"One of the reasons I am good at what I do is because I love what I do. I'm an expert in this business because that's what I've done all my life."
Born in Barnstaple, Devon, on May 6, 1953, Tim attended auctions from a young age and his first experience of auctioneering came when he was 16 at a farm sale when he sold the contents of a kitchen. He qualified as a Chartered Auctioneer and Chartered Surveyor and furthered his interest in fine art by completing a postgraduate course at the Victoria and Albert Museum's study centre for the Fine and Decorative Arts.
In 1978, Wonnacott joined Sotheby's in London, becoming a junior director in 1983 and a full director in 1985. His work for the auction house was primarily in the furniture department, where he developed his knowledge of clocks, barometers, 19th-century sculpture and works of art, ceramics and silver. He left Sotheby's in January 2003 after 25 years to start his own fine art agency and brokerage business and further his media ambitions. He first began appearing regularly on TV in the early 1990s as an expert on Antiques Roadshow. His big break came in 2003 when he replaced David Dickinson as the host of Bargain Hunt. He has made guest appearances on a number of shows such as Test the Nation, Going for a Song, The Great Antiques Hunt, and Royal Upstairs Downstairs.