Reality TV shows aren't necessarily known for their upstanding castmembers. Drama, legal troubles, and controversy seem to go hand-in-hand with the medium.
TLC is particularly known for their backlash gaining shows, but the History Channel could definitely give them a run for their money. For all the bad buzz flying around the Shannons and the Duggars, the various Pawn Stars crews have just as many-- if not more-- dark secrets lurking behind-the-scenes.
Believe it or not, the second-hand collecting series Pawn Stars was swirling with loads of controversy. Fans endured everything from stolen items being hawked in the shop to the many, many run-ins with the law the cast has been privy to over the years.
It seems as if every one of the show's cast members has been arrested for a number of crimes, ranging from public intoxication to domestic abuse... many of them being repeat offenders.
Thankfully, the cast of Pawn Stars UK hasn't gotten up to such dubious hijinks. However, they certainly have enough of their own skeletons hiding in the closet.
From silly accidental adult shop shenanigans to a mysterious and unexplained closure to a missing (and presumed dead) customer, here are the 15 Dark Secrets You Didn't Know About Pawn Stars UK.
15 Simon Was Almost Accused Of Murder
Believe it or not, but this is actually a really cute story. Simon "Ebenezer" Penworth first became a staple of Regal Pawn by buying up all of their bayonets... and then the crew accused them of murdering their secretary-- no, really.
Before he worked in the pawnshop, Penworth was a gravedigger, spending all of his time in local cemeteries. Naturally, the trunk of his car would often contain shovels, digging tools, and traces of dirt.
So, when the Regal Pawn's secretary didn't show up for work for about three weeks, the crew became super suspicious of the customer with the dirty trunk and a penchant for sharp weapons.
Penworth marveled at how close he came to being accused of murder, but Mark Manning assured him they really did accuse him privately. The secretary was just fine, of course.
14 Mark Hated The Show At First
It's a good thing that the two Marks hadn't set out to become famous, or Mark Manning would have been sorely disappointed... at first. He admitted in an interview that he hated the first season of his show.
Naturally, the freezing temperatures and outdoor film shoots had a large part to play in that, but Manning also described himself as his own "biggest critic."
However, after the first season, Manning and the rest of the crew became more comfortable being themselves in front of the camera. He said he was finally able to like seeing himself on television in season 2 and was proud of the work they were doing.
Manning assured fans that Season 2 was more of a testament to what they had always hoped the show would be and the work they wanted their shop to be putting out into the world.
13 The Owners Mysteriously Closed The Building With No Explanation
Let's hope that some of the customers' inappropriate shenanigans didn't have anything to do with the shocking closure of the shop. The shop was relatively new, only opening in 2012, and quickly becoming successful enough to be featured in its very own reality TV series.
However, despite all that seeming success, the building was unceremoniously shut down, seemingly at random and with zero explanation as to why, just two years later.
The doors were locked, the signs were taken down, and the entire building was put up for sale. The company's firm had gone through a revolving door of directors the year before and had decided to dissolve the business, but had changed their minds after a public outcry.
They opted not to give any reason for changing their minds. This obviously upset and worried fans, but the higher ups kept quiet.
12 People Constantly Mistook Them For An Adult Store
Sometimes people make some awkward assumptions about the show's name, or about the name of the store itself: Regal Pawn. Customers seem to assume that pawn is somehow misspelled and that the store is an adult shop.
This mistake really shows through with the types of items that certain customers attempt to sell to the shop. However, these items are inevitably turned away.
The crew once had to turn down a customer looking to hawk a gold-plated vibrator... sort of. The shops managing director, Paul O'Brien, dropped a bombshell on the owner: the unusual item wasn't even real gold. Not to mention, Regal Pawn would never have bought such an item, whether or not it had turned out to be authentic.
They've also had to turn away hawkers trying to sell underwear that allegedly belonged to supermodel Christy Turlington. That's just creepy.
11 Mark Adds All Of The Beatles Memorabilia That The Shop Gets To His Own Collection
Mark Manning's favorite collectibles celebrate a very specific sort of British royalty: the Fab Four. Manning deeply loves Beatles memorabilia and collects as much of it as he possibly can... including the items that comes into his shop.
Manning admitted that he isn't able to snatch up every single Beatles related item that comes into the shop, but he definitely tries to. He has his own personal collection of mop-topped memorabilia and is always on the lookout to add to it when he can.
He also revealed that he had an interest in coins and Dr. Who memorabilia, but that was more for his shop than his own personal interests. These items tend to drive a fair amount of business.
10 The Show Is Completely Fake
It's impossible to actually get interesting footage of the day-to-day dealings of these types of shops. Most customers likely bring in the same types of things over and over again.
It just makes good financial sense for the show to plan out which items and customers will appear on the show ahead of time. This often means that the tense scenes you see on TV actually feature well-researched items (the crew isn't as surprised at the outcomes as they often pretend to be) and reenacted customer interactions.
In many cases, if you visit any of the Pawn Stars pawn shops, you can expect to meet a different crew from what you see on TV. Many of the cast members don't actually work in the shops anymore, and sometimes the shops themselves are just sound stages.
9 One Of Their Customers Disappeared At Sea
Sadly, frequent Regal Pawn customer, Mary Unwin, would not turn up as easily as the missing secretary did. Unwin was 61-years-old when she took her and her millionaire husband's new yacht out for a spin and never came back.
