When the US reality show, Storage Hunters, was launched in 2011, it quickly became compulsive viewing, with its cast of larger-than-life bargain hunters following the show’s creator and star, auctioneer Sean Kelly, around abandoned storage units, trying to pick up bargains.
It wasn’t long before a British spin-off series, Storage Hunters UK, came to our television screens, again starring Kelly. When the show was first broadcast on the Dave channel in 2014, it retained the popularity of its US counterpart and the buyers soon became household names.
The debut British show captured a larger audience – 1.1 million viewers in total – than the hit drama series, Walking Dead – an indicator of how much the public enjoy watching the bargain-hunters with their successes, failures and squabbles.
The buyers hoping to make their fortune from bidding on the long-forgotten contents of locked storage units – but often ending up with nothing more exciting than a bunch of old office furniture – have become reality TV stars in their own right. In fact, perhaps the most famous Brit storage hunter, Colin Newell – otherwise known as Heavy D or The Boominator due to his “boom” catchphrase – went on to star in another British reality show, Celebrity Big Brother, in 2016.
Storage Hunters UK has even been described as having a “touch of the Jeremy Kyle show” about it, as burly security guards dressed in black keep the peace when the feuding bargain seekers try to attack each other after their verbal insults become too much. Once the heavy-duty bolt-cutters have been used to dramatically cut the padlocks on the lock-up storage units, it’s a case of “anything goes”.
The UK version of the show has returned for its sixth series, with auctioneer Kelly on the road to all corners of the nation, trying to keep the batch of often ruthless bidders in line. Abandoned containers and lock-ups are all fair game as one person’s rubbish becomes another person’s treasure – they hope!
The buyers attempt to outbid each other – and also outwit each other – by feigning interest in lots they consider worthless to try and make rivals waste all their money on rubbish! None of the buyers know what’s in the lock-up, as they’re only permitted a fleeting look inside and can’t rummage, so it’s all based on their assumptions of what the contents might be.
In a strange way, Storage Hunters is like a version of Antiques Roadshow for the 21st century. Although the classic TV programme is very different on the surface, deep down both shows play to the viewers’ desire to see if that long-lost item is worth a lot of money or if someone is going home empty-handed.
The success of the British show led to another spin-off, Celebrity Storage Hunters, in which the likes of comedians Reeves and Mortimer, retail magnate Theo Paphitis, celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott, celebrity cricketer Phil Tufnell, TV presenter Janet Street-Porter and actor Tim Vine went head-to-head in a bid to bag those bargains. Producing some hugely entertaining television, a total of 41 celebrities competed, with the money going to their chosen charities.
Storage Hunters UK chose H&H van hire when they were filming the British show. The production crew hired out H&H’s Luton Box vans to transport the crew and equipment across the UK – a further testament to the high-quality and reliability of our vehicles and services. Please contact us for more details of our van and minibus hire services.