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Ashley Revell who inspired Simon Cowell's Red or Black? ITV show finds Bronze Age hoard in Elham

By Charlie Harman

A gambler who found fame by betting all his possessions on one spin of the roulette wheel has struck lucky again by helping to uncover a Bronze Age hoard.

Ashley Revell hit headlines in 2004 after selling everything he owned including his clothes and putting all £76,840 on red in a Las Vegas casino - a gamble that ended up doubling his wealth.

Now - in the less exotic setting of a field in Elham - the West Malling resident has enjoyed more good fortune after uncovering 2,800-year-old ingots which led fellow detectorists to a treasure trove.

Some of the axeheads found in Elham
Some of the axeheads found in Elham

Mr Revell, 47, was searching in the field last July with members of the Medway History Finders metal detecting group when he discovered the pieces.

He said: "I hadn't found much all day, just the usual shotgun cartridges and bits of foil, then I had an interesting signal and dug up a piece of green metal.

"I got fed-up with digging up this 'scrap' and started to walk back to a tent that had been set up where members were sitting around table taking a break.

Mr Revell in Vegas
Mr Revell in Vegas

"I got back to the tent and emptied my pockets into the 'scrap' bin, sat down and had a cup of tea.

"Then the club chairman went to empty his pockets into the bin and suddenly reached in and held up a piece of the 'scrap' I had put in there and said 'who put this in here?'"

After leading members of the group back to where he found the broken pieces of copper, other people started spotting items dating from 900 to 800 BC.

Mr Revell holding some of the ingot fragments
Mr Revell holding some of the ingot fragments

Found in most part by three men - Paul Ramsey, Adam Hunter and Mr Revell - the hoard comprised of 23 ingot fragments, a rare two kilo complete 'bun' ingot and a selection of complete and incomplete axes.

The discoveries weighed 10.61 kilogrammes in total with enough ingots to manufacture 113 axes of the type found on-site.

A history-hunting hobbyist since youth, Mr Revell's previous best finds include a gold coin called a stater from about 50 BC and an Anglo-Saxon sceat coin.

Mr Revell in Las Vegas in 2004
Mr Revell in Las Vegas in 2004

The British Museum has expressed an interest in acquiring the find, half of which now belongs to landowner Anthony Martin.

The Medway History Finders group pays £500 to anyone whose land it gets permission to detect on.

Mr Revell, who works as a senior account manager at a cyber security firm, inspired Simon Cowell's Red or Black? ITV show after placing the bet in Las Vegas.

The programme - hosted by Ant and Dec - was shown for one year between September 2011 and 2012.

It was the most expensive game show in television history, with a £15 million budget.

In each round, contestants chose red or black, with participants who picked the wrong colour being eliminated.

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