Value of John Lennon's helmet with Beatle star's 'DNA on it' stuns Antiques Roadshow guest
4 January 2021, 12:30
The owner of a policeman's helmet once worn by John Lennon was shocked by its value when it featured on the Antiques Roadshow.
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 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.
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."
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."
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.
"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.’
Police officer Ivor Russell’s daughter was utterly shocked and said: "Wow, that’s lovely."