Stand up and be counted


Stand Up stageThis week…
- 'Stand up' and be counted – in Greenwich!
- Deb's online writing debut
- Two fab films to see
- And an amazing weekend coming up on QVC

A night of comedy in Greenwich
Imagine you're sitting opposite this stage with your heart in your mouth. In precisely half an hour, you will be standing on that stage, in the spotlight, mouth dry and knees numb, delivering your five-minute stand up routine in front of the live audience of fellow contestants, and seasoned pros. Imagine trying hard to make people laugh, just by talking. And they don't only WANT you to make them laugh, even worse, they EXPECT you to…

OMG – this would be one of my worst nightmares. HAS been, in fact, through the years! Probably to do with an ill-advised, one-off attempt at being funny on stage as part of my act during a singing talent contest when I was about 19. Forgot punchlines, forgot my 'act' and therefore got no laughs – eeeek!

Meet the challengeIt's haunted me ever since! In fact, it was only when I was recording 'Meet The Challenge', the BBC1 daytime show at the end of the 90s, when I hosted a 24-episode TV programme in front of a packed studio audience, that I managed to stop being completely incapacitated by crowds! People are scary! Lol.

Yes, I KNOW I present to a big audience – but it's in front of cameras, not people! And it's nowhere near the same thing as my brave pal Alina Starry did last week! She preferred me not to feature her act on my blog, as it's only her second time, but boy was I proud of her – she was good! Got lots of laughs! Most of the acts got SOME laughs, but several were streets ahead of the others, including Ali.

Ali on stageI won't attempt to paraphrase her lines, but suffice to say it was clever and had super delivery! Ali went on a stand up comedy course in preparation for her open mic session – sounds terrifying. Maybe I should do one of those courses for the sheer hell of it – and  to conquer my nerves – what do you think?

I wouldn't be as good as Ali though – I was very proud of my friend! Perhaps that could be my TiFFT though, (Try it For the First Time club), to round off a very eventful year and cap all the others, eh!? They actually do weekender courses at the club we were at, Up The Creek, near Greenwich tube. After doing the two-day course, you get to do a three-minute on-stage spot. OOER!

Maybe if I didn't have to do the three minutes I'd think about it!? Mind you, that'd be some achievement – conquering one of my biggest fears – that's for sure! (Bet no one would want to come watch me tho' it'd be so bad! Lol.)

If you had to overcome one of your worst fears, what would it be? And how would you do it? Anyway, till that fateful weekend, I'll  just stick to watching other people do comedy I think! Their open mic nights are every Thursday around 7.30pm if you'd like to go down there and support some new would-be comedians. The MC for the night was Jeff Innocent – and he was really, really good. Very, very funny and polished! One day, Ali, one day!

Debut online
Psychologies magazine articleOne of the things I did do this week for the first time, tho', was have a small piece of my work featured on Psychologies Magazine online.

And if you'd like to read it in full, I've put the whole article text at the bottom of this blog.

It was only a little piece, but I was very proud! (and it was true!). There were lots of other examples I could have used to answer their question – 'how did you solve a conflict?'

Do you have anything that springs to mind? Anything you've ever done to solve a conflict, using psychology, which you were particularly pleased with?

During my time away from QVC (between 2000 when I left after being here for six years, and coming back in '09), I ran a business and then worked in finance. I was a manager of a team of 17 people at one point. So you can imagine there were many conflicts of different kinds! I got quite good at handling irate colleagues, irate mortgage brokers and at sorting out good deals for our clients in the end – well I did have to deal with a lot of problems in those days – it was just as the credit crunch hit!

Fortunately I got out of finance just before the worst times. I don't miss that side of it at all, feels like another life now. But my geeky side does miss creating nerdy Excel documents, analyses and reports. Yes really! But that' s another story, along with my love of archaeology – hehe!

I do apologise for the above being a bit more detailed than normal. Maybe it's because I've recently taken the plunge and gone on a dating site, in my quest to find a new man – and I guess people Google me, 'cos they end up quoting bits of my blog! Lol.

I can't promise you any in-depth dating updates, sadly, gang! Not this time! I actually talked about  my last boyfriend a bit too much, apparently, according to some people. (Ooops! Sorry!  :-) ). And as it led to a few weird messages sent to me on Facebook about him, which may or may not be true, I'd rather keep the details of any new romance to myself in future – that is, should I stumble upon someone foolish enough to take me on as a girlfriend! Hehe! But I will give you a little insight – suffice it to say I'm currently in contact with a film producer, a British contemporary commercial artist, a radio DJ and a warehouseman! Hah! Lol!

