30 September 2013

Presenters look back over the past 20 years

Julia Roberts celebrating 20th birthdayTomorrow it's our official 20th birthday! 1st October 2013 marks two decades of brilliant products and great prices, always presented to you with our friendly presenters and expert guests.

Hasn't the time flown by?!

Among the great offers and treats for you, we've been feeling pretty nostalgic here at QVC Towers.

We asked some of our presenters and guests what they were up to 20 years ago.

 

 

[Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube's Help page]

 

We also caught up with some of our other presenters to ask them about how they got to presenting on QVCUK, why they love QVC and more!

 

Julia RobertsJulia was one of our two first presenters on QVCUK and so has plenty of memories to choose from! But here's her QVC story and best bits...

How did you end up presenting on QVCUK?
Funny to think, but if it wasn’t for someone dropping out of the audition list in July 1993, I may never have been on QVC at all! I had a last minute phone call at 5.30 pm from my agent asking me if I would like to audition the next morning at 10.30 for a new shopping channel.

I asked why the late notice and was told my showreel had been sent the week before but I had only made it to the reserve list. Someone had dropped out and they had asked for me to make up the numbers.

I had to prepare an item to talk about for ten minutes. I chose a mobile phone, which in those days was the size of a brick, because I could talk about the features and function but also lifestyle it. When I had done my ten minutes the producer came onto the set and handed me a pencil to talk about for five minutes...

I'm not sure I managed the whole five minutes but I did secure myself a second audition with the American big bosses. During my interview with them I was asked 'If you were a tin of soup what flavour would it be?'

Apparently some of my soon to be colleagues answered things like lobster bisque, gazpacho and cock a leekie ... I said mushroom, to which the American big boss replied, 'Oh no, you're definitely not mushroom!'

I was very excited to be offered the job, although I must admit I was doubtful whether the concept would take off in the UK... I figured it may last six months, maybe a year if we were lucky.

The early days of QVC were tough... we had a tiny audience compared to the 26 million we now have and we had to develop a style, as the American style at the time would not have worked so well here.

I am pleased to say QVC America had more confidence in our potential than me and persevered through the tough times to become one of the biggest global retailers.

What do you love about QVC?
The best thing about working at QVC for me has been the people I have met and formed friendships with. Alison Young and I go back a long way and I am eternally grateful to her, not only for the expert skincare advice she has given me but also because she is a genuine and caring person. Debbie Flint and I go back even further... in fact I was responsible for her getting her audition.

Without QVC I may never have met Simon Wilson, Marjolein Brugman, Keeley Aydin or the many other wonderful guests I have worked with and become friends with.

What's been your highlight of presenting on QVC?
My highlight still has to be the series of shows we broadcast from the Bahamas, particularly
the show I did with Joan Rivers.... what an honour to work with such a talented lady.
And of course not forgetting all the wonderful viewers I have met at events or conversed with via letters, blogs and Twitter... you are the reason we are still here today so thank you.

Two little words have been my ethos over the last 20 years working at QVC... honesty and trust. I hope I have delivered on both.

 

 

Craig Rowe After winning our Search for a Presenter competition Craig has been a well-loved presenter for five years! Here's his QVC story and highlights.

How did you end up presenting on QVCUK?

I have been in television for 15 years, mainly behind the scenes at the BBC, but had always longed to be a presenter. 

I had approached QVC many times to get a job as a guest presenter but sadly it had never happened, so you can imagine my joy when I heard about the search for a presenter competition - I entered just as a way to get in front of the decision makers but I never, in a thousand years, thought I would win!!!

What's been your highlight of presenting on QVC?

Gosh there are so many - I'd have to say, Breast Cancer Care.

I have been involved in the fundraising night many times and that is an annual highlight for me, other hightlights are interviewing Charlotte Church and working with pioneers in the beauty industry like Judith Williams and Liz Earle.

What do you love about QVC?

The people who work here, the guys on the phones in Liverpool, the fabulous viewers who I get to meet and the great customer service!

The symbol for 20th anniversary is china - what would you buy for QVC?

I would buy QVC a china heart - it's a place I love so much and every day I thank my lucky stars I work there.

 

 

Chloe EvertonChloe is one of our newest presenters, joining in January 2013, but has jumped right into the QVC family.

How did you end up presenting on QVCUK?

With a Sports Science degree and football background, I came from Sky Sports News and other Sky Sports programmes to QVC for a bit of variety.

