Written by Helen Linehan



Equally well-stocked with wonders and weirdos, the local car boot sale holds no fear for intrepid bargain hunter Helen Linehan. In this episode she has a fairly unbelievable brush with celebrity.

Ever wondered what was in that Doctor’s briefcase?

Yes, here I am again. Arminghall Car Boot Sale, Norfolk, ready for a rummage.

What the flip is a Jenny Jones cookie jar doing on a trestle in a field in Norfolk?

Remember Jenny Jones? She used to be on weekdays before Countdown. A treat to skive off my YTS for. She ruled my telly way before Trisha and Jeremy Kyle were twinkles in ITV’s eyes. It was those days when us bowler-hatted, well-behaved brits were first exposed to the likes of “My Story’s Like No Other, My Baby’s Father Could Be One Brother Or The Other” and “I Hate My Own Race” and “You’re Too Big To Wear That!” We lapped it up sitting in our armchairs aghast and enthralled.

The show ended abruptly after the episode “Secret Same Sex Crushes Revealed” where a guest revealed he had a crush on his male workmate. The workmate responded by shooting his admirer in the chest a few days later. The show’s researchers had failed to learn of his history of mental illness.

“Is this from the set?” I ask.

The seller was a lovely lady, early 60s. She tells me her cousin worked for Time-Warner and she has often been over to sit in the audience of Jenny Jones, Oprah, Ellen… She’s met them all too!

In fact, she pays for her flights by selling at car boot sales!

I asked her if she saw the Oprah episode where she gave a car to every audience member.

“Yes!” She said “I was in that audience!”

She’s obviously lying. No, I’m not jealous. I’ve read about people like her in Woman’s Own.

“Is that it? Is that the car?” Pointing at the beaten-up Volvo estate behind her.

“Oh no.” She says she had to sell the car because it would’ve been too expensive bringing it back to the UK.

Good answer! She disguises it well, but yes, nutter alert!

I continue on my journey through the dusty old crockery and armies of Lego.

I’m distracted. I haven’t bought anything! I can’t shake it. How did she have a flipping Jenny Jones cookie jar?

As soon as I got home, I watch that Oprah episode on Youtube over and over and over. I paused, slowmo-ed, fast forwarded and then, there she bloody is! My car boot sale lady, screaming her honest nuts off waving her car key about.

No, I’m not jealous. What?

Anyway, I was so distracted I didn’t buy the flipping cookie jar.

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Written by Helen Linehan

I am Helen Linehan. I am forty years old. Mother & wife. No journalistic experience whatsoever. Four more words...DONE!