I’m not sure if this is a real thing, but it always makes me smile… today is Star Wars Day, in other words, ‘May the Fourth Be With You’! I’m pretty certain we used to sell Star Wars collectable memorabilia many years ago, but I must confess, I have never seen any of the films. More reminiscing about the early days on QVC in the 1996/97 section later in my blog.
The picture at the top of this post of me and Nikki Gerwitz, the founder of Lola Rose, is not from as far back in QVC’s history, but it was taken a good few years ago, March 2012 to be precise, just prior to us leaving our original studio base in Battersea. I showed it on air yesterday, during the first of a series of shows to mark the 15th Anniversary of Lola Rose fashion jewellery on QVC.
There are several shows over the month of May and if you love Lola Rose, you won’t want to miss them, as everything from the range that goes on air will be zero postage and packing. Nikki liked the photo so much that we decided to do an updated version yesterday – maybe we’ll do it every six years or so.
As well as celebrating the Lola Rose anniversary during May, we will also be featuring the gemstone for the month, emerald. You may already have noticed me wearing a rather stunning eternity style band ring. My best friend, Denise, has her birthday in May, so maybe she will be tempted?!
Emerald is one of the trinity of most valued and treasured coloured gemstones, the others being ruby and sapphire, both of which are corundum, whereas emerald is from the beryl family. Not only is it the birthstone for May, it can also be worn to celebrate the twentieth or thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. The ancient Romans believed that emerald eased stress and cured depression (wouldn’t that be fab if it was true!) and they also thought it promoted honesty in the wearer. It symbolises the spring, rebirth and hope. Interestingly, it is one of the few gemstones where natural inclusions are accepted by the jewellery trade, as they pay more attention to the depth of colour.
So, time for our trip down memory lane, and a big shout out to Debs Flint for jogging my memory on some things I had forgotten. I mentioned in my first blog of this series that we used to sell items connected with Oktoberfest, the Munich Beer Festival. Well, we also did some filming from there. I think the first year we did it was 1996, when Paul Lavers was the presenter – I did it the following year but I’ll tell you more about that on next week’s blog when I’ve located some photos.
Paul also had a trip out to Cape Canaveral in Florida, something to do with a rocket launch as I recall, and Debs Flint went to the States too for a live broadcast with Tony Robbins, who used to sell his life-coaching tapes on QVC. Paul and Debbie also hooked up for a ‘Made in Britain’ Roadshow, where guests brought their products in to QVC and the best ones were selected to go on air. It was quite similar to the way in which Quacker Factory was discovered for QVC in America.
I’m pretty sure this was also the first year we presented live broadcast shows from London’s Ideal Home Exhibition. Each of the presenters did several shows, but my most memorable was a show I did with designer Jeff Banks. The shows were in an auditorium in front of a live audience and were great fun, if a little nerve wracking.
1997 was the year that Steve Whatley left QVC, the second of the original seven to go, as Jon Briggs was only with us for about a year. That meant recruiting for new presenters – I wonder if you can guess who came in to replace Steve? All will be revealed next week.
And whilst on the subject, I wonder if you can name any of the presenters who have come and gone over the years? I’ll give you a head start: Maria Rice-Mundy, Hilary Osborne, Jumoke Fashola, Sunitta Shroff, Gary Purden and Fiona Farrell to name a few! We also had some amazing celebrity guests, Sir David Attenborough, Kevin Keegan, Damon Hill, Ivana Trump…. the list goes on and on!
So, I’m off this Bank Holiday weekend and it looks like it’s going to be a scorcher, so I hope you stocked up with Ultrasun yesterday. We have an all day gardening event tomorrow including the TSV, which is a solar lamp post. We’ve been working on making a patio area at the bottom of the garden, as the building work has now started on the new kitchen/family room, and on Tuesday we bought a fabulous metal eagle sculpture to dress it up with – I’ll put some pictures on next week’s blog.
Talking of eagles, my team, Crystal Palace, need just one more point to guarantee another season in the Premier League. We’re live on Sky tomorrow morning, so I’ll need to get my gym workout in early so that I can cheer them on!
Enjoy the sunshine and see you next Thursday,