Inappropriate songs and big losses — The Darkness and Feeder really weren’t very good at ‘Bargain Hunt’

It was all for a good cause, though

It’s BBC Music Day! No, really, it is.

The BBC have chosen today (September 26) to be the date of their hallowed annual day for promoting music, well-being and charitable good causes (such as the new Music & Dementia initiative). There are, in fact, over 2000 BBC Music Day-related events taking place to mark the occasion. 2000! Look, there’s Craig David singing to bemused commuters at Birmingham’s New Street Station! Ooh, here’s lovely Keane riding a tram in Manchester! And, er, is that really The Darkness and Feeder going head-to-head in a special edition of Bargain Hunt?

Don’t fret, your TV guide isn’t deceiving you. The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins and bassist Frankie Poullain (representing The Red Team) really have squared off against Feeder’s lead singer Grant Nicholas and bassist Taka Hirose (The Blue Team) for a titanic battle of buying antiques and then selling them at auction for a tasty profit (all of which goes to Children In Need, of course).

Wild scenes like this haven’t been seen on telly since, well, last year when Pulp and The Happy Mondays took part in the 2018 BBC Music Day edition of Bargain Hunt, where Bez infamously broke the rules of the show and forced the end of their episode to be re-shot, outraging tens, if not hundreds, of committed daytime TV watchers in the process. Scandalous.

Could this year’s rock’n’roll Bargain Hunt live up to the drama of 2018? It was a big ask, but if anyone could do it, surely a character like Justin Hawkins was up to the task. Here’s what went down on this year’s Bargain Hunt special — and, if you don’t want any spoilers, you can watch the full episode here on iPlayer.

The controversial non-conforming Bargain Hunt uniform theme continued

After Jarvis Cocker broke convention last year by refusing to wear the standard issue Bargain Hunt polo shirt and/or fleece, this year’s culprit was The Darkness’ Frankie who opted to wear a red turtleneck under his blazer instead of the fetching branded tee. And, as it was filmed in the summer, neither side donned their accompanying Bargain Hunt fleeces under the very end of the episode (apart from party-pooping Poullain, of course). Sacrilege.

The haunting cat picture wasn’t to everyone’s taste

Eyeing up potential star buys at Stamford Market, Justin and Frankie happened upon a garish piece of cat art. “I love it,” Justin gushed, while Frankie added: “It’s just delightful.” An evidently well-considered case for buying the artwork got even stronger as Justin adopted his best Vince Noir impression as he remarked: “I love the way the cat is perched on the branch in the jungle, sort of saying: ‘Miaow.'”

A surefire winner at auction, then? “I think it’s dreadful,” expert Phil advised his wide-eyed charges. “We’d absolutely crash and burn with that.”

Make your own mind up…

Justin’s upsetting impromptu Bargain Hunt song

Watch out for that pre-watershed rhyming scheme, Justin. “I like bargains, and I like the hunt / You, you are such a… coooold-hearted woman…

The Darkness then managed to lose £70 on a single item

A bland pair of late 1980s-made tables looked to be a steal for Justin and Frankie as they handed over the tiny sum of £110 (!) for the pleasure of taking them to auction. Surely they’d make a gigantic profit for The Red Team! Right? Right?

Nope: the tables just about managed to sell for £40, leaving the Red pair £70 in the red. “The important thing is not to be bitter,” Frankie mused, eyeing up the Fire Exit off-camera.

Feeder didn’t fare much better, mind

Grant and Taka had a lovely, if slightly uneventful time, finding their bargains (the former sweetly described the experience as “a dream come true”), but it turned out that their eye for antiques wasn’t much better than their Darkness rivals. A £35 loss on their first item was quickly followed by a £6 deficit on a rocking chair, and then a whopping £70 on a wartime-era folding chair: that’s a total loss of £111. Ah.

The final outcome, then, was all about who lost the least amount of money, and with a deficit of -£20 to -£88, The Darkness prevailed. “By default!” shouted Justin as their hollow victory was announced. Was it as sweet a triumph as topping the charts back in 2003, our host Natasha asked the pair? “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” came the reply. Neither has this bizarre viewing experience, to be honest.

Happy BBC Music Day, everyone!