Saying of the weekAnd for those of you in long-suffering relationships, I thought I'd include a 'saying of the week', which was one of my favourites from those doing the rounds on Facebook recently:

Also – if the above saying resonates with you, you need to watch a really funny film from a couple of years back called 'He's Just Not That Into You' – so damn funny – and very true!! And talking of films, here's my WATCH section for this week – it's too big and too juicy to be a mere footnote!

Hot hot hot
No, not the weather, which may or may not continue being rubbish (probably will though, 'specially considering I'm about to go to Devon for a writing break!). No, I am of course talking about two of the hottest movies of the moment, both of which I saw last weekend! In fact, I've been out most nights of late – including a Hallowe'en party on Saturday night (no pictures, sorry!).

It's been fun being single again, but house is a tip! Lol! Anyway on Friday I went to see the amazingly hot George Clooney in 'Ides of March' – an idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. See the trailer below – but pleeeeeeeeeeez then read on, for one of my best films of the year!


'Nothing bad happens when you're doing the right thing…' – really! If only. George isn't the main character in this one – probably had enough on his plate being the producer, director and co-screenwriter! But that's OK – he still steals every scene he's in (or am I just biased?).

Ryan Gosling is stellar, and two of my other film faves are also in it – Phillip Seymour Hoffman ('it doesn't matter what you THOUGHT, it matters what you DID!'… Tell that to ex-husbands everywhere! Lol), and the other is Paul 'Sideways' Giamatti. Loved newcomer (love interest) Evan Rachel Wood and stalwart Marisa Tomei too. Worth a 'see' – eight and a quarter out of ten from me – that's really good!

Now a fanfare please for… 'The Help'
Rising to the top of the tree though – above most other contenders for my movie of the year – is (fanfare) 'The Help'! There's a definite buzz about it at the moment – from work colleagues to radio presenters – word of mouth is making this a top, top movie. And for very good reason.

If you're going to see ONE movie this month at the cinema, and you really enjoy seeing retribution movies, with a generous helping of emotion, and smattered with tons of laugh out loud moments, then 'The Help' is it.  Loved the setting – early 1960s – 'Mad Men'-esque. Absolutely fantastic eye-opener to the prejudices of the time, making us thankful those days are long gone – almost incredible what was acceptable barely fifty years ago.

An aspiring author publishes an expose on the lives of the paid 'help' amongst snobby, suburban Jackson, Indiana. Superb performances, even from the kids. Amazingly strong plot, and compelling, highly watchable main characters. A feel-good film for fans of female bonding for sure! And your men will love it too. One word of warning though – don't just make sure you take 'a' tissue, make sure you take a whole box! Nine and a quarter out of ten! The highest mark I think I've ever given? (I know some people will ask 'why not a ten', so in my scoring system, the only way it'd have got higher was if there had been a strong romance as well, or some sort of puzzle to work out, but that's irrelevant – it was still brilliant!)

FRIGHT: Apologies for the bad friction burn on my wrist this week – no it wasn't my contribution to Hallowe'en – it was courtesy of Gracie and her extending dog-lead! I tried my best to keep out of the way of the cameras as much as I could! (I won't include the pic – it's on my Facebook page should you be gory enough to want to see it!)

EasiYo Greek & Coconut YoghurtEAT: 'This week I are mostly eating…' – EasiYo Greek & Coconut make your own yogurt pack! Back on air recently, after tons of sell-outs, don't miss this pack if you LOVE pina coladas (with or without the 'pina'!)

QVC: There is a very exciting weekend ahead of us on air! And an unmissable selection of offers.

KitchenAid mixer- Friday's TSV – the KitchenAid mixer! For serious cooks everywhere! Yay! I'm fine with the recent stand mixer for £99, because of my limited culinary skills, but if you're able to stretch to it, and you'll get good use out of it, go for the top of the range one for a one-day only price on Friday!

Bose Wave Music System- The Bose TSV on Saturday is a great deal – if you've waited for ages to buy a Bose, this could be it, at one of the lowest price bands we do! I use my Bose at home plugged into my TV for super almost-surround sound effects!

Also on Saturday (November 5th) - that's when I'm next on air (hope my dog-lead-friction-burn is healed by then!!) - don't miss our 1ct Diamond RingDiamond Spectacular at 2pm, with one of my favourite expert guests, Laurie Wickwire – do join us if you can!

