TWO businessmen are to appear on our TV screens as part of a new reality show.

After months of filming at Regal Pawn in Sealand Pawn Stars UK looks set to make stars of owner ‘Big Mark’ (Mark Manning, 49) and friend and business associate ‘Little Mark’ (Mark Holland, 47).

The US version of the show is a ratings success and regularly attracts more than one million viewers, making it one of the top non-fiction series on US cable and is the History Channel’s number one rated show.

Speaking to the Leader, Mr Manning, who lives in Elton, said the whole television thing had happened by accident.

The two Marks had been fans of the business featured in the US version of Pawn Stars, he said, and had wanted to try something similar with one much larger premises.

He said the two friends had run several smaller shops in the UK before deciding to open one larger premises in Sealand.

“We’ve still got everybody from the other shops – it’s all family and friends,” he said.

“It’s just we’re all in one place now.”

He added: “There’s a huge amount of history here and we want to bring schools in and let the kids see things first hand, with older members of the community talking about some of the items and bringing them to life for them.

“One idea is to bring in military guys from the past who can tell their stories, and get kids to see the reality of guns – to realise that violence and guns is a bad thing.”

He said the shop at Deva Industrial Park on Welsh Road had been open just a couple of weeks when an American production company came calling.

“They noticed what we were doing and got in touch,” he said.

Mr Holland, who lives in Upton, said producers had been keen to focus on the family aspect of the business as well as staff’s interactions with members of the public.

As well as the two Marks, viewers will meet Mr Manning’s 23-year-old daughter Vicky and 21-year-old Marco Holland. Antiques expert Simon Penworth is also a regular on the show.

“Vicky tries to keep sense of us two,” said Mr Manning. “I’m the boss, Little Mark is my sidekick and Vicky keeps the place sane.

“Marco is the fall guy,” added Mr Holland, “and we’re sort of an old version of Ant and Dec.”
The show is due to air on the History Channel in September.