David Dickinson's TV break came when by chance he met a BBC TV producer at
a barbecue. He asked David what he did for a living and on hearing his reply
the producer exclaimed with amusement 'You're the real life Lovejoy!' David Dickinson acknowleges that there was a vague likeness between himself and the actor Ian McShane who played Lovejoy in the TV series, both have olive skin, dark hair and are of a similar age ( although David is keen to point out he is slightly younger than Ian.) However David would not compare his own approach to the antiques business with that of Lovejoy.
early TV career, producers even wanted David to dress the part, in blue jeans
and leather gillets. Thank goodness he resisted. "Just not me. I like
proper clothes." David says. And what clothes! Wonderful hand sewn suits
in an array of colours and styles. Pinstripes and plain, single and double
breasted. Occasionally he wears blazer and flannels. He always wears a tie
on TV these days, but in the first series of Bargain Hunt he did appear in
polo neck sweaters, on those chilly winter morning shoots.
David's shoes are stunning too, not just because they're a stately size 11,
but because they always co-ordinate with his whole outfit, which may call
for beige shiny leather and keep an eye out too for a flash of monogrammed shirt cuff, as if you needed
a guarantee of the quality of those colourful shirts.
Many people now comment on the similarity between David Dickinson and the famous fictional antique dealer Lovejoy, others can't make the connection, read on and decide for yourself.
Lovejoy on TV
So if Lovejoy and David don't share a sartorial elegance
what do they share? Lovejoy is best known to us as the lovable rogue antiques
dealer as personified by Ian McShane in the BBC TV series which first
aired in 1986, it is a passing physical ressemblance to Ian McShane's Lovejoy that draws the comparison.(Coincidentally
Mr McShane was born just a few months before David and not many miles
away in Blackburn).The flowing curly locks, the dark and tanned good looks,
the sparkly eyes, the irrepressible charm.
As well as the style
of engaging the audience, both Lovejoy and David Dickinson draw the television
viewers in with theatrical asides, and with a quick glance over the shoulder,
and a conspiratorial air to seduce you into believing that they are about to
let you, and you alone, into a priceless secret about the world of antiques.
Lovejoy was not a made for TV character, he started life as a character
in a book published in 1976 'The Judas Pair' and now features in over
twenty titles. He is the creation of author Johnathan Gash a working medical
Doctor, who drew on his experience gained selling antiques on the Portebello
market in his student days.
The fine British actor Ian McShane was introduced to the books by a fan and he quickly saw the potential for a family comedy/drama TV series. McShane's characterization cleaned up and toned down the original
Lovejoy character as well as aging him considerabley. The Lovejoy of the novels is in his
early to mid twenties, with a randy reputation and apparently as McShane
himself observed "offensive to women".
Ian McShane has never commented on Lovejoy's possible resemblance to The Duke but he is quoted as saying ' David Dickinson once told me
"You’re responsible for me being on TV.” What a burden to bear.' - Charming!
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