I’m hooked on Big Brother!


I must confess that Big Brother (celebrity versions and otherwise) is not something I normally watch, probably because I work in the evenings when it's screened. However, this current series has been a different story as I've been forced to spend a lot of time on my sofa this January.

Both Sophie and Daniel enjoy the programme and take over the remote control for the duration of the show, so I've had little choice… and do you know what, I've really got into it! It's quite fascinating seeing how people behave when they're living together 24/7 and know they're being watched constantly.

There's an added interest for me too as I've come into contact with three of the current housemates during my TV career. Back in 1984 when I was working on 'The Price Is Right' at the Central Television studios in Nottingham, a drama series called 'Connie' was also being filmed there. It starred a certain Stephanie Beacham in the title role. She'd often be in make-up at the same time as me, though I only spoke to her once as she was a highly regarded actress and I was only a hostess on a game show!

Move on 10 years or so and I was already working at QVC, but also doing some work for Sky Sports. I was recording a feature about goal keeper Hans Seger at the Wimbledon FC training ground. They were known as the 'Crazy Gang' and had the reputation of for being one big happy family. I asked Vinnie Jones if he agreed with the 'family' tag and he said, 'Yes, we're like a family, it's just a shame there isn't a bit more Family Allowance!'. He certainly doesn't have to worry about that now!

Around the same time Ivana Trump was a regular guest on QVC with her own range of fashion jewellery, and I often presented with her. Before our first show together I went to introduce myself to her, wearing an oversized 'sloppy Joe' sweatshirt in pale pink. She looked immaculate in a bright yellow tailored suit, and when I asked what I should wear to co-ordinate, she looked me up and down and with a faint smile said, 'Not pink'! Maybe we should bring her jewellery back to QVC – I wonder if any of you still have any of her pieces?

Are you watching Big Brother, and if so, who would you like to win? My vote goes to Vinnie.

Speak soon,
Julia. xx.


  1. sylvia January 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I am an avid big brother watcher,but I have to agree with Sisqo I think the house is completely dominated with what Vinnie thinks and if anyone dares to disagree with him he is like a child and gets everyone on his side.I think Vinnie is a bully.I hope he doesnt win but hey ho we are all entitled to our opinions.Take Care Julia.x

  2. Allison Smith January 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia hope your feeling better now as i know you havnt been well. Im a huge fan of big brother and from the begining i wanted Vinnie to win but now, although i still like him my opinions are changing…..mainly because if i were in the house i couldnt stand having to answer to him, asking if i could have an egg or whatever….i dont like the way he seems to be controlling the house. I was sorry Sov went as she was the only 1 who stood up to him. Anyway, could you please tell me if qvc still sell eco tan as i really miss it and in my opinion nothing compares, i tried leaving a message for Alli Young but havnt had a reply yet so hoped you could answer my question. Thanks for taking the time to read this love from Allison x p.s I’m a huge Butler and Wilson fan and LOVE it when your on with Simon!!!!!

  3. kelly January 24, 2010 at 2:04 am -  Reply

    I used to watch it a couple of years ago, haven’t watched this year though by the look of remaining housemates probably Vinnie as well.
    What is Sophie getting up to nowadays? I know I am getting stressed with university stuff as final year student its certainly NOT fun!

  4. Alison Hill January 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia…
    I used to watch BB but stopped a few years, but I have been watching this one. I didnt watch it at first but as usual I watched one evening got hooked and just kept watching…
    I must admist sometimes it makes me really laugh at whats said and the things that they do and sometimes I just cringe, but its been pretty good tempered so far, I hope it stays that way.
    I think Vinnie & Dane have been the best so I think it will be either of the two that will win…didnt like Lady Sovereign…didnt even know who she was anyway?
    Theres only this week left now so I will be watching each evening to see what BB does to them next!
    Love Alison x x x x

  5. Stephen January 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope your keeping well? I’m also with you on Vinnie to win, it would be a dull place without him. Hey would you ever star on a show like BB?
    Take care

  6. Angela Bradley January 24, 2010 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    hope you are feeling better now — I think January is a good month to spend time on the sofa with the television or dvd`s . Not been watching Big Brother myself but I have been catching up with some old films and Christmas present dvd`s.
    Have you seen Last Chance Harvey with Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman?
    It includes a scene shot in Butler and Wilson —-can`t believe Simon didn`t mention it , or maybe he did and I missed it . Anyway Emma`s character needs a dress for a wedding reception, and she ends up trying on several in B& W !!
    worth renting for that alone!