- Sunday is Beauty Day and we have a Clarisonics TSV. Again, if you've been thinking of super-cleansing and massaging your skin, to enhance your premium creams, don't Clarisonicsmiss it! I'll also be on air at 2pm for Decleor!

PS: BIG NEWS! We are thrilled to tell you that our lovely Alison Keenan will be back on air on Tuesday 8th November!
Her first show back will be a two-hour Diamonique Christmas Spectacular with Charlie Brook. I'm sure you will all agree it'll be great to see Ali back!

That's it for another week – next week – how I got on in Devon, possibly a review of new film 'Anonymous' , and will keep you informed about my romance novel, even if I don't keep you informed about my romances! :-)

And don’t forget – leave a regular comment on the section below – it's really easy, and I always respond to your thoughts! Let me know about any of the topics above! Have a great week yourself too!

Here's my Psychologies mag online article in full :

My intelligent, happy son had major problems with a maths teacher who seemed to pick on him. Brad said, 'he hates me'. When I met the teacher at parents' evening it seemed to be mutual. He couldn't wait to slate my son. But he didn't look like a vindictive man – he had laughter lines around his eyes, he had a pleasant manner and he didn't seem like an unfair person. Maybe they'd got off on wrong foot. I listened and said nothing.

I went home and instead of berating my frustrated son, I told him that this teacher had praised him and said: 'Bradley really likes me – he just doesn't realise it yet'. Relief washed over his face.

This totally altered how Brad was with him next time in class. Which totally changed how the teacher treated Brad. It broke the circle. Months later, complete reversal. End of conflict. I was amazed at how simple it had been. Neither ever found out. Hehe!

(For more info, Google Psychologies mag how I deal with conflict)


  1. Susan November 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    God you must type quickly to get all that stuff in!! No wonder your house is a tip lol if you do this, FB, twitter, walk 4 dogs, go on dates and have one of the busiest social lives ever! When do you fit in work lol?! Glad you got lovely comments on the dress I loved. Your figure was to die for! Keep it up! How the heck do you find all these men as well btw?! Please share lol!
    Enjoy Devon,
    Susan x

  2. Dee Sedgwick November 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Hello Debbie,
    A 3 or 5 minute stint on stage as amateur stand-up comic – including drying-up, getting no laughs ? Piece of cake !
    Compared to what I had to do when I was secretary to the MD of a nationwide company. Got you wondering now …. however, it was nothing sensational, complicated or high-level. And yet, my weekend before the Monday (when this event occurred) was always marred; I could do nothing but think about it. What was this
    awful event ? Making and taking in coffee for the 12 or so Directors and Executives at the weekly board meeting ! !
    Even now I compare any fairly appalling situation with this.
    The tray on which the cups and saucers and coffee pot was solid wood and REALLY heavy. The solid wooden door I had to open was also almost impossible to move. And now the critical bit…. whilst forcing open the door and still trying to balance the tray, everything started to shake ! To make it worse, all directors ceased their ‘important’ conversation (which had hitherto been so loud, no-one ever heard me knock for one of them to open the door)and looked at me. I then had to place the tray on a table, pour out and take each cup of coffee to each of them seated around the table. My face was hot and red … and I’m sure much of each cup’s contents was by now in the saucer, from still shaking.
    Usually, as times passes and then in retrospect, these terrifying moments DO diminish. Not so the coffee morning.
    Just thinking about it still feels me with dread.
    Love Dee Sedgwick
    ps Think you’re blogs on QVC are smashing Debbie.

  3. Dee Sedgwick November 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    Me again ! How did I ever get to be secretary to MD of a big company ? ! Just to correct last line of earlier message “Love YOUR blogs” Perhaps, whilst rewriting, I could commend you, Julia, the beautiful Ali Keenan and a few other presenters on their regular and newsworthy blogs. However, a telling-off for some others (yes, you know who you are !) for being “relaxed” (kind way to word it) on staying away from making any comments for weeks at a time. Ok that’s all. Regards Debbie – Dee Sedgwick

