Hip Hip Hooray


Julia with boxer Herol 'Bomber' Graham at the races Well I really enjoyed my much anticipated 'date' with Westlife last week, though in truth I couldn't really see the stage that well from our vantage point on the main stand at Sandown racecourse.

With the benefit of hindsight perhaps we should have staked a claim in the area in front of the stage much earlier in the afternoon, but we were having far too much fun watching and betting on the races.

In all my 54 years, I have only been to the races four times, which is a shame cos I really enjoy it. The first time was back in 1984 when I was a hostess on 'The Price is Right'. Central Television had sponsored a race meeting at Nottingham racecourse, so had invited all the 'celebrities' who were working for the channel at the time to go along for the day.

The picture (above left) was in the Nottingham Evening Post and shows me being swept of my feet by boxer Herol 'Bomber' Graham. Either he was a heavyweight or I must have weighed a lot less in those days!!!! I only remember putting money on one horse, which I selected because it had a sheepskin noseband! Unbelievably it was first past the post and I won £20, so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

My next day out at the races was at Lingfield which is not too far from where I live. It was a Crystal Palace Race Day which I had been invited to as I used to do some TV work for them at the time. Lots of the players were there mingling with the crowd but I don't remember backing any winners that day.

The third time I went to the races was very exotic. Ali Keenan and I were with our jewellery buyers on a trip to Hong Kong and we were treated to a night out at Happy Valley racetrack. We were wined and dined in a private box and also had a flutter or two on the horses. The atmosphere was electric as the Chinese love to gamble and place huge bets on the outcome of each race. I think my biggest stake was 10 HK Dollars, which in those days was about £1… last of the big spenders eh!

At Sandown I could not repeat my beginner's luck from Nottingham but I came close. I was going to put money on a 20 – 1 outsider called Hip Hip Hooray, but Daniel suggested I back the favourite instead, and as he had already had a couple of wins I went with his advice. No prizes for guessing which horse won!

We had a thoroughly enjoyable family day out and I must say I was suprised that I wasn't the only family member singing along to the Westlife songs. Dan and Sophie reminded me that for a good couple of years of their school life, every time I picked them up in the car I had Westlife on the CD player. Sophie in particular was word perfect to quite a few of the tracks! My only disappointment? – they didn't do 'Fool Again'… maybe next time.

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. Cheryl August 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Glad you enjoyed your night at the races, my sister and myself recently went to Newmarket Racecourse to see Simply Red, absolutely amazing, would thoroughly recommend, she even went back with her family last week to see Madness, she said they were even better.
    Let’s hope that they keep putting on these events.
    Would also like to add that you are looking very well and the weight loss really suits you.
    Take care.

  2. steve August 12, 2010 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Good to hear you enjoyed the Westlife concert! did you get to meet them? i have to listen to music every day, Whether i’am in the gym or the car or on holiday, my favourite Westlife track is “Home” I always seem to hear that on holiday!
    It seems you have kick strated a fitness revolution Julia! its always good to hear about people changing their habits and becoming healthy. I know for some of you out there you are eating less and moving more with very little results with more gyms and fitness palaces around and advice coming from every direction, why do we still have a obesity epidemic!
    The main reason why we all tend to put on the pounds as we get older is hormonal, as we approach our 40s and 50s and beyond our sex hormones(male testosterone)and(female Progesterone) decrease and estrogen increases this is where we tend to swap muscles for fat and in turn our metabolic rates slows causeing us to store and gain weight, even though you are seemly exercising and eating small amounts. It is simply about having the tools and applying them ,I train and compete along side males and females in there 50s and 60s they are in amazing shape, spending as little as 4 hours per week exercising
    I would agree with you Julia on cuting down on the bread, any food that contains sugar even fruits will cause a spike in your insulin levels which in turn will cause you to hold on or to store fat.
    My tip would be to eat 4 to 5 small meals a day, the more often you eat the faster your metabolism will work. Eat good sources of protien with every meal and keep the your carbs clean, slow release complex carbs like oatmeal brown rice whole meal pasta
    Try to eat from the bottom of the food chain, whole fresh foods avoiding reformed meats or foods with preservitives this will decrease estrogen levels in the body.
    Also up your water intake, the more you drink the more water will leave your body making you leaner.
    It all seems a little technical but once you shift the speed on your metabolism you can eat the tasty food now again and be in shape no mater what your age, i think i have said before julia! how impressed i have been in you, not just losing weight but getting into great shape.
    PS I used to love watching the Price is right, from Central studios! on a saturday night i was only 14 back then lol, i found the a clip on YouTube! is that you demonstrating the exercise bike!

    Speak soon, Steve X

  3. Susan August 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    What an amazing selection of races you’ve been to! Especially Hong Kong!! I’ve never been to the races or to Asia. I’m in the wrong business clearly! What it would be to be in telly!! I remember the Bahamas trip you did too! Lovely! I have however been to a WEstlife concert lol! Not quite on the same power but great fun.
    Have a good weekend! Take care,
    PS I agree not too much bread/CHO’s but it’s generally what people put onto them rather than the ‘bare’ foods themselves – unless you have them in mahussive quantities of course!!

