How was your Christmas? Mine was subdued by a rotten cold which – on the four days I was at QVC across Christmas week – tried very hard to sabotage me in the form of a nasty cough when I was on air! Thankfully all Floor Managers were on hand to keep me topped up with warm water throughout, and the Directors were able to silence my microphone, so I didn’t cause havoc spluttering on the telly!
And despite two weeks of trying to fight off the demon virus (the doctor just prescribed me some antibiotics today), I did have some fun. Austen and I got to get a little chill-out time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in a lovely hotel close to the Q. We managed a little stroll after breakfast on Christmas Day to take in some of the autumn sunshine too. It was brisk and bracing so after about half an hour we retreated back inside. The best bit of the day was settling down to Doctor Who and Downton Abbey on Christmas night!
Some fun came in the form of watching Gok Wan and fellow cast members entertaining the crowds at the Birmingham Hippodrome with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Mum and I love going to Panto – it’s been an annual tradition with us two ever since she took me to that very same theatre for the first time 35 years ago to see Arthur Askey and Leslie Crowther. I have very vivid memories of Arthur dancing up the aisles into the stalls where we were sitting. I was mesmerized because he was such a massive British comedy legend then (and still is in my book). From that moment, I was hooked on the theatre. As a teenager I even had dreams of becoming an actress! Snow White is well worth seeing if you fancy a good giggle. It was all-singing, all dancing show with some terrific performances from John Partridge as The Prince (who played Christian Clarke in Eastenders), Stephanie Beacham as Queen Sadista, the ever-adorable Gary WIllmott as Nora Crumble (the ‘Dame’) and Danielle Hope (as Snow White) who you might remember won the BBC1 stage musical talent show Somewhere Over The Rainbow a few years back. The sets were spectacular; the costumes were breath-taking. P.S. Look out for Oddjob (who was hilarious) and the fearsome dragon! Thanks to the team at the Birmingham Hippodrome – the largest independent theatre outside of London – which never fails to put on a cracking panto filled with family fun.
Before Christmas we also did get to see my lovely friend, Beverly Knight on stage playing Rachel Marron in ‘Bodyguard -The Musical’ at London’s Adelphi Theatre. She was stunning, her voice is incredibly powerful and moving. Full marks for her American accent too! Her co-star Tristan Gemmill, who played Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner played him in the movie), was also superb. It fills me with joy to see Bev leading a West End musical. We’re not related, but I have such a massive feeling of pride for her and what she’s achieving right now. It was great to have a catch up with her backstage after the show and wish her blessings for a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.
The good thing about getting some time off was being able to see both sides of my family, even though we couldn’t all be together on Christmas Day. Since starting at the Q back in September, my life has been very ‘full-on’ and so we’ve not been able to meet up for our family round-table lunches as we usually do. The Duffy’s and the Cole’s are all in rude health and it was a joy to see everyone and spend some quality time.
So we’ve seen the back of 2013, and 2014 is well and truly here. Have you resolved to try and change things in your life this year? To do something differently? Look for a new job? Or a new house perhaps? Or just change a routine? Let me know what you’re planning to do. I’m going to try and lose a few pounds. I’m not thrilled about my weight right now, and so I’m going to try a month of Diet Chef and also Pilates classes. I don’t want to go hell for leather on the exercising but do something gentle, that gets my heart rate up and gradually gets me back to fitness. 10 or 15 years ago I used to be mega-fit – well not a marathon runner by any stretch of the imagination but I used to do Boxercise 3 times a week and I enjoyed Circuit Training. So there’s a fit body hiding under there somewhere. I’ve just got to find it! Hope you’ll follow me on my journey and give me some words of inspiration. If you’re starting a healthier year, let me know what you’re up to and how you’re doing. Let’s spur each other on!
Keep an eye out this coming Saturday 11th January as I’ve got another Liz Earle show with a fantastic Today’s Special Value designed to pep your skin up in this harsh wintery weather. Packed to the brim with 6 items and 2 muslin cloths, 4 of those are from the lovely Superskin range, a range formulated to deliver extra moisture. So in addition to full sizes of the award-winning Cleanse & Polish and Instant Boost Skin Tonic, you get 10ml of the Superskin Concentrate, 50ml of the Superskin Moisturiser, 50ml of the Superskin Body Cream and 75ml of the Superskin Hand Serum (which I can personally recommend!). I reckon your skin will really thank you for looking after it! Providing stocks last the day, you’ll be able to see a full presentation of it (and a whole host of other luscious pieces from the Liz Earle range) with me and Caroline Archer at 6pm this Saturday 11th January.
When's Marv on QVC?
Friday 10th January
• 2pm – Outerwear by Centigrade with Glenn Campbell (an hour of fabulous, practical winter coat)
• 5pm – Fashion on Friday with Kipling (myself and the delightful Marie-Francoise Wolff with some tempting handbags and purses)
Sat 11th January
• 3pm – EMU Australia (beautiful, snuggly Australian sheepskin boots perfect for this winter)
• 6pm – Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare (award-winning British skincare range with gentle products which are high in naturally active plant and herb extracts, suitable for all ages)
Wed 15th January
• 12noon – Vercella Vita Italian Shapewear (chic shapewear, helping you create a sexy silhouette)
• 4pm – Join Clothes (graceful draping and well-cut lines with most styles in one size)
Friday 17th January
• 9am -The Morning Show (me & Kathy Tyler – a show packed full of variety to start your QVC day)
• 11am – Diet Chef (tasty, easy meal plans to help you lose weight safely)
• 12noon – At Home with QVC (everything you need to make your home dazzle this new year)
Monday 20th January
• 9am – The Morning Show (me & Simon Biagi)
• 11am – Dennis Basso Boutique (join me and one of New York’s hottest celebrity clothes designers live in the studio showcasing his ridiculously luxurious faux fur coat range)
• 1pm – Susan Graver Style Outlet (superb sale prices on stylish pieces from this exciting range)
Friday 24th January
• 6pm – VAX Home Cleaning (an hour packed with products from one of Britain’s best-selling vacuum cleaning brands)
• 10pm – midnight – Accessories by Kipling (indulge with Marie-Francoise Wolff & I as we take you through two hours of delectable purses, accessories and handbags from this fantastic range, produced in Belgium)
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!!