Flirtation, desire, and cut-glass biscuit barrels: forms of expertise in Antiques Road Trip

Angela Smith, Michael Higgins

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This article looks at the development of broadcast talk in those reality TV genres associated with shopping and negotiation, focusing on Antiques Road Trip. In a context in which reality TV has become associated with judgement and rancor, we are concerned with the balance between expertise and ordinariness, and exploring the place of conversational and interactional styles we have come to associate with “sociability” and the maintenance of “face”, both in terms of pleasure and spectacle and providing a tactical basis for on-screen negotiation. We argue that these performances differ from conventional discourses of expertise as arbiters of specialist insight and market value, and offer new performances of expertise, based on a tactical mix of professional capital and sociability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalDiscourse, Context & Media
Early online date27 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Aug 2016


  • broadcast talk
  • reality TV
  • expertise
  • ordinariness
  • sociability
  • on-screen negotiation
  • televison
  • antiques

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