Warwickshire-based television antiques expert David Barby has died following a short illness.
Mr Barby, 69, from Rugby, was best known for appearances on BBC shows like Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip. He died in hospital on Wednesday.
Auctioneer Charles Hanson called him a “great friend” and said “no other expert… could rival his great human touch”.
“He built up the great passion the public had for these programmes.”
Mr Hanson, a former television colleague of Mr Barby, added: “More importantly he was a man of the people.
“Anybody could speak to him and he had time for so many members of the public to share their stories, memories, nostalgia and passion for old things.”
‘Ambassador for antiques’
Mr Barby first became interested in antiques as a boy growing up in Rugby.
He qualified aged 21 and began working for a local firm.
After a brief stint in London, Mr Barby returned to Warwickshire in 1978 to work at a Leamington auction house where he would eventually become a partner in the business.
He also founded a valuation company, David J Barby and Associates, in Rugby.
Mr Barby appeared in the first episode of Flog It in 2002.
A statement from the programme’s team read: “His sense of fun, gentle personality and great knowledge of and passion for antiques, endeared him to the hundreds of people he worked with and millions of viewers at home.
“David was an ambassador for antiques TV and loved every minute spent making the many, many episodes of Bargain Hunt, Flog It, Antiques Road Trip and more.
“We all remember David with great fondness, and send our condolences to his family and many friends in the antique trade and beyond.”