Never thought I would really like it, turns out I love it and I'm still here!

I've been in TV for eight years now. I first entered the media world on 'Shipwrecked' (Channel 4 reality TV show), selected by Andi Peters. This desert island challenge helped shape me as a person, so I'm eternally grateful for that experience.

What's been your highlight of presenting on QVC?

The Elemis men's kit shaving foam o'plenty disaster with Keeley, I believe there's a clip on Debbie Flint's recent blog!

What do you love about QVC?

I love the variety on air, the guests and the family atmosphere. It's a little like Disney World, where everyone's always happy!

The traditional symbol for a 20th anniversary is china - what would you buy for QVC?

I would get Debbie Flint The Great Wall FROM China so that we could fence in her mess on her side of the dressing room and reduce the overspill (although, she's tidied it recently, it won't last).

Please order QVC The Great Wall of China! It's not very communal as a gift but very necessary and proactive!

 

 

Will GowingWill is our online presenter, always getting the behind-the-scenes latest from our guests, brands and presenters.

How did you end up presenting on QVCUK?

I began working with QVC back in 1999, it was my first job in TV, so the company is pretty special to me. After five years working behind the scenes I left - with the full support of QVC - to go and experience other areas of the TV and radio industry.

I worked for another 5 years on shows like Blue Peter, Crimewatch, the Brit Awards, ITV news and lots of radio. I was then really lucky to be given an opportunity to present some technology products on air at QVC (I love my tech) and after this was VERY lucky to be given the chance to do what I do now, and I absolutely LOVE it!

What's been your highlight of presenting on QVC?

I've always loved working on live television, there's nothing better, unfortunately year on year less and less live television is produced within the industry, so for QVC to output 17 hours of live programming a day is pretty impressive.

The Breast Cancer Care events on air have always been very special, I've worked on a few of them now in different roles and they never disappoint.

What do you love about QVC?

As an employee - the people hands down! I've worked for quite a few different tv & radio companies now and without a doubt QVC have the best team.

As a customer - I like the fact QVC offer brands and products that aren't readily available on the high street and I LOVE the fact their customer service centre is UK based and staffed by people who really know what they're talking about, there's something to be said for having a human being at the end of the phone who can genuinely help you!

The traditional symbol for a 20th anniversary is china - what would you buy for QVC?

Ooooh this is a tough one... I'd buy Alison Young a china pot to put all of her make-up brushes in, it's for the good of QVC and her dressing room buddy Jilly Halliday!

 

What were you doing 20 years ago? Comment below and share your memory with us!

Comments

My Photo

Congratulations QVC, you have been my saviour since DAY ONE. I have bought many many of your products, and you have helped me so much because I just cannot go round the shops anymore, as I am disabled. You have never minded me changing my mind over products either, and what other Company allows that. The quality of products is `second to none` and I would say to those who haven`t purchased from you yet - `GO AND DO IT, TRY QVC, YOU CERTAINLY WON`T BE DISAPPOINTED`. Many many thanks QVC, I love you loads.

My Photo

I can't believe I missed your birthday, I have shopped with qvc since the very start and have in that time bought from every shop kitchen ware through to fashion, I still wear a cardigan from Kim's first show. I love all the presenters but am afraid I do have faves.love Kathy an simon on a morning,craig makes me chuckle an Claire is fab!!, I shall continue shopping, long may qvc reign !!!!!!!!!!!!! Best wishes to all, love Debs from huddersfield

My Photo

Happy birthday QVC ! I've been watching you from the start, though it took me about three weeks to take the plunge and place my first order - a set of kitchen utensils in a worktop carousel. The carousel is long gone, but I still have and use some of the tools. You introduced me to what have become favourite brands, some of which you no longer feature [Aveda, Molton Brown for example.] I watch several other shopping channels [and seem to have seen Debbie Flint on most of them!] but it's QVC I feel I can probably trust the most.

