Television: Throw another pawn on the Burberry

By Lin Ferguson

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Prestige Pawn shop owner James Constantinou of TV's Posh Pawn
Prestige Pawn shop owner James Constantinou of TV's Posh Pawn

It was an unexpected slice of entertainment which I enjoyed despite it being all about high-end stuff, loads of cash, a happy pawnbroker and some satisfied clients.

Seems top-hole pawn dealers have come into their own in Britain.

The reality show Posh Pawn, Saturday night TV ONE, provided some interesting surprises among the deals and customers in the smart Surrey town of Weybridge, hence the title.

This is yet another show about the super rich and their desires, which, as a colleague remarked, numerous TV programmes have perversely focused on since the global financial recession.

However, this upmarket pawn doco did reveal some quirky tales.

As Prestige Pawn shop owner James Constantinou said, high-end pawn dealers had all but taken over from banks when it comes to dishing out short-term cash loans.

One woman came into his shop clutching her granny's ruby pendant. She hoped it be valuable enough to get about 80,000 ($173,000) to finance her into a graphic arts business, and if there was a bit left over maybe help her daughter set up nail technician bar.

The front of shop chap, trying to keep his jaw from collapsing, said he would get back to her in a couple of days after some expert advice.

As soon as she left he darted out the back to main man James and delicately placed the velvet case with its precious ruby cargo in front of him.

Expert advice from the top man in London was the ruby was huge and flawless like the pair in the Queen's crown.

Two days later customer returns and is escorted out the back to see James.

When he tells her the ruby pendant has a value of 500,000 she pales and sinks back in the chair in disbelief.

Her initial story was that the pendant would stay in the family forever.

Looking wan and shocked, I would guess that selling the great stone had suddenly become an option - family or no family.

A young single mum suffering the crashing pressure of mounting debt decides to give the pawn shop a go. She's trying to hock her never used Hermes Birkin bag, given to her by a previous boyfriend

"I hope it's worth something. I don't like it it looks like a granny bag."

After examination by a renowned handbag expert our young mum was on cloud nine when she was told her bag was worth 50,000 and there was a five-year waiting list for the classy accessory.

And Posh Pawn went anywhere there was money to be made.

A 1.5 million helicopter thrilled James, but he had to suffer going for a whirl in it first.

Our astute pawnbroker gathered his resolve and went for a spin.

He landed shaken and slightly green round the gills but hey, the money was in the bag.

Hallelujah!

- Wanganui Chronicle

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