Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Anita Manning © BBC

Bargain Hunt star Anita Manning's life: from family business to career before antiques

The 76-year-old runs an antiques business with her daughter in Glasgow

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
4 days ago
Share this:

Over the past decade, Anita Manning has become one of BBC daytime's most recognisable stars. The Scottish antiques expert is known for dishing out her top tips on shows such as Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip, and Flog It!, but how much do you know about her life away from the cameras?

Keep reading to find out more about her family and career.

Anita Manning's career beginnings and family business

Anita's love of antiques and collectables can be traced back to her grandmother, whose home was filled with mahogany furniture that the TV star admired as a child. 

It may surprise viewers to learn that Anita's career as an antiques expert came later in life. After studying Physical Education and specialising in Dance at Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Anita worked as a teacher. 

Anita Manning © BBC
Anita Manning worked as a teacher before going into antiques

It wasn't until the 1970s, and after getting married and having children, that the Scot went into the antiques business. After purchasing a bed from an Irish dealer, Anita commented on what a "wonderful trade" it was, prompting the dealer to offer her a job as a buyer. 

For the next three years, Anita travelled up and down the country in a three-tonne truck, buying and selling furniture. 

Anita Manning as a young woman© BBC
Anita began her antiques career in the 1970s

After Anita's daughter Lala left school, the mother and daughter went into business together. Great Western Auctions was launched in 1989 with a staff of just three and has since grown to be one of the major independent auctioneers in Scotland. In starting her own business, Anita became one of Scotland's first female auctioneers.

The company, which is based in Glasgow, is still going strong after over 30 years and has helped raise funds for a number of charities, including Children in Need and Marie Curie.

Anita's family life

Anita, 76, tends to keep her personal life out of the spotlight, so very little is known about her husband. 

The couple share two children, Lala, who works with her mum in Glasgow, and Luke, who reportedly lives in Hong Kong. 

Anita Manning © BBC
Anita runs an antiques business with her daughter

Anita is used to travelling halfway across the world to visit her family, as her mum lived in Australia for almost four decades before she died. 

"My mum, who sadly died last year, lived in Australia for 35 years and I used to make the long-haul trip Down Under every couple of years," Anita told The Sunday Post in 2015. 

"She stayed in Melbourne and then a little seaside place near Sydney. Although we share the same language I was always taken by how different the place was.

"I used to love getting away and exploring the bush. But for somewhere totally different, there's no beating Hong Kong," she added. 

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More TV and Film

See more