Channel Four’s “Four Rooms,” is back for its second season and its better than ever. From memorabilia to taxidermy and art to antiques, members of the public visit the Four Rooms, for a chance to sell their prized possessions to four of the country’s leading dealers. But, once they turn down an offer, there’s no going back…
Here at The Locals, we are big fans of the show, so we sent our very own Jade Stavri off to get the inside scoop from our favourite dealer – Jeff Salmon.
The Locals (TL): Lets jump straight into this – Jeff, tell us a little bit about your band called the DMB’s – how old were you then? You were already well on your way to being a buyer and seller of things at this time – scouring schools to see if any kids had anything interesting to sell. What exactly were you buying in those early days?
Jeff Salmon (JS): The DBM’s (David, Barry, Martin and SALMON! That was when I was 13/14. I started dealing with old records. The things I made most profit at school were catching newts in a local bond and selling them on.
TL: What made you want to get into the antique and collectors market?
JS: I wasn’t clever enough to be a taxi driver like most of my friends.
TL: On the show we learnt that you picked up a fair bit about your trade from Sotheby’s, and in your own words “soaked up all the information you possibly could.” What was the most vital information you soaked up?
JS: Always leave a profit not just for the next buyer but the buyer after him.
TL: It seems you are a true del boy and not only have Decoratum but also an air conditioning business a insurance loss and a adjusting company and a Engine Optimisation company to name just a few. How did you get into these very different business markets?
JS: Really important in business to be a chameleon. I’m an excellent chameleon.
TL: Do you head them yourself or do you have minions running them for you?
JS: I am the owner, but I have a FANTASTIC team behind me. Simply The BEST!
TL: Let’s talk about Four Rooms, were you approached be involved within the show, or did you approach them?
JS: My place on Four Rooms came about when one of Channel 4’s researchers visited my gallery in September 2009, I think they had heard through the grapevine that not only was I sublimely good looking but I also knew my “onions”. I was approached to take a screen test to see how gorgeous or gruesome I looked in front of the camera. Of course I looked simply stunning and told them that they didn’t need to waste time on a screen-test when all they needed was to put me in front of a mirror. Things moved on rapidly and in the mid 2010 we filmed the pilot
TL: Your Four Rooms “negotiating room” has changed a lot from the first season, why is that? Are you sporadic with your tastes in items, or were you just in the mood for a change?
JS: I like to always remain “fresh”
TL: Are all the pieces in the room from your company or are they your own personal collection?
JS: Everything’s for sale at Decoratum.
TL: Lets talk negotiating tactics! Now Jeff you are the most out of the box negotiator on Four Rooms. I mean in your box of tricks, I’ve seen you use dice, a kiss bargain, and simply plucking lucky numbers out of your head! Please talk us through your tactics, as they do seem to work for you.
JS: If you don’t know where you’re going (said Alice) then it doesn’t matter which direction you go in! Always have a trick up your sleeve and be prepared to surprise and wrong foot you competitors.
TL: Do you use these tactics outside of the show as well?
JS: As unbelievable as it may sound, I assure you that what you see on the show is what you get in the real world with The salmon. I’m always playing cards or throwing dice to conclude a deal. (Check out my favourite book, the dice man).
TL: What is the weirdest thing you’ve purchased in your whole time of being a dealer?
JS: A 20ft Japanese bronze eagle (theres another one in Regents Park. I suppose the 19th century dildo must rank up there (no pun intended!)
TL: If you could have a dinner party with anyone dead or alive, who would you invite and why?
JS: Clones of me? Homer Simpson, Ned Flanders, Muhammad Ali, Wilma Flintstone, James Taylor (singer) and Kate Bush
TL: What would you serve to them?
JS: Eels and profiteroles
TL: Which of the other Four Rooms dealers do you admire or despise the most?
JS: I can’t answer that, but can do no more than to confirm that I despise one of the dealers (that’s an exclusive to you)
TL: What’s the best purchase you’ve negotiated for on Four Rooms?
JS: I can’t say other than to tell you to watch 11th April episode.
TL: Is there anything you wouldn’t buy?
JS: Anything that smells of cauliflower.
TL: What does the future hold for Jeff Salmon?
JS: Maybe other TV projects connected to the arts. Must be irreverent and something to attract the proletariat.
TL: Are there any other existing TV shows you would want to appear on (Just going to say that if you were a judge on Britain’s Got Talent we would watch it!)
JS: Put my name forward!
You can catch Jeff and his unorthodox negotiating skills on Channel Four every Wednesday at 8pm.