  7. Lindsay January 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    How are you feeling, you poor soul i hope you are feeling better. I’ve been poorly too and i’ve even had to miss going to watch my beloved Rangers – Gasp!! It awful! Hee hee.
    I’m totally the same, much to my boyfriend’s dismay! I LOVE CBB this year. I haven’t watched BB for years and i usually avoid reality shows like that at all costs (give me footie anyday!) but this year i’m hooked. I love Vinnie too, what a big gentle giant her is.
    Keep warm and cosy and get well soon! 🙂
    Love Lindsay x

  8. Steven January 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I’m not really into BB but I like Vinnie Jones. Some character! Hope you and Lindsay are feeling better soon! Another Ranger in the ranks 😀
    Take care xx

  9. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sylvia
    Not a Vinnie fan then? I’m not sure that he is a bully he just likes everything to be organised. Probably discipline learnt in his years as a footballer. I liked Sisqo at first but thought he was a bit petulant in his last 3 days. I wonder who will go next?
    Julia xx

  10. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Allison,
    Simon is back on QVC next week but unfortunately I’m away – he is great fun isn’t he? I know what you mean about Vinnie being a bit domineering but I didn’t like Sov at all – she showed her childish side when she pinched the key as she left …… not really a team player.
    I haven’t seen Eco tan on QVC for ages but I will ask the question for you when I’m back at work on the 4th Feb.
    may the best BB win
    Julia x

  11. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello Kelly
    Don’t get too stressed with your uni work it will all be ok in the end. Sophie got her BA Degree last summer. As well as the singing she has also been doing some freelance work at QVC as a Production Assistant – which is a bit weird for me as she can boss me around!! – nice though.
    You should watch the final few days of BB, I think it could be one of 4 – Vinnie, Dane, Steph or Nicola ….. we’ll see.
    Good luck with your studies
    Julia x

  12. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    For someone who wasn’t watching at first you’ve certainly got the bug now! I think you could be right with Dane or Vinnie ………. Steph’s in with a shout, but she does stir it a bit. Wasn’t keen on Sov although I quite liked her at first. Really glad Steven went! May the best man/woman win
    Julia x

  13. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Stephen
    I think maybe we like Vinnie cos of the football connection? I’ve never been asked to do a ‘reality show’. I wouldn’t mind BB but you would NEVER get me in the jungle!!!!!!
    Julia x

  14. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm -  Reply

    Hello Angela
    I can’t believe Simon didn’t mention the movie either ….. I haven’t seen it so will have to rent it on your recommendation.
    I’m feeling a lot better now and back to work on Feb 4th.
    Try and catch the last few days of BB it’s really quite good this year
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lindsay
    Hope you’re feeling a bit better now?? I am almost back to normal – whatever normal is?
    I’m with you, I would usually much rather go to the footie but I’ve really enjoyed watching BB – well most of it anyway.
    Your Rangers are flying high – my CPFC just need to avoid administration!! A good cup run would be helpful, so hoping we can beat Wolves in the FA Cup replay next week.
    Go Vinnie!
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts January 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Got my Steven’s muddled up!!!! You should watch the last few days of BB I think Vinnie would suprise you.
    Thanks for the well wishes – a lot better now thanks. Due back on Feb 4th. Wish my boys luck in the FA Cup replay – we were so close!!!!
    Julia x

  17. Steven January 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia. That means you must have been thinking about me when you were reading these other posts you see ha ha. Roll on the 4th of Feb… you have been missed trust me.
    Fingers crossed for the replay. Bad news about going into administration. Hopefully a buyer is found soon. Our 2 clubs have the same problem – we both desperately need new owners. Fancy teaming up to do a joint salvage operation!
    Enjoy your time off and speak soon xo ox
    Steven(not Stephen!)

  18. Magda Chetty January 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia
    Glad you are back to your normal self and hope you have a great break whatever you do.
    Iam writing to you from cairo, but as I have been a bit ill here I will be back home to mallorca by Feb the 2nd.
    So Iwill not be able to come and see you all at QVC.
    But I will get to London to see a doctor late April or early may, so will keep in touch and make sure to see you then.
    Much love and see you back at QVC on the 4th.

