As I mentioned in my previous blog about my meeting with Andrea Bocelli, I went to our US HQ in Pensylvania to interview Andrea so we could tell you about his album Passione (you can watch the full interview at the bottom of this blog).
But whilst I was there, my nose was placed firmly on the grindstone! I interviewed Andrea on Sunday evening but was back in on Monday morning at 7.30 am to meet with Mary Beth Roe (one of the American QVC hosts).
The weather was cold (about -7), the snow from the previous days had just gone and it was sleeting (so I felt very at home!). Mary Beth was most hospitable and allowed me to shadow her whilst she prepped with her guests for the 9, 10 & 11am shows she was hosting (which were Tignanello handbags, Skincare with Peter Thomas Roth and Keep it Clean ).
I then spent an hour with one of their senior line producers, John, seeing how they control and guide their shows (this one being an hour of Tignanello handbags so quite familiar). I was also asked to join Mary Beth on air for the 11am show to ‘help’ out! It was a cleaning show, so right up my street and I was working with some of their top cleaning guests like Joe Campanelli.
Although we all do the same things at the various QVCs around the world, the style is a little different in the US, and I think it would take me a little while to find my feet if I were to host a whole hour there. However, I was made to feel most welcome and I very much enjoyed taking part in an American show, although I was somewhat aware that my accent was already picking up something of an American twang!
At the end of the show I met up with a few friends who I had worked with before, on the Q Voyager projects, and then I was asked into a meeting with some of the heads of departments. They rather picked my brains as to what I thought about things and I have to say I was a bit worried to criticise but I figured they were all grown ups… but it was mostly positive!
After that I had a bite to eat with the head of TV Production who had been looking after me during my visit and then paid a visit to the on site Q store which was quite impressive. There I learned that they have up to five studio tours a day for fans, customers and (according to Trip Advisor where the $7 tours get high ratings) people who just like a nice day out. I didn't have time to take the tour but as you can see from the pictures it's quite an impressive set up. I particularly liked the souvenir and sweetie shop (all the sweets raise money for a charity).
Then at 2.30pm I was off to the airport to catch the 6.25pm ‘Red Eye’ to Heathrow (it's called the Red Eye as after a seven and a half hour flight you arrive the next day at 06.30am having dozed fitfully in a seat that seems just the wrong size in every way)… and yes it is very aptly named!
All in all, despite having a rotten cold the whole time I was there and not getting much sleep, it was a very enjoyable experience. Of course it was a real thrill to meet the great man Andrea Bocelli and I was glad to have visited our QVC family across the pond.
Watch my interview with Andrea below:
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