The Antiques Roadshow star survived a bleak and abusive childhood before thriving with the help of the children’s charity.
“I hate the duality of Christmas. Really hate it,” says Ronnie Archer-Morgan, with what can only be described as mild-mannered vehemence. “I’m not by nature an angry person but there’s an obscene duality to a day which is so full of joy and plenty for some children and yet so painful and shaming for others.”
We are meeting for coffee in Claridge’s, in London’s Mayfair. Archer-Morgan saunters in, elegantly dressed in a beautifully-tailored black coat and a chocolate brown fedora. As he speaks, heads in the restaurant turn. As the sommelier gravitates towards us, eyes quizzically narrowed, I mouth two words: Antiques Roadshow. That, dear reader, is the Ronnie Archer-Morgan effect.
It takes a lot to rile such an affable character, but the plight of children visibly strikes a nerve.
“This Christmas there will be a lot of families waking up to poverty; a freezing house, no presents, no hot food,” he continues. “It’s not just the deprivation, it’s the terrible humiliation of being a have-not surrounded by those who have an abundance. I know what that’s like – which is why I would feel a fraud going through the motions of enjoying myself.”The Antiques Roadshow’s Ronnie Archer-Morgan: ‘If it wasn’t for Action for Children I would be dead’