It has been a busy week for me in my role as an ambassador for British Polio. On Saturday the weather thankfully stayed dry for our half-time appearance at Selhurst Park during the Palace v West Ham game. My other half, Chris, was working so my daughter, Sophie, came with me.
We watched the first thirty minutes of the game before I needed to get changed in to my ‘red & blue’ number, during which Palace had definitely been on top. As we stood waiting to go out on the pitch the crowd were booing the referee (a fairly common occurrence, sadly).
I turned to my friend, Terry Byfield, the PR and Communications Manager at Crystal Palace, who had helped organise our appearance, and he explained that Dwight Gayle had been sent off … apparently it was the right decision but it did change the game and led to us ultimately losing the game 1 – 3.
Bearing that in mind, I was really pleased with the reception we got from the Palace crowd. The video I put on here last week was shown before the models paraded onto the pitch in their outfits, accompanied by Paralympic swimmer, James Crisp who is currently training for Rio 2016, with his lovely wife Katy, and fellow paralympian Anne Wafula Strike.
Anne’s dress, designed by Aleah Leigh, pictured closest to the camera, was created out of unused football tickets which British Polio had requested from football clubs. Funnily enough, the only Premiership club to answer the request were Swansea City – and no, they aren’t aware of Daniel’s connection to the charity through me. The crowd watched, listened and applauded – I was very proud of my fellow fans.
The purpose of the fashion collection was to raise awareness of Post Polio Syndrome Day, which was celebrated yesterday at the Pierhead building in Cardiff, next to the Welsh Assembly building. I had been asked to speak at the event along with politician Mark Isherwood and Professor Gareth Williams.
I have met Gareth several times but it was the first time I had heard him speak about his book ‘Paralysed with Fear’, relating the story of polio in the 20th century and documenting the race for a vaccine. Because, thankfully, this virus is eradicated from this country, in fact most of the world apart from Pakistan and Afghanistan where there were fewer than 60 new cases this year, most people have forgotten just how terrifying it was.
Apparently in 1952 a survey was carried out in America asking the America people what they were most afraid of. Top of the list was nuclear warfare and second was polio. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives to this illness and for we survivors the sting in the tale is Post Polio Syndrome, which will affect the majority of us in some form.
Today is World Polio Day and you may well hear in the news that Rotary International are now within touching distance of achieving their aim to ‘End Polio Now’ so that no more people will needlessly die or be left with the terrible side effects of this preventable disease. I was honoured to be asked to speak yesterday and humbled to meet so many people whose lives have been more adversely affected than my own.
In order to meet my charity commitment I had to take time off from QVC but I managed to work with Keeley from Elemis last Sunday and Monday both on air and off! I can’t tell you too much about what we were recording on Monday but let’s just say that for the first time ever the QVC Beauty Channel will be hosting the pre-launch of the Elemis Christmas TSV at 8 pm on the 14th November.
I think you are going to love it, or should I say “them”!!! Yes, there is a choice and one of the options is a world-wide launch! Starting to feel excited? Well, it gets better. It’s on maximum Easy Pays and Buy More, Save More. Soooo…. the date for the diary is 14th November at 8pm.
Speaking of the Beauty Channel (Sky 668 and Freesat 801) it is celebrating its fifth birthday on Monday 26th October and the output will include a live broadcast with Lulu at 4pm. I have no idea how I have not managed to do a single show featuring her Beauty Product of the month. Still time to order before the start of November with free P&P.
I’m back on QVC on Tuesday 27th at 5pm, Lalique Fragrances and 7pm, Festive Christmas Lighting. Tuesday also happens to be National Black Cat Day. As you know if you read my blog regularly, my son’s cat Wilfie lives with us and he is jet black so I thought I would share some cute pictures of him with you.
Apparently black cats are the most difficult to find homes for but if they are all like Wilfie I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them. It is advisable to keep black cats indoors around Halloween – there are some unkind people around.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Simon Wilson on Thursday for Butler & Wilson World of Accessories particularly as I missed his jewellery shows when I was on holiday. The sparkly top I wear for a lot of the Christmas shows is much admired and that is from Simon’s collection – hope you will join us at 6pm.
So, as I was coming to Wales for PPS Day I decided to drive a few more miles to visit Daniel in Swansea for a few days. I find I can get a lot of writing done here with none of the usual interruptions and I need to write the first chapter of the final book in the Liberty Sands Trilogy to put in the back of book two, the first hundred pages of which I edited on Tuesday and Wednesday, so it’s still on course for publication around the 25th November – will keep you posted on here and also my Julia Roberts TV Facebook page.
I have kept forgetting to post a link to the video I recorded with our lovely QVC guest, Lorna Ko, for Chiswick Buzz at the Chiswick Book Festival so here it is now;
By the way, if you are on waitlist for signed copies of ‘Life’s a Beach and Then…‘ on the QVC website (705211) I have just had confirmation of the final order that the buyers will be placing so your books should be sent out in the next couple of weeks or so – plenty of time to read it before the new one comes out and there will be a few extra copies available if you haven’t ordered yet but would like to.
Remember to put your clocks back on Saturday for an extra hour in bed.