ANTIQUES Roadshow star Eric Knowles was in sparkling form at a York street party to celebrate the royal wedding.

Billed as “York’s only royal wedding street party in the city centre”, yesterday’s event, hosted by Mulberry Hall and Kennedy’s in Little Stonegate, was admittedly three weeks early.

It had all the classic ingredients nonetheless: flags and bunting, tea and cakes at tables in the street, and entertainment from the University of York’s ukulele band and from mime artist “Purpleman”.

It was Mr Knowles who was the star of the show, however. He was there to dispense advice on what Kate and William collectables we should all be snapping up.

His first tip: don’t try to buy a royal souvenir as a gift for someone else. Their tastes will be different to yours, so you should let them choose their own.

“There are two chilling phrases, as far as I’m concerned,” he joked. “One is when somebody corners you and says ‘you don’t remember me, do you?’. The other is ‘I’ve bought you an ornament’. That one really scares me!’”

“Don’t try to buy something just because you think will be a good investment, he added. That is the wrong reason for getting a souvenir. What you are buying should help you remember the day: so choose something you really like.

“It’s got to be something that has appeal to you.”

Next, do buy British, not ‘Made in China’. “It doesn’t make sense to buy anything that’s not British, because it is quite obvious that it is just international opportunism.”

And finally, rather against the spirit of a street party, don’t buy commemorative wine, beer or spirits. “These are sad things to buy, because people feel they can’t enjoy them!”

No sign of that yesterday.

• Don’t miss our special royal wedding supplement in The Press on April 20 for a full interview with Eric Knowles.

• Are you travelling down to London to join in the Royal Wedding celebrations? If so, we want to hear from you.

Phone Maxine Gordon on 01904 653051 or email or write to Features, 76-86 Walmgate, York, YO1 9YN.