  4. Louise November 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs.
    You, nerves, seems a bit hard to believe! I don’t think you referred to Nigel too much; one of the things I love about you is the way in which you make us feel you want to tell us what is happening in your life. And we are interested. But I can, simultaneously, understand why you may keep quiet for a little longer about any new relationship. I’ve also tried the dating sites but, when the meeting came, I got cold feet. So obviously, I’m not really looking for a guy. To be honest, I’m happy at home with my mum and Oscar and Cas. And work. I just got back after being off work sick and I’m over the moon. It gets a bit boring after a while, doesn’t it? Not that I would work for nothing – would you? Would anyone. If I can bring books into the converesation, have you read any of Hilary Mantel’s work? A friend of mine recommended her writings to me. She can be quite cathartic, apparently.
    I know, like myself, you are quite interested in history, etc. Have you switched on to the new sky channel, PBS, on 166? It is brilliant. An american channel, it’s a historical/documentary channel. The US version of antiques roadshow is shown, a series of films about the prohibition era, science, etc.
    How about The Closer on alibi? It’s a crime drama where – and I know you will applaud this – the lead detective is a woman! Do you remember The Gentle Touch, and Jill Gascoigne? Juliet Bravo?
    Well, I’m writing this at work, so I’d better get some done!
    Hope your brood – and Gracie was only showing you she loved you, so wear your wound with pride! – are well. Take care. Speak soon.
    p.s. bet everyone’s pleased Ali’s coming back on Tuesday. Can’t wait to see her back on air.

  5. debs f November 4, 2011 at 12:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Susan hon. Yes I do type rather fast! Much to my lovely web lady Sally’s chagrin! lol.
    Oh gosh – I’m not actively ‘finding men’ – honest! Just went on a website and there they were! :-) Just met a lovely chap today – psychotherapist – v interesting bloke. Gonna make some nice new friends i think, but of course wont be giving blow by blow account on here sadly! lol Ta for writing – always a pleasure to hear from you! d x

  6. debs f November 4, 2011 at 1:34 am -  Reply

    Dee – liked your funny comment/s! lol
    Ta so much for writing.
    Fab story – how excruciating! bless ya! I can imagine that scene! Rotten luck hon! : – )
    ps glad youre liking the regular blogs! come back and comment here again!

  7. debs f November 4, 2011 at 1:37 am -  Reply

    Louise! You come on here whilst at work! Wondered how you got the time for such long comments! hehe!
    yes everyone’s so pleased Ali K will be back on Tues eve.
    Yes I do get full of trepidation – honest! I just cover it up well! lol
    Not seen the things you mention – will keep an eye out – did you say you’ve actually read any Hilary Mantel?

  8. Carole cooper November 4, 2011 at 7:37 am -  Reply

    Hi deb what a woman you are doing all the things you do you must be proud of yourself. I am looking forward to beauty day are you doing any shows it’s good fun when your on. I am gonna sit on Sunday and watch all the shows take care deb Carole Wigan I am getting use to this blogging it’s fun x

  9. Susan November 4, 2011 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Lol ANOTHER man!? A pyschotherapist!! Now Debs you’re just hogging them all! Do you meet them walking the dogs or just online? I might have to join up!!
    You do make me chuckle…love your antics.
    Susan x

  10. debs f November 5, 2011 at 2:15 am -  Reply

    Carole – nice to have you on board! Hope you comment here regularly hon!
    Ta re beauty shows – yes i’m on at 2 – decleor; 4 – beauty gifts incl Clarisonic, bit of elemis, bit of philip kingsley – hero hour!; l’occitane at 6 with that amazing face cream the beauty bible raved about. Will be fun!
    lovely to know you’ll be there – call in!

  11. debs f November 5, 2011 at 2:17 am -  Reply

    Susan – what do you mean ‘another’!! hehe. It’s just friends at the mo – don’t worry! And anyway, two proper boyfriends in 5 years or som i think i’m entitled to ‘another’ don’t you?! lol.
    If you’re serious about online dating there are so many – best thing is ask around! I quite like grownupdating dot something! run by that dating expert woman. Keep me informed! lol d x

  12. JACKIE WALTERS November 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie!
    I was wondering what the lace top/dress was you were wearing on air the other day. It looked like Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, only black…You referred to the dress that was the TSV a few days ago, which is not quite the same though. Since Ali K. was sporting a similar top/dress this evening, could you tell me a little more about it? Thanks, Jackie in Fulham.

  13. Susan November 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Lol Debs of course you’re entitled to your men! I do enjoy hearing your stories…keep’em coming! x

  14. debs f November 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie in Fulham! It’s a Jane Norman – got it from the Westfield store – maybe Ali K did the same! Lovely stretch but comes up quite a small fit – good luck – keep me informed if you got one! Yes the Tiana B is the nearest we do, but is short sleeved, and more plunging!
    thakns for asking – do come back to comment regularly!

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