Hello! How have you been? I've been busy back and forth to home in Birmingham. Mum still needs a few little bits and bobs for her flat so we scoped out a new dining table and chairs for her, which she hopes to arrive in time for our first family gathering at her new place on Easter weekend. I also helped her choose a new chest of drawers for her bedroom. Then we bought her a new rug and some bits and a small storage unit for her bathroom so she can put away all her toiletries and skincare. It's really looking much more homely now.
This Friday is going to be an exciting day. I'm hoping you can stay up until midnight because I'll be launching an incredible Today's Special Value. Can you believe it's been three years since we launched Women With Control by Renee Greenstein (who also designs Attitudes By Renee)? We'll be celebrating that milestone with a super price on a pair of cropped trousers from Women With Control – a gorgeous set of slimming trousers, with a wide, elasticated waistband and the signature smoothing tummy panel which Renee designed so there's no more 'wiggle or jiggle' as she calls it! The perfect addition to your Spring/Summer wardrobe! When this twin-pack was a TSV last April, it was a sell-out success and I reckon this year it'll be the same again. We're bringing back the combinations of Black/ Red and Black/White, but what's even more exciting is I'll also have two new terrific colours of for you: you have a pack that has the Black and the new Neutral or the Black trouser with a zingy Cobalt trouser! So I'd advise you to be in early with me & Donna Couling at midnight to secure your order. Then at 1am we'll be celebrating the 11th anniversary of Casual & Co – a whole host of delectable tops for you to go perfectly with the TSV trouser!! I cannot wait. Plus don't forget to tweet me throughout the two hours of our fashion extravaganza to tell me which are your most fave QVC fashion purchases! @TVMarv
Last Thursday night Austen took me out for a meal to our favourite local pub, The Bartons Arms. It is a pub that serves Oakham's Ales (a brewery based in Peterborough) and also other local micro-brewed real ales and some more recognisable lagers too. It's a fabulous old Victorian pub, more than 100 years old and is a remarkable example of the architecture of the time: tiled walls & very ornate stained-glass windows which were the fashion of the day. As well as an old wooden bar. It really is a sight to behold. Then at the back there is the most wonderful Thai restaurant, serving authentic and astoundingly delicious food. We were lucky enough to have a few bottle of Green Devil IPA – an India Pale Ale which has a bitter bite but also lashings of luscious mango and citrus grapefruit aromas and flavours. At 6% it's a strong beer but a tasty one which was the perfect complement to the spicy Thai chicken yellow curry I had. We love it there so much! It's also an incredible pub with some brilliant heritage – comedy giants Laurel and Hardy (whom Austen and I LOVE by the way) adored Birmingham, and drank in the pub whenever they played the Aston Hippodrome which was once next door. How cool is that??
Lenny Henry – SON OF THE West Midlands
And where the Aston Hippodrome once stood is now The Drum. I'd describe it as the West Midlands biggest arts and cultural centre with an accent on African, Caribbean & Asian cultures. Last night top notch, award-winning comedian Lenny Henry CBE – son of the West Midlands – introduced a 300-strong audience to a private and first-ever viewing of a new TV pilot of a sitcom based on the highly successful BBC Radio 4 sitcom of the same name, Rudy's Rare Records. It's all about 3 generations of a family running a record shop in Handsworth, Birmingham! The show was made by the BBC Drama Village, based in BIrmingham – which also makes BBC1's Doctors, WPC 56 and Father Brown. It was utterly hilarious, with fantastic gentle humour. I'm told that they will now present the pilot to the BBC Comedy Commissioners next Monday and then wait for a final decision on if the BBC want a whole series to be made. FINGERS CROSSED the whole country will be able to witness on their TV screens what we all did last night. It was fabulous to meet Lenny, and the other brilliant actors who have helped make what we saw such a wonderful experience!
And in true totally excited style, my pal Liz Munro took a bonkers #selfie of her, her hubby Steve, Austen and I in the crowd waiting for the show to start!
Where you’ll find me on QVC…
Friday 28th March
1200 – Midnight launch of a Today’s Special from Women with Control Fashion Separates
0100 – Casual & Co clothing
5pm – Northern NIghts
8pm – Vercella Vita – the finest Italian shapewear
Wed 2nd April
8pm – Lulu Guinness handbags
11pm – Unique Creations by Lori Greiner
Don't forget that when I'm not on-air at QVC, you can find me on Twitter or on my Facebook page. I always love to hear from you about the brands you like on QVC, what you've bought from us or anything you want to tell me, so come over and say HELLO anytime!!