Value of John Lennon's helmet with Beatle star's 'DNA on it' stuns Antiques Roadshow guest

4 January 2021, 12:30

An Antiques Roadshow guest was stunned to learn the value of a policeman's helmet that belonged to her father and was once worn by John Lennon.
An Antiques Roadshow guest was stunned to learn the value of a policeman's helmet that belonged to her father and was once worn by John Lennon. Picture: BBC

The owner of a policeman's helmet once worn by John Lennon was shocked by its value when it featured on the Antiques Roadshow.

An Antiques Roadshow guest was stunned to learn the value of a policeman's helmet that belonged to her father and was once worn by John Lennon.

Returning to our screens on Sunday night (January 3) the show featured an amazing story of when The Beatles disguised themselves as police officers to get through a crowd of fans.

See more: Antiques Roadshow finds John Lennon and George Harrison guitar, named 'most expensive' item in 25 years

A guest brought in the helmet which had belonged to her policeman father, and had been borrowed by the Beatle at the Birmingham Hippodrome in 1963.

The owner of a policeman's helmet once worn by John Lennon was shocked by its value when it featured on the Antiques Roadshow (pictured).
The owner of a policeman's helmet once worn by John Lennon was shocked by its value when it featured on the Antiques Roadshow (pictured). Picture: BBC

The woman's father, Ivor Gordon Russell who sadly died in early 2020, was one of the police officers who escorted John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison into the arena and helped disguise them from the hysterical crowd.

See more: Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked at value of 'worthless' old family brooch - video

She explained: "They 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."

See more: Paul McCartney recalls meeting Elvis Presley with the Beatles: One of the "coolest" people ever

Antiques Roadshow presenter Presenter Marc Allum replied: ‘It’s a story that’s gone down in pop legend really and we’re talking about the height of Beatlemania here."

The Beatles disguised themselves as police officers in 1963 at Birmingham Hippodrome.
The Beatles disguised themselves as police officers in 1963 at Birmingham Hippodrome. Picture: BBC

Continuing her story, the policeman's daughter then revealed: "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."

See more: Michael Jackson's iconic white glove is sold at auction for £85,000

The guest also accompanied the helmet with a book containing The Beatles four signatures.

When it came time for the helmet's valuation, Marc said: "This is an object with a great deal of provenance… 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."

See more: These isolated a cappella vocals from the Beatles on 'Yesterday' and 'Penny Lane' are spine-tingling

"I can’t help feeling this helmet has a bit of John Lennon DNA on it and that’s what makes it so special. 

The guest also accompanied the helmet with a book containing the Beatles four signatures (pictured).
The guest also accompanied the helmet with a book containing the Beatles four signatures (pictured). Picture: BBC

"It’s a really difficult one, collecting Beatles memorabilia is still a really hot area," he added.

Revealing the helmet's value, the presenter concluded: "I know you’re unlikely to sell it but I’m going to have a go at putting a good value on it because I think if this came up at a pop and rock memorabilia auction, it would go for between £5,000-8,000.’ 

See more: The inside story of why The Beatles really broke up

Police officer Ivor Russell’s daughter was utterly shocked and said: "Wow, that’s lovely."