My Photo

Happy Birthday QVC
I had just completed a further education course and was looking for work. I watched from the early days, but because of a lack of money, did not start buying until 2004. I think the concept of buying off the telly was quite scary,especially using the phone, as I have a type of Autism which makes this difficult.
But online I now buy fashion, jewellry, skincare, and emu boots.
the Highstreet is difficult for fashion as I am on the larger side, so its a win win for me.Thanks QVC

My Photo

Happy Birthday QVC, have been with you since day one, I got married that year and now have a 16 year old daughter, I cant remember my first purchase but have had so many things over the years!!! Especially love my Northern nights products sooo luxurious, also jewellery and beauty products the list goes on... Keep up the good work QVC

My Photo

Happy Birthday to everyone at QVC and at the Call Centre in Knowsley. I can truly say that you have changed my life as I would not be without many of the products that have become an integral part of my life and home. There are too many brands to name but suffice to say that 95% of my clothes come from QVC, all of my beauty products, all of my jewellery, especially Butler and Wilson, my first purchase was an Astonish cleaning kit, and it was not long before I became the addict I am today some 13 years later.

So a big THANK YOU to all the presenters who I feel are part of my family even though I have never met any of you in person.

My Photo

Happy 20th Birthday QVC. I have been with you since the day you came on air. Best shopping channel and best customer Services. You also have the best TV presenters. I miss some of the old faces from the first few years, but sorry cannot remember their names only faces. I used to change the channel when my husband came into the room because He didn't like me shopping so much. but I guess this is a man thing. But sad to say I lost my husband 17 months ago to cancer. I still watch QVC and enjoy it but miss Indigo Moon ~ Molton Brown ~ Nicky Chavez ~ Michael Di Cesare, although I know he is still around. But glad to say Northern Nights is still with us. Glad to see QVC has expanded but wish all the beauty products were shown on the Beauty channel and we saw more home products on our Main QVC Channel. But I guess QVC like to keep a balance. It is still the best way to shop. Long may you reign. Best wishes. Hope I am here for the next 20yrs. Thank You QVC for an excellent Service.

My Photo

happy birthday qvc, i was in my motherinlaws when qvc first was launched and my motherinlaw said come quick there is a channel you can buy from your own armchair, i said thats sounds amazing, i shortly after became a qvc member and have watched qvc ever since,i dont know what i would so without qvc,and have a house full of qvc items xx

My Photo

Where has the time gone?
I'm sure I have been a customer for most of your 20 years & My husband, family & postman would agree!
At one point My husband was sure I was aiming to have a QVC package delivered daily!
QVC ~ The one and only 'FAMILY' shopping channel.
Keep up the good work team.

Happy 20th Birthday.xxx

My Photo

I have been shopping with you from Day1 and have loved every minute.Never been disappointed with any purchase, and there have been many.Congratulations.

My Photo

It's great to watch the 20 year celebs with you all but a shame about Pipa and what has happened to the zany Debbie Greenwood?

My Photo

In the early days I used to watch QVC when I lived in Spain. It was so good to be able to buy items which at that time were not available locally. There were a few of us locally who were 'addicted' to QVC. At some stage I must have changed TV providers and was not able to receive QVC anymore.
However on my return to the UK 2 and half years ago, I was delighted again to be able to watch and buy from QVC.

My Photo

I have been with QVC since day one and made my first order in the December which was a diamonique ring. I remember the "old" presenters like Paul Lavers and Steve Whitley I wonder what has happened to them, any one know? Happy Birthday QVC and many more!!!

My Photo

A very happy 20th birthday QVC, I've been with you a very long time aswell, I've seen presenters come & go but Julia you are always there, I am a QVC addict & I always will be for as long as I live.
I can't remember my very fist item as I have had lots & lots, my husband said to me you should have shares in the company as he thinks I have I have bought that much.lol A big happy birthday from the behind the scenes staff & of course all the presenters.

🎉🎈🎊 XxX

My Photo

I have been with QVC since day one and like so many others did not pluck up courage to buy until much later. I think I am probably one of the most difficult customers since I am so indecisive and over the years have returned quite a lot of items. At one stage I even received a letter from QVC asking me why I returned so much. I wrote back reminding them that their 30 day return policy was their USP and I've not had any letters since!!!. I enjoy QVC, it keeps me up to date, it is quite a huge part of my life and I congratulate you on your 20th birthday. Keep going QVC there's not another channel to beat you.

My Photo

Happy birthday qvc I have been shopping with you since 1994 when we had cable can't remember what my first purchase was I think it was a diamonique ring or a tefal steamer have purchased hundreds of things over the years keep up the good work.