  19. Kathleen Donnelly January 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, you have sure got the post rolling with BB ha!!! I’m also watching it as my 23yr olds love it.. like you I didn’t like Sov, very selfish bad mannered and not a team player, I like Vinnie, very organized – can be a bit intimidating if you are not confident, but I think he is an honest soul. Good to hear your early stories of tv.
    I was coming on here to say I was looking at Cher in her early days..on utube (love the shoop shoop song,) and she looks very much like your daughter – some one had Cher’s photos posted from a baby to adult – very pretty, have a look, do you agree? could be a relation.. anyway best wishes hope you are feeling better, missed you on QVC.
    Kathleen x

  20. Richard January 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Julia – glad to hear you are back on Feb 4th. We were starting to get worried ! Hope you are well enough to make it to Palace tomorrow and Tuesday.

  21. dorothy January 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    HI Julia
    pleased to hear yr on the mend, hope you have enjoyed the rest, cannot comment on big brother dont watch it when laura was at home had no opption she loved it, one morning when davy got up she was watching them sleeping he told her she was sad im with him. its like im celeb in jungle get me out they should keep them in cannot stand it. anyway take care look forward to you coming back.
    love best wishes.

  22. julia roberts January 31, 2010 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    I am enjoying my time off – lots of r and r and a little bit of sunshine too!
    I was so proud of Palace yesterday – with all that has gone on this week and not being able to play Victor Moses that really did us proud. So hope we can win the replay on Tuesday.
    See you Thursday
    Julia xx

  23. julia roberts January 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hello Magda
    I’m so sorry you have been ill again especially on your hols ………… really hope you are a bit better now? What a shame we won’t be able to meet up this week. Please keep me posted on your plans for April/May.
    Big hugs
    Julia xx

  24. julia roberts January 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathleen
    Well Vinnie didn’t quite manage to go all the way – maybe he got a little too cocky towards the end do you think?? I just thought it was very entertaining – a genuine group of people and almost a shame it’s the last series of CBB.
    Haven;t looked at the YouTube clip yet – maybe I’ll watch it with Sophie when I get back to the UK.
    I am better now and looking forward to being back on screen on the 4th
    much love
    Julia xx

  25. julia roberts January 31, 2010 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Would love to have been at Palace yesterday but I’m away til Wednesday night so I’ll miss the cup replay too – let’s hope we can get 2 – 0 on Tuesday, we so need a cup run for the finances,
    Are you a Palace fan too??
    See you on QVC on the 4th
    Julia xx

  26. Lindsay January 31, 2010 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Glad to hear you’re feeling better 🙂 Did you enjoy the end of CBB? I was really pleased for Alex, he seems like such a genuinely nice guy.
    Good Luck to CP for Tuesday night, would be great for you’s to get through. I know what you mean about administration – we’re skint too – but being ten points clear of the old CFC certainly helps keep the spirits up!
    Hee hee 🙂
    Lindsay x

  27. julia roberts February 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lindsay,
    I didn’t see all of the Final of CBB but I must admit Alex started to grow on me once Steven had been evicted. The episode with the fake tan was hysterical – he should have got it from QVC then it wouldn’t have run!!!!
    Keep EVERYTHING crossed for Palace tomorrow – I know I will!
    speak soon
    Julia xx

  28. Julie February 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    So sorry to hear how poorly you’ve been – I was only thinking the other day that you haven’t been on our screens for some time. It sounds silly, but I value QVC in such a lot of ways besides the value and convenience of shopping online. I’ve lived alone for many years now, and see the presenters as almost ‘friends’! Daft really, as no-one knows who I am, but I plan the week out beforehand (work from home) and never miss any of my fav shows – obviously Butler & Wilson, Laura Geller, Philosophy, Liz Earle and all the jewellery shows. Adore Xmas on QVC as it brings such a lot of happiness into people’s homes, and I do 95% of my shopping with QVC. But I have always liked you Julia for the way you smile, look beautiful, and treat all your guests (and phone callers) with such kindness and interest. I wish more people were like you in the world. I do hope you are feeling much better now, and look forward to seeing you at the end of the week. For the ‘longest running presenter’ you sure don’t look it! Lots of love
    Julie x

  29. Steven February 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm -  Reply

    Julia what a rsult for Palace! Is Danny Butterfield not a midfield player? Rangers won in the Semi Final last night so we have another Final to look forward to. We are also 10 points in front now after Celtic lost to Kilmarnock even with the Messiah(Robbie Keane) in the team! Off field troubles are not too far away but on the pitch things are looking up. I suppose you could say that for both of our teams. Catch ya later xxx

