Antiques Roadshow star reunited with childhood friend thanks to show

Antiques Roadshow presenter reveals how an episode featuring Sooty and Sweep puppets led to a reunion with his childhood friend after 63 YEARS apart

  • Ronnie Archer-Morgan said Sooty and Sweep creator visited his children’s home
  • Emotional story of ‘fondest’ childhood memory touched viewers who wrote in
  • One sent in a snap of Ronnie with best friend at age four, and put them in touch
  • Now living in New Zealand, Anna flew to the UK to meet Ronnie again in August
  • At ‘extraordinary’ reunion she revealed she had always wondered about Ronnie

An Antiques Roadshow presenter has revealed he had an emotional reunion with his best friend from childhood after 63 years apart following an episode of the BBC show in 2017.

Ronnie Archer-Morgan had been evaluating a number of Sooty and Sweep puppets owned by the show’s creator when he said his ‘childhood came flooding back’ to him.

Clearly emotional at the recollection, he described puppeteer Harry Corbett’s visit to his children’s home Southport, Merseyside, in 1955 as his ‘fondest memory’ from his younger years.

His story of Harry letting him play with his puppets touched viewers with many sending in letters to the Antiques Roadshow following the episode.

One of these letters came from a family who had looked after Ronnie on the weekends, and included a photo of Ronnie and his childhood friend Anna at age four or five.

Antiques Roadshow presenter Ronnie Archer-Morgan has revealed how an episode of the show featuring Sooty and Sweep dolls led to an emotional reunion with a childhood friend after 63 years apart 

In 2017, while evaluating two puppets belonging to the show’s creator Harry Corbett, Ronnie revealed he had met him in 1955 when the kind-hearted puppeteer visited his children’s home

Ronnie and Anna had been friends during the time that he was cared for by the family who are believed to have taken the photo of the pair.

Ronnie said: ‘I haven’t seen her for 63 years and when I received that photograph I did shed a tear or two.

‘I could not believe it, that all this had culminated from that moment when I opened that box with Sooty and Sweep in it.’

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After being put in touch with Anna, Ronnie discovered she had moved to New Zealand – but had missed him just as much as he had missed her.

Eventually, she came to England to visit him in August, leading to an ‘extraordinary’ reunion which Ronnie described as being ‘in the stars’.  

He said: ‘[It was] unbelievable. We met at the V&A on one rainy August day, and we just couldn’t stop hugging, it was really extraordinary. And it was other-worldly really.

The emotional story led to a flood of letters – including one containing this snap of Ronnie and his best friend Anna when they were around four or five

The two had been inseparable as kids at the children’s home, but one day Ronnie was sent away with no warning, and the pair had no way of getting in touch as they did not know each other’s surnames

As a result, Ronnie was able to meet up with Anna when she visited the UK from her  home in New Zealand. Pictured: The two friends during Anna’s visit to the UK

‘She told me actually that she’d had this picture on her wall all her married life, and often wondered and discussed with her children what could possibly have happened to me.

‘Because we didn’t know each other’s surnames, so we had no means of finding out about each other. 

‘She missed me as much as I missed her, because when I left, we weren’t warned that I was leaving, one day I was just spirited away. 

‘And on the same day, she wondered what had happened to me and was never told.’ 

The incredible tale was revealed during last night’s episode of the show, which featured a selection of the presenter’s favourite finds over the past 40 years.

He said: ‘[It was] unbelievable. We met at the V&A on one rainy August day, and we just couldn’t stop hugging, it was really extraordinary. And it was other-worldly really’

Viewers of the show were left in floods of tears at the emotional reunion and took to social media to talk about the lovely clip

Viewers of the show were left in floods of tears after watching the emotional story.

Sylvie Collett wrote: ‘The piece with Ronnie Archer-Morgan was lovely. I think I have something in my eye. #AntiquesRoadshow.’ 

Nina Marshall added: ‘#AntiquesRoadshow I desperately hope that lady with all the Sooty’s gave that one to him. Crying my bloody eyes out.’

Another user tweeted: ‘Watching #AntiquesRoadshow and the sooty and sweep story is the most beautiful story with a lovely ending. Smiles and tears here.’ 

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