It is customary for auctioneers at charity dinners to be a bit punchy in order to get the crowd going and the bids flowing.

jonny gould 2

Norwood Lunch auctioneer Jonny Gould

But Jonny Gould, the auctioneer at Norwood’s Property Lunch, took it to a whole other level last Friday – ribbing the bidders with savage put-downs and pitting  companies against one another.

When one bidder raised his hand to make an opening bid for a weekend stay in the Cotswolds, TV presenter Gould ripped into the table. He quipped, “that table looks like the cast of Deliverance – the moonshine business must be doing well”, before looking down at his table plan and realising it was the Coutts table.

The jokes didn’t deter the guests of the royal bank, though, who secured the Cotswolds weekend for £8,000 then went head to head with Credit Suisse for a golf day at the Grove hotel in Watford.

The bidding went back and forth between the two banks with Gould egging on the action: “The Swiss have famously never got involved in a battle or a war but you’re in one now.” Coutts went on to win the lot.

Gould’s bravado paid off. Not only were the 750 guests in hysterics but many of the lots went for sky-high prices, helping the event to raise an amazing £550,000 overall.