Antiques Roadshow expert fights tears as she shares heartbreaking story about WWII letter

Hilary Kay  appeared on This Morning alongside co-stars Mark Hill and Ronnie Archer-Morgan
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

Antiques Roadshow expert, Hilary Kay, struggled to keep her emotions in check as opined up on the World War II letter that was so poignant she "couldn't read out loud."

The 67 year old recently featured on This Morning with her colleagues Mark Hill and Ronnie Archer-Morgan to commemorate the show's impressive 45-year run, which has engaged audiences with an enriching mix of history, art, and craft discoveries.

The trio joined ITV's daytime presenter Ben Shephard and his co-host Cat Deeley. Kicking off the conversation, Ben remarked: "It's an extraordinary show Hilary, 45 years, a testament to our love of watching you guys looking at these antiques and the extraordinary things that the people coming on the show have at home."

Hilary Kay appeared on This Morning alongside co-stars Mark Hill and Ronnie Archer-Morgan
Hilary Kay appeared on This Morning alongside co-stars Mark Hill and Ronnie Archer-Morgan -Credit:ITV

He asked: "What has it been like for you because you only started the show when you were a wee girl really," reports the Mirror.

Hilary responded: "Yes I started in 1978 so that was the second series and it's changed hugely because when we started back in the ancient days there was no such thing as the internet. What I would say is, that there were hardly any textbooks either on my areas of expertise.

"The situation was such that we had this remarkable group of experts that formed a sort of living lexicon. You knew someone on the team would be able to recognise something even if it wasn't within your field of knowledge. I think that's changed because we don't possess that ingrained knowledge anymore."

Cat went on to ask: "So you started in 1978. Over the span of time that you have been doing it, I can only imagine some of the things that you found along the way, but there must be something or other things where you know the person or the item that has been brought in that will always stick in your mind."

Hilary, visibly moved, replied: "Yes you are right, there have been a lot of things and to pick out just a few is tricky but I suppose that some of them of really meaningful things have been linked to the war remembrance programme that we have done."

She recounted one particularly poignant memory: "One was a letter that I couldn't read out. It was from someone who had died and it was a letter back to their sweetheart."

Holding back tears, she went on: "Another was also from a remembrance special when somebody played a violin that belonged to somebody. He found the violin in an antique shop and he put the piece together and found the granddaughter of the original owner and played the regimental song on it in the middle of the graveyard."

Concluding her emotional recollection, she said: "I mean there was not a dry eye anywhere I mean those are the things I suppose you feel are really memorable but not necessarily valuable."

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.