A HAMPSHIRE man who’s been a part of a British bargain show for 15 years is busy rehearsing lines, songs and choreography ahead of his theatre debut.

Jonathan Pratt, who’s appeared on BBC series Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip and Flog It as an auctioneer and expert, is swapping the gavel for the stage.

The antiques fanatic moved back to West Meon, where his kids grew up, in 2021 and has joined West Meon Theatre in its 30th anniversary year in the hope of getting to know his community better.

The father of four signed up for the show TOAD with his youngest son and daughter after spotting a notice in the parish magazine and is playing the roles of a police sergeant and a wild wooder.

READ MORE: West Meon Theatre celebrates 30 years with special production

Hampshire Chronicle: Jonathan Pratt in rehearsals for TOADJonathan Pratt in rehearsals for TOAD (Image: Mary Dawson)

The shows at Meon Hall from Wednesday, July 5 to Saturday, July 8 will be the auctioneer’s first acting performance since he played Joseph in his primary school’s nativity.

Jonathan, 50, said: “We’ve always been involved with West Meon and when we moved back I wanted to do something where I could get to know people, that was also fun and enjoyable.

“It’s so brilliant. People from different villages and backgrounds are brought together in this team event which is nerve-racking and exciting.

“Now that I’ve managed to mostly learn my lines and the songs – which I love – it’s all coming along quite well. The choreography is what I have to apologise for, I’m not sure if I’m quite in sync with the others. Fortunately, I play a kind of stiff rogue, jack the lad character so it might work.

“Mary Dawson (West Meon Theatre founder) is a perfectionist and there’s no amateur in it. I will endeavour to get every foot in the right place.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Jonathan Pratt, managing director of DreweattsJonathan Pratt, managing director of Dreweatts (Image: Jonathan Pratt)

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Mr Pratt is no stranger to large audiences as managing director of auctioneer company Dreweatts who’s been a regular feature on Bargain Hunt since 2008.

Jonathan said: “I’ve run charity auctions to 500 people. Being on the rostrum is a performance and you’ve got to know what you’re talking about but you also need to be sharp and engage - which can be transferred to the stage.

“I’ve always been myself before so this is the first time I will be playing a character which is what’s new and worrying. There are others in the group who have been doing it for more than 20 years. The lead playing Toad is really good and transforms into character so I’m trying to absorb all the experience around me.

“I hope I can show my kids confidence too, how to interact with others and get involved with local activities. That was definitely a contributing factor to me signing up.”

Tickets for TOAD from July 5 to 8 are available at ticketsource.co.uk/westmeontheatre.