Sean KellyOctober 14, 2016
Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Geordie Shore's Charlotte Crosby, Theo Paphitis, Tim Vine, Nancy Dell'Olio and Steph & Dom Parker from Gogglebox are among the 41 celebrities taking part in the first full series of Celebrity Storage Hunters.
TV Choice catches up with legendary fast-talking auctioneer Sean Kelly, to find out more about the madness he’s overseeing…
It’s an all-star cast you’ve signed up. Did you know everybody?
I didn’t know everyone. I’d met some of them before and I found out a few of them were fans of the show, which was cool. For example, the first time I met Johnny Vegas was on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled as we were both guests. In the green room he said he and his wife were fans of Storage Hunters and always watch it. So he was really excited to be involved and Bob Mortimer did our holiday special last year, so I had some rapport with him. What's cool about all these people is they fit right in and they are all familiar with the series. They knew what to do and what it was about. There was no learning curve so we could relax and have a good time.
Are there any celebs on the show that you are a big fan of?
I was excited to meet Theo from Dragons’ Den, as I’m a big fan of the American version, Shark Tank, and I’ve always been a student of business. I thought Theo was really cool. I also loved meeting all the comedians, like Nick Helm, he’s just dead-pan funny, and Dave Gorman, who is the kind of guy you just want to hang out with. A lot of the celebrities in this five-part series are real comedians, and people who I have a lot in common with as I’ve been doing stand-up these past few years, so I understand their struggle and what it takes to get to where they’ve got.
Are you surprised that the series keeps getting bigger and better?
The last celebrity episode brought in over three million viewers and was one of UKTV's largest viewed episodes of anything they’ve ever produced. It's amazing to think it attracted that much attention, but on the other hand, when you have a popular format like Storage Hunters and then you put in some of your favourite celebrities, what’s not to love?! When I go to comic cons to meet fans they always tell me how much they love to see celebrities bid on storage units. Who would have thought?!
Do you get recognised a lot in the street?
I do. I’ve lost three stones in weight over the past year, and so now I get the double take, whereas before, when I was at my heaviest, people would yell, ‘Sean!’ They don’t recognise me now! I’ve given up bread, pizza, pasta and sugar. I haven’t touched sugar since February 2015 and I’ve got a few more pounds to go.
Did you watch Storage Hunters UK's Heavy D when he was on Celebrity Big Brother?
I watched one episode. I was at the Manchester comic con and every person who came over to my table said, ‘Have you seen Heavy D on CBB?’ I didn’t even know what it was! That night I went back to my hotel room, turned on the TV and, sure enough, the first scene I see is Heavy D with his shirt off and I thought, 'bleugh!'
The funny thing is his real name is Colin and I’m the one who gave him the nickname Heavy D. I nickname all my bidders. So to see an idiot become famous with a nickname I gave him is hilarious. I’m like, 'You owe me 10 per cent, bro!' I did create a monster and people say it to me all the time. I’m the doctor who created Frankenstein! The funny thing is I’ve hung out with him a few times, off-screen and we’ve gone to a football match together, because he’s a huge Arsenal fan. He’s a decent guy, but he’s always amped up like that and you want to say, 'Relax, dude!'
Do you find the show does bring out the worst in people?
I think all telly does. I’ve produced shows in the past back in America, one which ran for 104 episodes and I noticed that when the cameras come on you see a hyped-up version of who that person is. Sometimes you see a character they are playing. Me, I’m always myself, but when I get in my auctions I like to bring high energy, and make people make bad decisions.