Another year on the clock!


Me and DebHello!

It’s been my birthday since my last blog… another year on the clock and another year closer to the big Five 0 (I’m now 47).

As a woman working in television, age is a tricky subject. Sadly, it’s still the case that older men are a much more common sight on our screens than older women (I’m glad to see QVC is an exception to that rule!), so most women I know who work in TV tend to avoid admitting their age.

In fact one fabulous ex-colleague of mine was 37 on every single birthday for many years!

I used to be like that. But now I celebrate every birthday with wild abandon, completely thrilled to be another year older, to have lived another 365 days and to be able to rejoice in that fact with my friends and family.

In an earlier blog I told you about my large (well, huge, enormous!) family and showed you a picture of me with my four sisters. What I didn’t say was that that picture is very precious, because the five of us will never be photographed together again.

In the early hours of 30th May 2010, I was on a night shift at ITN in London, preparing to read the ITV National News bulletin at 5.30am. Then I got a call that would change my life forever. My sister Deborah (pictured with me above) had collapsed with a massive and previously undiagnosed brain aneurysm, and was on life support in a hospital in the west of Ireland where she lived.

I made it from London, via two long drives and a horribly delayed flight, by early afternoon, a couple of hours before she died. My sister was 39 and had three children – a five month old baby and two older girls. I think about her and miss her every single day.

My husband and I have also lost three friends over the past seven years, two to cancer and one to complications of diabetes – all young, all with small children. It all makes you very aware of how short and precious life is, and how birthdays are not things to be dreaded and moaned about, but to be thrilled about.

So happy birthday to me, and to anyone else who has a birthday this week. Remember, as somebody once said: “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”

Have a great week.

Love Jackie xx


  1. Michelle Roberts May 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie
    What a lovely piece of writing Jackie, so sorry to hear about your sister and how sad for her children to lose their mum, life is very cruel sometimes.
    It’s so nice to see you settled at QVC I really enjoy the shows you present especially the morning ones as you have a very calming voice. I have a birthday in July and guess what I will be 47 too 1966 was a good year !!!,
    Thank you for sharing
    Best wishes and a belated happy birthday to you x x

  2. Jackie Kabler May 10, 2013 at 10:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Michelle
    Thanks so much, very kind of you. Yes life can be very sad but it goes on, and I’m a great believer in staying positive no matter what. My sister’s children are all beautiful, clever girls and they have been incredible since she died; we are all very proud of them. And yes, 1966 was obviously a good year! Happy birthday to you too when it arrives!
    Love Jackie xx

  3. Vivienne May 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jackie
    Happy belated birthday. Your words are so true I thank god every morning that I open my eyes another day to enjoy. Now being in my sixties and recently widowed I feel really fortunate to have a wonderful daughter and good friends and a lovely adorable Westie called Bella. It is so true that money cannot buy health and as my Mum used to say their are no pockets in shrouds.

  4. Jackie Kabler May 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Vivienne,
    Glad you have so many good things in your life, I am so grateful for all I have in mine. Your mum sounds like mine!
    Love Jackie x

  5. pauline May 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm -  Reply

    Never comment on here but happy belated birthday and I would never have guessed you were anywhere near that age.
    Enjoy life you are still young and beautiful.
    Sorry to hear your sad news I am sure your sisters children are a credit to her and a comfort to you.
    All the best Pauline

  6. Jackie Kabler May 14, 2013 at 9:52 am -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    That is very kind of you, thanks so much!
    Love Jackie x

  7. Julie May 14, 2013 at 11:28 am -  Reply

    Hello Jackie,
    I have never commented on anyone’s blog before, it’s such a personal thing.
    I am 47 at present, 48 in July this year. For me your words are profound and heart felt, to lose someone so close is s difficult and confusing thing, but we remember these people, there are dear to us so and is so nice to have those memory’s.
    I myself am an incredibly positive and lucky person. I was told at the age of 13 I wouldn’t make my next birthday. I had a rare and serious reaction to some everyday medication (anti sickness Stemil) many hundreds and thousands of people are presciped this type of medication daily. I was never angry or ever tried to claim any damages , to me it was an accident, nobody ever meant to cause any harm to me, so I couldn’t and never have been upset by this .
    I was left with total paralysis of the throat , my other symptoms recoverd over a period of 2 years in hospital but my swallowing never did come back, hence I have a tracky tube plus a gastric tube because eating is imposible , these are perminant .
    Having said all this I have been married to an amazing man who doesn’t see my tubes and tells me everyday he loves me, from whereever he happens to be in the world because his jobs means he works 2 weeks out of 5 on an oil rig, we have 2 beautiful daughters aged 22 and at uni, and a 18 year old who is just finishing her apprenticeship . My children are healthy and full of energy and life. I feel so blessed to have found a true soulmate and 2 lovely lovely girls.
    So like you, I appreciate every single day because we never can be sure what’s round the corner, make the most of today and enjoy everything your able to.
    You are such an asset to qvc Jackie, I do hope you stay around for awhile.
    Kind regards

  8. Jackie Kabler May 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie
    Thank you so much for getting in touch and sharing your story with me. You truly are blessed to have such wonderful people in your life and I am full of admiration for the way you have dealt with what happened to you. I really believe you can find the good and positive in every situation, no matter how grim, and that’s how I try to live my life too.
    So lovely to hear from you, thanks again!
    Love Jackie xx

  9. Julie Kissick June 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie,
    So much of what you say resonates with me. I too have lost two of my best friends & my mum in the last few years. Life is precious. We owe it to ourselves to live it to the full.
    Lovely to see you on QVC. We actually worked together briefly at HTV West. I was from HTV Wales on an attachment.
    Have a wonderful year,

  10. Jackie Kabler June 18, 2013 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Julie
    Thanks for getting in touch! Gosh HTV West, that takes me back a bit – fun days!
    Love Jackie x

  11. Linda Westley November 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie – love a top that you have worn a couple times. would love to own it – it is an orangy colour with a motif running diagonally across the fronnt. Is it one of your own one from QVC?

  12. Myfanwy Brown May 2, 2014 at 8:51 pm -  Reply

    Just read this now.. I am so sorry about your sister, Jackie. I lost my dad in 1980 to suicide (he had throat cancer and was in so much pain, he decided to end it). I have also lost several friends to suicide. I am a Christian, I have a strong faith, and I am not afraid of death, although obviously, we would all like to live a long, healthy life. Especially since I have three sons that I adore. I have had so much illness, started at three years old with a lung disease which was supposed to be incurable, but here I am at 52 years of age! I have had too many illnesses to list, and I don’t want to list them, except to say recently I was very ill and in hospital.. but things are improving, and like you, I appreciate every day of my life. My mum passed away in South Africa in 2005, and I was here in the UK.. I miss her terribly. It is hard to lose the ones we love, but I am also grateful for the precious memories of my mom and dad. It is so sad for your sister’s children, but it sounds like you have an amazing family, and I am sure they will always feel loved and special.

  13. Margaret May 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie I to lost my lovely daughter January 24 this year an she had two lovely children her lovely little daughter Lucy birthday was the20 January an my daughter faught so much to live
    to see the day how we miss her so much she was the life an soul of a party do enjoy every birthday x Margaret

  14. Jackie Kabler May 20, 2014 at 10:19 am -  Reply

    Hi Myfanwy and Margaret,
    So sorry to hear about your losses too. It never really gets easier, does it, but you just have to learn to live with it. Life is so precious. Thanks so much for sharing your stories.
    Love Jackie x

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