Fiona Bruce leads tributes as 'irreplaceable' BBC Antiques Roadshow colleague dies aged 53: 'Huge talent'

Fiona Bruce leads tributes as 'irreplaceable' BBC Antiques Roadshow colleague dies aged 53: 'Huge talent'

WATCH HERE: Antiques Roadshow refuses to value item linked to slavery

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 08/04/2024

- 13:32

Updated: 08/04/2024

- 15:11

Director Nicky Illis died of cancer, it has been announced

Antiques Roadshow and Fake or Fortune producer and director Nicky Illis has died at the age of 53.

Fiona Bruce, who worked alongside Illis on long-running BBC show Antiques Roadshow, has led tributes to her late colleague.

According to her IMDb page, Illis also worked on The Thirties in Colour, Alan Carr's Adventures with Agatha Christie and How We Built Britain.

Directors UK, the professional association of UK screen directors, shared the news of Illis's death on X, formerly Twitter.

In a statement, it said: "We were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of factual director and our member Nicky Illis.

"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time," it signed off.

Antiques Roadshow stalwart Bruce also said in a statement: "Nicky is simply irreplaceable.

"Not just for her huge talent but also for her sheer exuberance, enthusiasm and sense of fun. Everyone on the team loved her and none more than me."

Fiona Bruce has paid tribute

Fiona Bruce has paid tribute to Antiques Roadshow colleague Nicky Illis


On X, others paid tribute, including TV exec Melanie Jappy who penned: "Such a brilliant show could only have been made by a brilliant director.

"So sad to read about the death of Nicky Illis. Thoughts are with her family, friends and many colleagues."

While journalist Jane Bruton shared a heartbroken emoji in response to Bruce's statement, typing: "Lovely tribute."

Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce worked with Illis on Fake or Fortune and Antiques Roadshow


She is survived by her husband Seb and their children Luke and Eliza.

According to an obituary by BBC Studios, Illis moved to London in the 1990s to forge a career in TV.

She worked as part of the BBC Arts team until 2009 when she relocated to Bristol and crossed paths with executive producer Simon Shaw and art expert Philip Mould.

Alongside the two, Fake or Fortune was created and Illis worked on the BBC show across its 10 series.

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