My Photo

Happy 20th Birthday QVC I remember watching you with my late mother you had been going for a couple of weeks all the family called mum a QVC Queen she watched all day every day I now watch on my own but believe mum is watching with me Love all your shows

My Photo

Congratulations QVCUK, happy birthday
so good to have a shopping channel we know you we trust
with presenters who are interested in the products
and ask the questions we would
been a shopper with you for about 10 years
good quality products,
but (we wish other retailers would take note)
customer service is second to none

My Photo

i remember watching on cabltv aberdeen cable watching qvc at 2pm watching 20 years boght the qvc cds from over the years aclock and big boys toys .will be watching some opf the day especially julia and charlie on th ebday show hers to another 20 years

My Photo

I bought mt youngest daughter a beautiful pair of jade/gold drop earrings the second day you were televised - she was clearing ou her bedroom the other day and found them still with the box and invoice from yourselves, can't believe that was 20 years ago!.Still going strong better than ever.Well done.

My Photo

Happy Birthday QVC! I have been with you from day 1 and have loved it. My first thing I bought was the orange oil wood care products! I have since ordered , many many things since, so keep up the good work everybody.

My Photo

A very happy birthday QVC, I have been watching from the first day but took a while before I ordered something. I guess it was because it had never been heard of, buying something from a shopping channel. Well now I couldn't imagine going anywhere else for a lot of my essentials and a few extra's. Well maybe more than a few . I shall be watching tomorrow and see what other goodies I can buy.
Congratulations to all the presenters for doing such a good job, if it wasn't for them the channel just would not have worked. Xx

My Photo

Interesting to read about Craig's QVC audition seeing as he already had a background in broadcasting. At the auditions in London, we were all convinced that the winner of the competition would be a complete newcomer (who was actually a real customer-QVC enthusiast). Seems like we were all sold the idea of our 'dream job' presenting QVC without the chance of it becoming a reality.

My Photo

I watched the very first show from Dublin where I was living at the time!

My Photo

my thoughts of shopping with qvc over about 17 years (cant remember the actual date) as I watched sometime before I plucked up courage to purchase,but how delighted I now feel that I did, when I see the price of some of the beautiful jewellery I purchased in the early days 14carat at a fraction of the price it now costs, I still check qvc first for all my needs beauty, household, etc . Well done qvc keep up the good work, and many thanks for bringing such good quality items and also the no quibble returns for unhappy purchases, fortunatly I have hardly ever had to use this as I am always gobsmacked ,and delighted with my purchases

My Photo

Congratulations QVC. I just love the channel and am a regular customer. the service is outstanding and i have hardly ever sent anything back. looking forward to the next 20 years,.And HAPPY BIRTHDAY .

My Photo

Hi, my son was born in June 93' and recall watching QVC when it was first broadcast. Started shopping shortly after and I am still doing so. I have never been disappointed with any aspect of the show and still love watching and buying to this day. Thank you xx

My Photo

Hi QVC
I too have been with QVC for 20 years, I think my first purchase was something called 'simply green' a cleaning product. Although this has not been my favourite product I have remained a loyal customer ever since. I'm a huge fan of Decleor, Butler & Wilson, Northern Nights, Mally and many many more of your brands. What I'm impressed most with is the quality and customer service. I've very rarely sent things back but have never had an issue with this even after sleeping on a feather bed for 3 weeks I had to return it because my husband did not like it, I could never do that with any other retailer.
Keep up all the fabulous work
Amanda Ayris

My Photo

I can remember going round to my mum's house and she made me sit down with a cuppa and told me the weirdest thing is happening, when I asked what, she turned the tv over and julia roberts and the other presenter was there, julia with her curly hair and my mum said " what ever next, they are trying to get you to buy off the telly, it won't catch on" bless her how wrong she was!!

My Photo

Whilst I've been a QVC customer for 19 years I was watching from day one as in the early days I'd supplied some prizes to both Richard Jackson and Harry Greene for on air competitions, so it was due to them that I started watching. Plus I then lived on Queenstown Road, so felt I should support it. I've still got two Pifco fans that I bought as a TSV in the very early days and sadly the grill plate that Glynn Christian use to demonstrate got left behind in my flat by accident. Over the years I've gone from buying homewares to Indigo Moon to become a beauty addict - I always was a beauty addict but buying it through QVC makes it all so much more affordable.

My Photo

Happy 20th birthday QVC. 20 years ago we were living in Essex trying to sell our house to move to Cornwall. We have lived in beautiful Cornwall now for 19 years and love it. We would not move back and it is like being on holiday every day.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.