The first £1 million discovery unearthed on BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow was revealed as the final model for the gigantic sculpture Angel of the North.

The artwork by Antony Gormley was brought in to the show by a councillor whose father worked in the coal mine on the site where the steel Angel now stands. The 4ft-high bronze maquette was used to persuade councillors to commission the statue and was so heavy it required five people to carry it in for filming.

Programme bosses kept the identity of the record-breaking item, which belongs to Gateshead Council, a closely guarded secret since the show was filmed.

It was valued by art dealer Philip Mould, who examined the piece before filming at The Sage in Gateshead, then made the final dramatic valuation as the cameras rolled – leaving the councillor speechless.

Mr Mould told him: “It’s easier to value than a lot of things of this stature, of this iconic resonance, because another version did sell very recently. Admittedly it was taller and it wasn’t of bronze and that made about two million pounds or rather a little bit over that.”

The councillor replied: “Yeah.”

Mr Mould went on: “So I think on the basis that this is half the size, I would comfortably value it at £1,000,000.”

“Amazing, absolutely amazing,” said the councillor.