mural depicts the Fall singer puffing away on a cigarette while directing his characteristic frown at passers-by. Wonderful and frightening indeed…

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.