Antiques Roadshow guest stunned by £8k offer for police helmet once worn by The Beatles' John Lennon
AN ANTIQUES Roadshow guest was left gobsmacked after receiving a valuation of £8k for a police helmet once worn by Beatles legend John Lennon.
The star was pictured larking about in the headgear before a gig by the band at the Birmingham Hippodrome in 1963.
Help! singer John and his three Beatles bandmates were escorted into the Midlands venue by officer Ivor Gordon Russell and his team – with the group sporting their hats and saluting for the cameras along the way.
On Sunday's episode, Ivor's daughter brought along the navy helmet as well as a book and a framed photograph of the Fab Four in the police gear.
Arriving at Forty Hall, in North London, with her much treasured possessions, she was told by expert Marc Allum: "It’s a story that’s gone down in pop legend really and we’re talking about the height of Beatlemania here."
He then told the stunned contestant that, although she was "unlikely" to sell the important family heirloom, "it would go for between £5,000-8,000."
Referring to the accompanying image, Marc continued: "Here we have John Lennon in the middle doing the policeman salute.
"This is the actual helmet in that photograph on John Lennon's head.
'I can't help feeling this helmet has a bit of John Lennon DNA on it and that's what makes it so special. It's a really difficult one, collecting Beatles memorabilia is still a really hot area."
Ivor's daughter was clearly taken aback and could only gush "wow, that's lovely."
She told how she originally hoped her police officer father would tell the tale of his helmet, but sadly announced he had passed away last year.
Recalling how his brush with stardom came to pass, she revealed: "They (the police) had to get them through the screaming girls and they didn't know quite how they were going to do it.
"The sergeant had the wonderful idea of, why don't you put helmets on them and make them look like policemen and we'll get them through the girls.
"John Lennon wore my father's helmet. The paparazzi were out and took pictures… they took them into the theatre without any problems."
Adding her own personal memory, she recalled: "'What was wonderful was that the Beatles were so easygoing at that time when it was so much fun it seems because my father told us they were great company and the inspector who was in charge of them invited them round for tea."
Imagine singer John would have celebrated his 80th birthday last October.
The Liverpudlian star was tragically killed aged 40, outside the apartment he shared with Yoko Ono.
Antiques Roadshow airs on the BBC every Sunday at 7pm.
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