Just a few weeks now until the end of 2015, and as well as looking ahead to 2016 and starting to make some plans, I’ve also been looking back over the year that’s gone. As with every year, it’s had its ups and downs, but I always like to concentrate on the positive! So I thought I’d share with you some of my 2015 highlights, from both work and my personal life. I’d love to hear yours too, so please leave me a comment at the bottom of this blog!
I had a slightly unpleasant end to 2014, with an ice skating accident which resulted in a badly broken right wrist and surgery to wire it back together just before Christmas. I couldn’t use the arm at all for the first two months of this year, which made work and life in general very tricky, but I did manage to find some funky plaster cast covers to make it all a little less ugly on screen! It was absolutely lovely though to meet hundreds of QVC customers at the big annual QVC Beauty Bash at the end of the month, and tickets are now on sale for the 2016 event so if you’d like to come along and meet lots of experts and some of us presenters too, get your ticket before they go! It was also very nice a few days later to escape to the beautiful Maldives for a week. Despite being in plaster I still managed to have a lovely time and even went swimming, thanks to an ingenious waterproof cast cover. Heaven!
My plaster cast finally came off – what a joy that was! A year on, my hand and wrist are still wonky and don’t work properly, and I’m STILL having physiotherapy, but I still remember the delight I felt when that plaster was removed. We went out for dinner to celebrate!
The month started off with a very special weekend in Paris to celebrate my amazing father-in-law’s 90th birthday. He’s incredible – still drives, plays golf, speaks four languages and lives life to the full.
At work, I really enjoyed working with Joan Collins on her fabulous make-up range, and also presenting our Garden Re-leaf show with Richard Jackson, raising lots of money for the Greenfingers charity which builds gardens for children’s hospices around the UK.
Another trip abroad (I was SO lucky to get to travel so much over the past year) – this time a weekend in beautiful Venice, which was the gift my sister Loraine and I gave our mum for Christmas.
It was wonderful to spend some quality time with them, as most of my family live in Ireland so I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to. It was also my birthday – the final one starting with a four! It’s my big 50th coming up in 2016, gulp!
I really enjoyed working on QVC’s new Lunchtime Show, which launched this year, and presented lots of them during May. If you enjoyed it too, and have been missing it recently, it’s coming back for 2016! I also did the Moonwalk (a power walking marathon that takes place through the night on the streets of London) along with a group of QVC colleagues including presenters Kathy Tayler, Alison Keenan and Debbie Flint. We did it to raise money for breast cancer charities. For 2016 I’m taking on an even bigger physical challenge…watch this space! A group of us from work also had a brilliant night watching our friend Lulu in concert – what a woman!
I did a LOT of writing throughout June. I was lucky enough to sign a three book publishing deal in 2014, and was doing the final edits for my first novel. More on that later! I also enjoyed attending the book launch of fellow author and presenter Julia Roberts, who published the first part of her romantic trilogy. And we all had a fabulous time at Alison Keenan’s wedding! I wore Peter Kaiser shoes, literally danced all night in them, and woke up with totally non-achey feet – amazing! Love that range.
At work I had shows with some great fashion names including fabulous jewellery designer Bill Skinner. I also went to the Nibley Festival, a great little music festival near where I live in Gloucestershire. It was one of those long, hot perfect summer days which seem to last forever. Hopefully we’ll get a few more of those in 2016!
This was a quiet month – expect for the bank holiday weekend at the end, when we had a group of friends to stay at our house in Gloucestershire, including my fellow presenter and partner in crime Chloe Everton and her dog Teddy, plus Clare our producer and her dog Stanley. It was, shall we say, quite a boisterous weekend… I think I shall leave that there!
We tend not to go away during the summer so this month was all about catching up with family. The month started with a trip to see my mum and sisters in Ireland and to celebrate my niece Ellen’s graduation. She’s the daughter of my late sister Deborah, who died in 2010. It was an emotional day – my sister would have been SO proud. Then it was back to work for a couple of weeks before an amazing visit to Japan to visit my youngest sister Sarah in Tokyo. I just have to share again these photos of my very tall husband going through the very small doors that some bars and restaurants there have…I’m still laughing!
I was thrilled this month to be asked to present QVC’s huge annual Breast Cancer Care show, alongside Miceal Murphy. It was a fantastic night and we made a LOT of money for the charity. Thank you so much again to all of you who contributed. And then at the end of the month, a personal highlight, and something I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a child. My debut novel The Dead Dog Day, a murder mystery with a touch of romance and humour, was released. I’m thrilled with the response so far – reviews have been great and it’s already topped one book chart. Thank you so much for all the lovely tweets and message I’ve been sent, and to those of you who’ve read the book so far – I appreciate your support so much.
We often get celebrities popping in to QVC and in November I had the pleasure of interviewing the gorgeous Il Divo, who brought us their new album Amor & Pasion…
…and Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman, who brought us an amazing three-disc Ballroom Bonanza album.
If you missed the interview, which Craig and I did on The Morning Show, here it is – despite his grumpy on-screen persona, Mr Goodman was actually a delight in real life, as you will see!
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And so we enter the final month of the year. I worked over Christmas last year so this year I’ll be taking a few days off, and working right through New Year instead. I’ll also be celebrating my third anniversary at QVC this month, and there’ll be a big (HUGE!) giveaway on my blog very soon, so stand by for that!
As I said, I’d love to hear your 2015 highlights – please leave me a message below this blog!
Love Jackie x