The wreckage of the boat was later found, prompting fears of Unwin's death, but her husband, who she had recently remarried after they had divorced, refused to believe that she may not ever come back. He maintained that she had been an expert on the water and had sailed many times previously.
Unwin had been a guest on Pawn Stars UK during her separation from her husband. She was pawning a rather expensive bracelet in order to pay off her Astin Martin. She had made many references to struggling with her finances after her divorce
8 They Made A Conscious Decision To Feature “British” Items
Given that some, if not most, of the show's items were vetted beforehand, it makes sense that the showrunners would choose items that fit their intended Pawn Stars UK brand.
From the very beginning, since the brand was decidedly British, they wanted to feature their country's history and culture within the plotlines of the show. Mark Manning made it very clear that there is "no shortage of fascinating items" coming and going in the shop.
To accomplish the desired result, they focused on famous items from huge British pop culture icons like Doctor Who and James Bond. One episode focused on Liverpool actress Margi Clarke and the history of UK-based punk music.
The showrunners' choice to feature British fare proved to be an endless source of fascination.
7 Mark Predicts That Kate And William Memorabilia Will Worth Lots Of Money Someday
It's a good thing the showrunners decided to focus on British items because Mark Manning thinks one specific form of British memorabilia will be worth tons of money one day-- any and everything having to do with Kate Middleton and Prince William.
Manning said that items pertaining to the royal family aren't currently worth very much, they're too new and easy to come by-- though Princess Diana memorabilia continues to be an incredibly hot ticket item.
However, Manning is certain that, down the line, Kate and William items will be worth a pretty penny, and recommended that collectors begin snagging up these objects now.
The items with the least worth? Signed sports memorabilia. The shopkeeper said they are simply to easy to get a hold of and the signatures don't add nearly as much value as their owners would hope for.
6 The Shop Bought Relics From The Titanic For A Steal
We aren't just talking items that were on the Titanic, Mark Manning brought in items that were actually part of the Titanic. At first, he didn't actually believe that the items were authentic... but he would soon come to realize his mistake.
Manning thought that the customer must have been pranking him, but when he heard the customer's personal story and saw the items' verification, he began to change his mind.
Manning bought a piece of the doomed ship's staircase and hull, among other things, for over 15 million pounds. That might seem like a hefty sum, but it's nothing compared to the actual worth of the items. Manning received an offer for the memorabilia for a mean 1.2 million pounds. Seems like a pretty good deal.
5 Mark Donated Real Historical Artifacts From The Holocaust To A Theater
Mark Manning isn't solely interested in making money off of history. He just wants to preserve it and share it with others. When The Epstein Theatre planned on a showing of Last Train To Auschwitz, Manning helped out by donating authentic artifacts from the Holocaust.
These incredibly important pieces included remembrance armbands and tapestries created by prisoners in concentration camps.
After aiding the theater with these historical pieces, Manning planned on donating the pieces to various synagogues and museums-- both permanently and completely free of charge.
To Manning, the most important goal is to give people a reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust and to honor those whose lives were lost. However, he felt the play would benefit from the items first, as he had heard wonderful things about it's impact on theater-goers.
4 Vicki Kept Leaving To Travel Abroad But She’s Addicted To The Job
Vicki Manning complains about her job a lot. She hates how busy she gets and can sometimes become seriously overwhelmed. She credits herself with keeping the rest of the crew in line and on their toes. So, naturally, she needs a break from time to time.
Being a famous reality TV star certainly gave Vicki the ability to travel the world. She's lived abroad and loves to vacation, but she can't stay away from the job for long.
She described her work as "pretty addictive" and admitted that she loves being depended on by so much by the rest of the crew. In the end, she said that she felt as though the crew was a real family and loves the supportive atmosphere of the crew.
3 Being On The Show Made Liam Become Fascinated With Creating Media And TV
Liam Rogers was just a baby when he began his stint on Pawn Stars UK, but he learned so much from his time on the show. Not only did he grow as a pawnbroker, a profession he described as an "old-fashioned way of selling," but he became inspired to become a creator himself.
He described his new motivation as one of analyzing media to trace it back to its origins and discovering how it could have been made. Ultimately, he stayed in the field of sales, though in a different niche, but he continues to foster his media ties by designing pieces relevant to the media and sales.
He's taken a deep dive into the world of software and credits his time on the show with much of success in his current interests.
2 The Cast Wasn’t Trying To Get On TV
Everybody wants their 15 seconds of fame, right? Well, for the Pawn Stars UK cast, not so much. Mark Manning simply wanted to work with his friends and family -- the fame was an accident -- but that doesn't mean the OG Pawn Stars didn't play a big part from the very beginning.
Initially, the two Marks worked in two different shops so they decided to combine the two for one mega business, which would incorporate everyone under the same roof. Manning happily informed the press that they were able to retain all of their employees from both shops.
1 The UK Series Was So Successful That They Expanded To South Africa
They may not have intended to become a reality TV franchise spin-off, but the success of Pawn Stars UK only led the series to bigger and better things.
After the massive success of the British series, the show enjoyed a second spin-off, this time featuring a pawn shop in South Africa. Reps for the series praised the expansion, lauding it as proof of the show's "global" brand and success.
Once again, the reality TV series followed the crazy deals and fascinating items sold in the shop. Items included everything from a pencil sharpener to an airplane-- historical ones, of course. Quite a range.
Adding to the uniqueness of the South African series was its main character, Roy Peretz. The shop owner has often been described as "eccentric."
Can you think of any other Pawn Stars UK dark secrets? Sound off in the comments!