Debbie’s very proud of her TV and radio career – from working on a crazy radio show with Timmy Mallett, to stepping in for Phillip Schofield and becoming the first girl in the Children’s BBC ‘broom cupboard’. After having her two lovely children, Debbie became the Forces’ Sweetheart on SSVC TV for ten years, and co-presented several magazine and entertainment shows on BBC1, satellite and cable.
She’s enjoyed interviewing hundreds of celebrities – from Jeremy Paxman to Barbara Windsor, and dozens of groups – from Bay City Rollers to Cleopatra; as well as singing on ‘Stars in Their Eyes’, although according to Debbie it ‘sounded like Sheena Easton, but looked like Eartha Kitt!’Other TV jobs included ghost-hunting on ‘Live at Three’ on Living, being a reporter on ‘Open Air’ on BBC1 with Eammon Holmes and Alan Titchmarsh and ultimately presenting her own BBC1 game show called ‘Meet the Challenge’ – a cross between ‘Changing Rooms’ and ‘The Generation Game’.
She took a break from QVC after a fabulous first six years which included record-breaking – and record-making – music shows with Tony Blackburn, the first QVC Roadshow, and live Tony Robbins personal development shows from QVC US.
During her nine years away, she went off to write a book, run a small importing company in the health food industry, and work in finance, utilising her accounting degree. But her heart never really left shopping telly so she was delighted to return to our screens as one of the main presenters on QVC in Summer 2009, and she now feels more at home than ever, doing mostly evenings and weekends – handy since she’s a night owl, not an early bird…
I make a mean honey and mustard chicken! I’ve also started making blackberry jam in the last few years using the succulent berries from the nearby Dorking woods! The family are getting accustomed to their annual jar now so I’ll have to keep it up.
Bridget Jones’ Diary probably, but there are so many. Others include Groundhog Day, Butterfly Effect, Working Girl, Up Close and Personal, Matrix, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Trading Places, and The Amazing Mr Blunden – I have fond childhood memories of seeing it with Dad, Mum and my three brothers and sister.
Anything by Wayne Dyer, or for nostalgia, the Narnia books. I read them to my kids and to my brother Glenn when he was small. But I am reading tons of Mills and Boon Romances and Blaze (more saucy!) at the moment because of my interest in writing. Doesn’t help my quest to find a man though – the heroes are always over 6ft with rock hard muscles and rich and exciting. What hope does a single girl in the real world stand?
Do you have any pets?
We have two feisty black Labradors which we got when the kids were old enough to appreciate them. We bred Holly and she had eight black pups. That was lovely seeing them come running and falling over one another. My daughter Lauren kept one and named her Patch after her white tuft of fur on her belly. Patch then had two small litters. There’s nothing quite like a house with puppies in – magic memories!
In May 2010 we added two new puppies – gorgeous chocolate Labradors – Daisy the Devil Dog and Little Gracie – whose escapades keep readers of her weekly blog amused.
What do you enjoy doing?
Walking the dogs in the beautiful nearby countryside, writing, cream teas in pretty places, archaeology programmes and trips. But more than anything else, it has to be reading. I’m an avid reader – from The Sun to The New Scientist, which I buy to confound the newsagent, novels of all kinds, but currently mainly romances. I went on a romance writing course in Tuscany and my Facebook friends are helping me choose the name of my hero in my first novel. When I grow up, I’d like to write movies in LA…
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Climbed to the top of a 40ft telegraph pole and leapt off onto a trapeze although I missed it. It was on a Tony Robbins motivational weekend in Hawaii. I also did a fire walk on hot coals! How does the body overcome the heat? It’s an amazing experience!
What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
Daughter, son and laptop with desert-island dongle!
Funniest thing that happened at QVC?
There were so many funny moments in the early days, including when Alison Young the beauty expert squirted a mousse into her hand and it leapt over the model and into my hair! That one’s on YouTube!
And also when I cracked up and they had to go to a break, after mixing up my words when saying ‘Tutankhamun’ during Egyptian Jewellery – it came out as ‘Tart-en-khumen……the slapper of ancient Egypt.’ That’s the only time I’ve ever completely lost it on live TV! They cut to a close up of the bracelet I was selling, whilst somebody rushed for a tissue, but all you could see was my hand shaking because I was laughing so much and couldn’t talk for crying. It made it onto one of those TV clips programmes.