  30. julia roberts February 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julie
    What a lovely message. I love my job, but like all people you sometimes think is it time to move on – then I get a post from someone like yourself who makes me feel wanted – thankyou so much.
    I am so much better now and rested too so really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. You’ve got a few treats to look forward to – Liz Earle TSV tomorrow and Butler and Wilson 2 days on 16th and 17th Feb.
    Thankyou again for all the lovely things you said and you are NOT ‘daft’ – I’m glad you think of us as friends.
    much love
    Julia xx

  31. sue rushworth February 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

    hi Julia , probably shouldnt say this but your my favourite presenter and i was so worried when i didnt see you for ages. thought you`d maybe left, so was pleased to see you back but so sorry to hear you hadnt been well, those swines havent got to you have they ?
    Love Sue

  32. Christine February 6, 2010 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    So glad your better we missed you.
    I loved Big Brother and wanted Dane to win.
    Julia can you find something out for me please ? I loved loved the Pure Homes range of bedding, i had bought the Chester set. However this range i have been told is discontinued- such a huge shame 🙁
    I want to know, when you next do a bedding hour, if any of the sets feel a bit like peachskin to touch, as the Chester set did. I am thinking of buying the Kelly Hoppen range but not sure of the feel.
    This pure home was in a league of it’s own, am very dissapointed it has gone. I like the higher thread counts, but not with sateen.

  33. julia roberts February 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

    Hello Steven
    OMG – a Danny Butterfield hat trick ( left foot, right foot and header ) in under 7 minutes!!!!! – It is an all time club record. I spoke to Danny after he scored his previous goal on Boxing Day against Norwich ……. he was so pleased with himself then so he must have been in 7th heaven on Tuesday night …… as was I!!! He is actually a right back, but sometimes plays right midfield. He only started up front on Tuesday because we managed to hang on to Nat Kline in the transfer window after Wolves put in a derisory bid for him.
    Well done to Rangers reaching another final. I think Robbie Keane will come good for Celtic – just needs to settle in.
    Speak soon
    Julia xx

  34. julia roberts February 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    Thanks for your lovely message and good to be back. No, I’ve managed to avoid their little trotters for now, it was a combination of a psoriasis flare-up and a really bad chest infection – probably just a bit run down but feeling much better now.
    Keep watching
    Julia xx

  35. Steven February 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    I thought you would be pleased! I was thinking of you when I saw the Palace result. Where did young Moses end up moving to? You will be gutted about that one. Unfortunately I think you are right about Mr Keane. I am glad he is only on loan at Celtic. They have no chance of making it a permanent move and hopefully we’ll be able to hang on to our ten point lead. Long way to go though and we were dreadful in the cup on Sat. Hopefully the season is not starting to take it’s toll. Who’s next for the cup Kings this weekend? What was the draw for the next round? i missed that. Woops long reply!! Sorry everyone lol
    Take care Julia xx

  36. julia roberts February 9, 2010 at 10:30 am -  Reply

    Hi Christine,
    I agree, Dane turned out to be a bit of a sweetie didn’t he?
    Re the Pure Homes bed linen – I can’t actually remember the set you are referring to but I will ask the buyers which they think is the most similar. Have you tried the Northern Nights 350 thread count Egyptian Cotton? That is the one I have on my bed at the moment and I can confirm it is very soft and not ‘sateeny’ at all. Might be worth a try with your 30 day guarantee …….. it gets even softer the more you wash it.
    Keep watching
    Julia x

  37. julia roberts February 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Not such a good result for us last night – I was working so missed it. Typical that an ex Palace player (Kuqi) scored the winner!!! Moses went to Wigan – he was the sacrificial lamb, we were desperate for the money …… luckily held on to everyone else. We have Aston Villa in the cup on Sunday ……… that will be a tough one, but who knows!
    I think Keane scored at the weekend didn’t he?? Rangers are probs having a bit of a hiccup but the ten point lead should be enough?!?!
    speak soon
    Julia xx

  38. Steven February 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    It’s only 8 points now and we’re lucky it was not 7. The pitch was terrible. Not been a good week for our teams. Makes it worse somehow when it is an ex player that scores(kuqi) do you not think?
    Yip Keane scored in the Cup from a penalty. Didnt score last ngiht but they won. I’ve went from being confident to being a nervous wreck in the space of 90 mins. We really are playing awful at the minute and need to get back to form ASAP. Home to Hibs on Sunday sounds like a good time. Great that it’s Friday tomorrow – it’s been a long week. Hope you are having a good week.
    My posts are getting longer! You got me hooked girl! lol
    Take care and speak soon xx

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