Antiques Roadshow expert Judith Miller dies aged 71

Fiona Bruce has paid tribute to the Antiques Roadshow expert Judith Miller as the “doyenne of the antiques world and of our show” after her death aged 71.

The author and antiques specialist died “over the weekend after a short illness”, according to a spokesperson from her publisher, Mitchell Beazley.

Miller wrote more than 100 books on antiques and interiors but was best known to the public for her appearances on the long-running BBC series, which she joined in 2007.

Bruce, who has been a presenter on the programme since 2008, said: “When I started on the Antiques Roadshow, I was in awe of the experts – and none more so than Judith. She was Miller of Miller’s guides no less, the bible of the antiques world when it came to valuations.

“Plus, she had authored many other books, too many to list, some of which were already on my bookshelf. But she was always gracious and generous with her knowledge, helpful to me and our whole team.

“And when our filming day had finished, she was never short of great stories accompanied by a glass of her favourite tipple, pinot grigio.

“She was the doyenne of the antiques world and of our show. Irreplaceable. And hugely missed.”

Miller cofounded the Miller’s Antiques Price Guide with her first husband, Martin Miller, in 1979, and it is still published annually.

The Antiques Roadshow editor Robert Murphy described Miller as a “really popular member of the Roadshow team and an inspiration to a generation of aspiring antiques experts”.

“Her astute knowledge of ceramics was a given, but Judith also had an eye for the eclectic and the bizarre, from ingenious mechanical toys to quirky dolls with colour-changing eyes,” he said.

“She was a great champion of costume jewellery and vintage fashion, and her eyes would light up when she had the chance to appraise a rare piece from Biba or Vivienne Westwood.”

Murphy also praised Miller’s “warmth and good humour” and said she had a “lovely way of delivering a story on camera”.

There will be a tribute to Miller in an upcoming episode of the show.

Alison Starling of Octopus Publishing Group, the parent company of Mitchell Beazley, said: “I’ve been lucky enough to work with Judith on and off for the last 30 years and the news of her death is a huge shock.

“She had such energy and spirit and always combined her impressively broad-ranging, in-depth knowledge of antiques with a lifelong passion to make the world of collecting accessible and unintimidating to all.

“Judith will be much missed by all those readers and viewers who looked to her for expert and reassuringly friendly advice, and of course here at Octopus, where she established longstanding friendships with numerous members of staff over the years, forged through topics of conversation as diverse as work, family, dogs, Scottish rugby and her other passion, Bruce Springsteen.”

Born in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders in 1951, Miller began collecting cheap antique plates in the late 1960s to display in her student accommodation at Edinburgh University.

She is survived by her second husband and colleague of more than 30 years, the writer John Wainwright, children Cara, Kirsty and Tom, and four grandchildren, Aria, Leo, Lila and Clea.