Tributes paid to TV auctioneer David Barby

By Dan Santy 27/07 Updated: 27/07 15:00

Celebrity auctioneer David Barby has died after a short illness. 38.010.020.rug.jg

POPLUAR television personality and Rugby antiques expert David Barby has died.

Mr Barby, who worked at antiques dealerships in Rugby and Leamington before finding fame on shows including Bargain Hunt and Flog It!, died in hospital in Coventry ten few days after suffering a stroke, it was announced yesterday (Thursday).

Tributes from friends, colleagues and fans have poured in to the 63-year-old, whose personality and knowledge made him popular with viewers of antiques and auction shows.

Fellow antiques expert and television personality David Harper wrote on his Facebook page: "I've had several messages regarding my wonderful old friend David Barby and I'm very sad to confirm that he passed away last night after suffering a stroke ten days ago - we'll miss him terribly."

Myleene Klass, a friend of Mr Barby's, wrote on Twitter yesterday: "Just heard the sad news about David 'Barbarella' Barby. RIP great man."

According to his website, Mr Barby started out in antiques at the young age of 12. He became qualified at 21 and worked for a firm in Rugby before leaving for London in 1974.

Four years later he was head hunted by Leamington auction house Locke and England, becoming manager, valuer and later, a partner, during his 25 years there.

During his time as an auctioneer, Mr Barby founded independent Hillmorton valuation firm David J Barby and Associates.

Fans of Mr Barby and his television work have been paying tribute, with people from across the UK and other countries paying their respects.

Chris Kirk, from Harrogate, said: "I met David on a regular basis at Morphets auctions in Harrogate. He was the most gentle, considerate and amusing man with a beaming and infectious smile of anyone.

"His technique of conducting the auctions was the best I have experienced, as I attend many auctions with auctioneers of various abilities, but David was the best."

Peter and Lotty Kelly, from County Wexford in the Republic of Ireland, contacted us and said: "We were so shocked and saddened to hear of his death. We spent so many enjoyable hours watching his various antique programmes.

"Although not knowing him personally, he seemed a warm, sincere person."

Ian Pink from East Sussex said: "I just wanted to say how sad I feel that David has passed away. I never knew him but he had that way of coming across on television like he was speaking to you personally - a rare trait these days.

"He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed. As they say our loss is heaven's gain."

*If you have memories of David Barby you would like to share with us, or if you wish to pay tribute, please get in touch on 01926 317102 or email editor@therugbyobserver.co.uk

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