Interview: Backroad Bounty boys sound off

When Canadian Pickers went off the air, it left a void. There was no one tooling around the country in a van, digging through barns and basements looking for hidden treasures while serving up a slice of Canadiana on TV. Now another pair of dudes have picked up where the Pickers left off. Meet Peter “Bambam” Bamford (he’s the one who looks like a Duck Dynasty guest star) and Marty Gebel, the stars of Backroad Bounty.

Debuting Monday on Cottage Life, Backroad Bounty follows the two friends from London, Ont., as they drive around the province looking for things they can re-sell for a profit. Among the items they discover in Episode 1? An old phone booth and motorized bike Gebel went gaga for and a vintage fishing pole Bamford just had to have.

Bambam, what is a “Bam-tique”? You mention that right off the top in Monday’s first episode.
Peter “Bambam” Bamford: A Bam-tique is an antique, but I don’t buy porcelain dolls and Limoge china. Bam-tiques are things that you could hang in a man cave or a living room above a mantel.

Marty, what’s your specialty? What are you always on the lookout for?
Marty Gebel: I stay on top of what is trending. The stuff you see in magazines and on designing shows. I mix a lot of styles, but I also stay away from Victorian antiques, saucers and china as well. I love mid-century Modern, old science and medical stuff. Those are my favourites.

I loved Canadian Pickers, and I feel like Backroad Bounty kind of picks up where it left off. How did you get involved in this?
PB: Marty was on Canadian Pickers a few times, so he had his foot in the door. The idea for the show came up and he got short-listed for it. He has a great TV presence and has a great knowledge. They called him up and he threw my name in the hat as a co-host for the show.

MG: There’s a big contrast between us, and we’re friends.

PB: We’ve known each other for about four years and they called me up and asked if I wanted to be on the show. They came down and filmed a pilot and now we’re on TV.

You guys are literally climbing over stuff to get at things. Is that an everyday part of being a picker?
PB: Absolutely. That’s the whole thing. If you are willing to climb things … there are times when we’re going into century-old burn piles and junk yards … we go into that stuff. That’s what sets us apart from everyone else. We’re willing to do that to find a treasure.

MG: We’ve had all of our shots. I’m sure we made the insurance people nervous with the way we were climbing all over stuff. That’s the way it is. We go to locations like that in real life. You’re on call, you don’t know what to expect when you get there and you may not be wearing the right clothes but you climb around and get filthy and dirty.

Backroad Bounty airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Cottage Life.