Appearing on many shows such as Antiques Road Trip, Flog It!, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip and Bargain Hunt, Raj Bisram is known for his expertise in antiques.
Co-founding the company Bentley’s Fine Art Auctioneers in 1995, it’s no surprise that he has been described as the ‘King of auctioneers for 30 years’.
However, despite his passion for antiques, there’s more to the auction dealer and TV presenter than some may know.
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Born in London to an Indian family, Raj Bisram has two sisters and attended Highgate School in North London.
He told DesiBlitz: “One of my enduring memories of childhood is of family Sunday outings in the car with a picnic to the English countryside. I enjoyed these times so much that in later life I have lived most of my adult life in the countryside at home and abroad.”
During his time at school, Raj developed a love for sport, winning many achievements. “During my latter school years sport came first, partying second and school theirs, and generally life was great fun.”
After leaving school, the auction dealer joined the British Army and became a PTI instructor in The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
Not long after, Raj became an army Ski racer after training in an army exercise in Bavaria. He then represented the British Army in Slalom skiing and Downhill.
When he qualified as an Austrian Ski instructor, he worked as a Ski instructor in a resort in Tyrol. The 65-year-old was the first non-Austrian qualified ski instructor in Ellmau and the first British Asian ski instructor in Austria.
“My love for skiing and the pretty town of Ellmau goes on to this day and I try and visit at least once a year,” he said.
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Versatile in career choices, Raj also has a passion for magic and has worked as a magician. He’s been a member of the Magic Circle, which is named as ‘The world’s premier magic society’.
Although Raj has had his fair share of experiences in different careers, nothing can take away his true love of antiques.
The TV presenter’s love for high value objects began when he was just 10 years old. Admiring objects he saw in a nearby pawnbroker’s shop, Raj would walk to school fascinated by the items.
He told BBC, “I discovered early on that a 9-5 job was never going to be for me so I turned my childhood love of old and dusty junk and antique shops into my job and later career.”
Raj Bisram married his wife Susan R Bisram in 1983 and together they have two daughters. The jack of all trades loves cooking, cricket and tennis. He’s also won a tournament in Bridge and Poker.