Antiques Roadshow's Alexandra Gill says Tutankhamun inspired her career

The paintings specialist visited an exhibition when she was a 7-year-old.

Antiques Roadshow expert Alexandra Gill. (BBC screengrab)
Antiques Roadshow expert Alexandra Gill. (BBC screengrab)

What did you miss?

Antiques Roadshow resumed its 44th series on BBC One on Sunday (April 21), and viewers were treated to a sweet insight to paintings specialist Alexandra Gill's big inspiration.

Speaking to presenter Fiona Bruce infront of a framed picture of Egyptian pharoah Tutankhamun, Gill was asked to reveal her origin story and how it linked to the iconic golden funerary mask that was discovered in the Valley of the Kings almost 100 years ago.

The gold mask of King Tutankhamun is seen in its glass case during a press tour, in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. German restoration specialist, Christian Eckmann, summoned to Cairo to examine the damaged burial mask, spoke at a packed news conference Saturday at the Egyptian museum, saying that epoxy used to glue the mask's beard back on can be removed and the mask properly restored. Eckmann said the beard, which has been detached before from the mask and had likely loosened over the years, was accidentally knocked off last August during work on the relic’s lighting. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The gold mask of King Tutankhamun. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

What, how and why?

Sitting down opposite her Antiques Roadshow colleague, Gill said it all began at the British Museum.

"When I was seven, there was a very huge exhibition at the British Museum of the treasures of Tutankhamun and it's quite renowned for the fact it was so popular. Apparently something like 1.7 million people went and there's never been an exhibition like it."

The expert continued: "As a result of that the queues were huge and I was at Great Ormond Street Hospital just around the corner, and my mother passed the British Museum every morning on her way to see me and thought, 'Alex would love to see this...'"

According to Gill, her mum phoned up the museum and was subsequently invited to bring her young daughter to a side door marked 'Curator'. They met the exhibition's curator and were allowed to check out the mesmerising treasures for a whole 10 minutes prior to the crowds entering.

"It was completely silent and I was just blown away by the curator and how much he knew, and that he just spent all day learning and looking at beautiful things, and I thought, 'I wanna do something like that,'" she told Bruce.

Fiona Bruce listening to the expert's origin story. (BBC screengrab)
Fiona Bruce listening to the expert's origin story. (BBC screengrab)

What else happened on Antiques Roadshow?

Elsewhere in the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow, expert Bunny Campione valued an 18th century effigy at between £10-20,000 after its owner believed it to be just a doll.

Antiques Roadshow continues next Sunday (April 28) on BBC One at 8pm.

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