Antiques, art and classic car expert David Harper is a well known BBC TV personality who has been presenting programmes on the BBC for over ten years. In much demand across the UK and overseas for his excellent after dinner speeches David also frequently invited to host events, be the charity auctioneer, speak at lunch talks, offer antique valuation events and attend store openings etc.
After Dinner Speakers
David has been fascinated by art and antiques all his life. From as early as he can remember he has been collecting and studying all things old and ancient…and he hasn’t stopped! As a child he would search for broken pieces of pottery in freshly ploughed farmers fields and by the age of seven he had amassed a huge collection of worn out coins and faded stamps! He bought his first antique at the age of nine and began working full-time within the art and antiques business at 18.
His passion for art, antiques and classic cars (art on wheels!) knows no bounds. He handles studies, buys, sells, follows markets, writes about and reads about nothing else! At the age of 25, because of his expertise David was asked to join a PLC company importing Antique style rubber wood furniture from the Far East. David was then one of the youngest directors of a PLC company in the UK
In 1999 he was asked to take part in a local BBC live radio phone in to talk about antiques, his experiences in the business, antique values and their histories. This was a very nerve wracking experience and one that gave David his first ever night without any sleep! The experience however was literally life changing, thrilling and great fun for him. Soon after, other local radio stations booked David and for three years David would appear weekly on BBC radio taking live calls from listeners to discuss their antiques, dishing out advice valuations and funny stories!
This was followed by offers to write for magazines and newspapers. This continued whilst David was running his antiques business which at the time included an antiques restoration and upholstery business making copies of Georgian and Victorian sofas.
Then in 2003, David began valuing antiques behind the camera for shows like ‘Cash In the Attic’ but a call came in 2004 from a company making a new antiques show for Channel 4. David was asked to screen test for this show and the production company sent a director from London with a camera to visit David in Barnard Castle.
So, the TV career began and has continued to grow each year with new shows and appearance. The TV work of course running alongside David’s antiques and art brokerage business which compliment and help one another perfectly. His programmes air in both daytime and primetime on BBC1 and BBC2 as well as in over 50 different countries around the world from Australia to Holland!
David has a proven track record for entertaining and hosting lively events. Very much off the cuff, he encourages audience participation. He has worked with some of the biggest organisations in the UK and he is responsible for selling by auction at a charity event at The Natural History Museum the following:
• Tennis lesson with Boris Becker…£40,000
• Dinner for four with Nick Robinson…£17,000
• Dinner for twelve with Sir Alex Ferguson…£170,000 (World Record!)
He is often asked to comment on antiques and art related stories for radio and TV. He also appears on other popular shows from Ready Steady Cook and Bargain Hunt to Through The Keyhole to the 2016 Celebrity Masterchef. David writes for magazines and newspapers and has been working on BBC radio since 1999 and BBC TV since 2005.
When David is not filming or working in the business, you’ll probably find him painting! A recognised artist, David’s work hangs in homes around the world from California to Australia and is sold in several prestigious galleries in the UK. David’s artwork is very much inspired by the thousands of objects he has handled over the years, his time in Africa and the great 20th century painters like Picasso, Matisse, Leger and Vlaminck, all of whom he has studied and whose colours and flamboyancy have been engraved on his mind.
Aside from his TV work, hosting events, brokerage and painting David also writes art and antiques articles for magazines and newspapers and is often called upon to discuss related issues on national TV and radio, including the controversial topic of the antique ivory trade.
David spent some of his formative years in Zimbabwe and has a deep love of Africa, its people, its welfare and its animals. David is very involved in discussions on how to bring the poaching of Elephants and Rhinos to an end in Africa before it’s too late.
David is based in central London and rural Barnard Castle
"David Harper is a consummate professional and an excellent speaker. He was guest speaker at a dinner event I organised last year and could not of been more accommodating (even when I had to change the date) and engaging.
His entertaining manner and knowledge of his subject was a treat and, without exception everyone I spoke to afterwards said it was one of the best after dinner talks and display of expertise they had experienced. Thoroughly recommended
Media Messages LTD
"I was delighted to ask David Harper to join us at my annual fundraising dinner at Lords Cricket Ground. Thank you David for conducting our live auction with fantastic results and great humour. You had the room buzzing and everybody was talking about it afterwards. We loved the way you did it – a super super job and look forward to speaking to you soon about next years event"
Tessa Sanderson CBE:
"I would like to express a big Thank You for attending the antiques valuation event at St Cross Grange in Winchester.
The event was a great success, thanks to your fantastic engagement of the guests and your ability to make people smile/laugh. I have not attended an event before where I could see so many people actively participating in the event, wishing to ask questions and paying a great attention to what was being said. It was such a great pleasure to see an elderly resident in a wheelchair, who seating next to me, laughing so much from all the jokes and funny comments you made. Or your ‘glamorous assistant’ (a wife of one of the residents) who was delighted to take part in the event of which she found out in the last minute. Her face was lit with happiness during your presentation. Seeing older people so happy, thanks to you, was priceless.