Trotters Jewellers doesn’t look much from the outside. A tatty shopfront on Bethnal Green Road in London’s East End, it’s a long way from Monte Carlo. Inside, though, it’s bling-tastic. This is the place for you if you’re lusting after a £100,000 “chandelier watch”, which started life as an understated Audemars Piguet but has been pimped up with 100 carats’ worth of baguette diamonds. Crème de la menthe, Rodney.
Diamond Dealers and Cockney Geezers (Channel 4) followed owner Judd and his friends, Alex and Kallum, a trio of Essex boys who would be equally at home on Love Island. They are clearly business savvy. They’ve turned this tiny shop inherited from Judd’s father into a gold mine – pardon the pun – with 250,000 Instagram followers. That’s how things are done now. They stick a picture of a watch on social media and the customers roll in.
Zara and her husband were down from Bradford for the day, looking for a £1,000 present for their son’s birthday. He was turning two. They left with a bracelet and a selfie. Then there was Essex couple Ashley and Ashley, he with fluorescent teeth, looking for a love token. Ashley (the girlfriend) was back in not long afterwards, flogging the jewellery back because they’d split up.
And then there was Radley, a 21-year-old builder treating himself to a new watch for £12,000. He’d probably have been turned away from a jewellers in Knightsbridge or Mayfair on account of his scruffy clothes. But Trotters like to call themselves “the people’s jewellers”. Working-class customers make up the majority of their clientele, but they also boast Lily Allen, Russell Brand, Bernie Ecclestone and various sports stars. People used to be discreet about their wealth, they explained. Now, fuelled by US rappers dripping in diamonds, it’s all about flaunting it.
Judd may have been the brains of the operation but Alex was the mouth, and loved playing up to the cameras. “What you walking like that for?’ teased a local trader as Alex swaggered around with the camera crew in tow. Like other Channel 4 shows of this type – Tattoo Fixers springs to mind – the customers had clearly been prepped before they walked through the door, and the voice-over from Dani Dyer was a little grating. But the boys were likeable and this was way more fun than those deathly documentaries going behind the scenes of high-end department stores. It’s down as a one-off, but expect this to become a full series.