  4. Susan August 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Julia, just been reading an article in the paper about a product called Kalme ‘Undercoat’. They say it is clinically proven to protect your skin against irritants in sunscreen. It’s £17 for 75ml so pricey I know but just didn’t know whether this would be worth a go for the old prickly heat? Just a thought so thought I’d drop you a line! If you’re interested the give the following website:
    Enjoy your weekend.

  5. julia roberts August 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm -  Reply

    Hello Cheryl
    Thanks for the kind compliment re my weight – I certainly feel much better in myself for it.
    I agree with you concerning the ‘races/ concert’ events. What a great idea – maybe there are other sporting fixtures they could add a concert on to the end of?
    Julia x

  6. julia roberts August 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steve
    OMG I had no idea that clip was on youtube – and yes that is me demonstrating the exercise bike!!!! That was the first ever show and despite the fact that I haven’t seen it in years I think I remember that Norma was the eventual winner ( for those of you who watch the clip and want to know!!!! )
    Thanks for all your advice to the ladies and gents trying to drop a few pounds – I have to cover QVC at this point and say that this is independant advice from you and QVC can take no responsibility for anyone choosing to follow your advice – however if you read up about the body on the web you will see that Steve is very knowledgeable!
    It’s funny, everyone keeps asking how I’ve achieved my weightloss and shape change ( people at work even quiz Sophie ) as if there is some magic new drug or maybe wondering if I’ve had a gastric band fitted. Well I haven’t, it truly is good old fashioned willpower and sensible eating and moderate exercise. My only regret is that I had let myself get so out of shape in the first place without realising it.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your fitness advice and also for puttong up the Price is Right link – took me back I can tell you!
    Julia x

  7. julia roberts August 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    If mahussive isn’t in the dictionary it should be …. great word!
    Yes I have been very lucky in my job to travel the world, but there are still lots of places I would love to see. I always fancied Presenting one of those travel shows – how great to see all those places AND get paid for it. Telly is not all glamour though it can be jolly hard work.
    Julia x

  8. julia roberts August 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi susan
    Thanks for thinking of Sophie with this product – she is going on holiday to The Dominican Republic in November so it would be worth getting I think.
    I will have a look at the website too as I’ve been having issues with my skin …………….. probably my age!!
    Julia x

  9. Susan August 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Yes I imagine telly is hard work at times too, I suppose like any job but quite a lot of fun at times also!? And the travel perks wouldn’t hurt! I think travel programmes would be a lot of fun like you say – we’d have to ask Kathy Taylor for her take on it though wouldn’t we! My Mum worked in telly for a bit and loved it. Glad you found the link to the website useful. I thought it may be worth a chance too when I read the article. Lucky duck Sophie! Dominican Republic!! How yummy! I am now thinking positively of next summer – role on – as like many I haven’t got away this year and am desperately still dreaming of a a sunny beach! Let’s hope things pick up for everyone next year anyway. They’ve got to! Love to your Mum also. An awful thing to be struck down with.
    Take care,

  10. julia roberts August 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    Thanks for your good wishes for my Mum – she really has been in a bad way and it would happen over her birthday. Thankfully she is at my sister’s in Scotland so she has been well looked after.
    Sophie is saving hard for her holiday – she and her boyfriend don’t see each other much with him being in the army, so it will be nice for them to have a fortnight together.
    Hope things pick up so you can get away ( or should that be ‘jet’ away ) next year.
    Julia x

  11. Susan August 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    That must be reassuring for you to know your big sis is looking after your Mum so well. It’s awful when our loved ones get ill. That will be lovely for Sophie and Rick (I think you said Rick in a previous blog) to spend proper time together. Aware of how hard army life & relationships for that matter can be. Sure they can’t wait. Thanks for your good wishes too. I am adament I want to see the sun next summer!!! Mid week anyway so have a great upcoming weekend!

  12. julia roberts August 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    I was worried when it rained on St. Swithin’s day – knew it would be a dodgy summer then! When does the 40 days and 40 nights come to an end? – must be quite soon, then maybe we will get a bit of late summer sunshine ………. fingers crossed!
    Julia x

  13. Babs September 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Really glad you enjoyed your time at the Races and that you enjoyed the Westlife concert.
    I have never been to the races, but I did however queue for 28 hours to have Westlife sign some books for me before they took their year off- that was fun and interesting.
    Must just say also how well and in good shape you look, and love seeing you with Simon Wilson on the shows together.
    I do hope you received “The Book” which I sent recently with covering letter.
    Take Care,
    Babs xxxx

  14. julia roberts September 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Hello Babs
    Can I just say I am useless!!!!! I was waiting til after the concert to write and thank you BUT I have just been so busy at QVC I haven’t got around to writing. I will write I promise. When I have read the book would you like me to return it? – it must be very special for you.
    Let me know and huge apologies for not being in touch
    Julia xxx

  15. Babs September 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    No need for apologies – please keep the book, I have a copy too. I was only too pleased that it had arrived safely. No need for a reply as I know how busy you are and do hope your Mum is on the mend. (I sent you a reply a few days ago but not sure I was on line when it was send – ha)Have enjoyed Blogging you.
    Take Care
    Much Love
    Babs xxxxxx

  16. julia roberts September 17, 2010 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Hi Babs
    Thanks for saying I can keep the book – very kind of you. Good to hear that someone else also makes a few ‘mistakes’ when on their computer – do you shout at yours??? – I do!
    Mum’s improving but still not ‘right’ – thanks for asking
    much love
    Julia x

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