Firstly, apologies that my blog couldn’t be published last Friday. We were having an update of our hosting site, which has meant no presenter blogs or replies to comments for a week. So, in order to keep on track with my twenty-five year countdown of my memories of QVC from the beginning, there will be two blogs this week and the delay has actually allowed me to alert you to a birthday celebration promotion on the day it launches… TODAY!
We have previously offered voucher code promotions, but this is definitely the biggest. For full terms and conditions, check on our website, but here are the basics. If you spend £100 between now and 11.59 p.m. on 16th September (in as many transactions as you like), you will receive a code for a £10 voucher to redeem against your next purchase of £30 or more between 19th and 30th September. If you spend £150, the voucher will have a value of £15 against a minimum spend of £40 and if it’s over £250, it will be a £25 voucher against you next spend of £50 or more between the dates above. Maybe you could start your Christmas shopping early this year? And, as a heads up, there is an Elemis TSV on the final day of the promotion… just saying!
As we’re talking about QVC UK’s 25th birthday, I’ll go straight into my look-back and you finally get to see my favourite presenter Christmas card, from Christmas 2011.
You may think we presenters had all been jetted off to a Swiss ski resort for these shots, but it was actually all mocked up in one of our studios using fake snow that stuck to everything. I kept finding bits of it about my person days later, despite daily showers. I liked the head-shot of me so much, I had it as my avatar on Twitter for a while. By the way, my Twitter is @JuliaRobertsTV if you would like to follow me.
The biggest thing for QVC in mid-2012 was our move from our Battersea home to our current home at Chiswick Park. For those of us who had been with QVC a while, it was quite a wrench, even though we were moving into purpose-built studios with a dressing room area that Simon Biagi and myself had helped design. As the moving date approached, visits to the new studios and rehearsals were organised, all of which I missed, as in April I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. I’m trying not to sound too dramatic, but there were times when I wondered whether I would ever actually work at the new studios. Thanks to the new drug treatments available, I did make it, but clearing out my old dressing room at Battersea was too much for me on my own, so I enlisted the help of my family and Sophie’s flatmate at the time, Gilly (now a QVC director). Everything that was going to Chiswick had to be hung on clothes rails or put in boxes and everything else was to go to charity or be binned. I was feeling quite rough, so Sophie took charge of selecting which clothes should go and which I should keep, although Gilly did salvage a few things from the charity box that I couldn’t bear to part with.
It was quite sad doing the final shows of some of the brands – this shot was from the final Butler & Wilson show on June 1st before our June 7th moving date. Incidentally, I hope you all enjoyed the 23rd anniversary shows?
The final show presented from Battersea was Honora Pearls with myself and Ralph Rossini. Like the question master on Mastermind, it was a case of I’ve started so I’ll finish – I even wore the same blue jacket I had worn to launch the channel with Jon Briggs in October 1993 (at least it still fitted!). The photo on the stairs of the backstage team and Ralph and myself was taken five minutes before we launched the TSV at midnight. At the end of the show, I walked over to a giant light switch and the studios went dark for the last time – I must confess to having a tear in my eye as it was like losing an old friend.
Marco Polo House was demolished soon after that for flats to be built on the site, but thanks to my wonderful friend, Natalie, and her persuasive tone with the demolition team, I have two pieces of the marble stone from the building in my back garden!
It was the start of a new era of QVC, with the Morning Show on June 7th being hosted by Simon Biagi and Kathy Taylor, who do so many Morning Shows together. With the benefit of hindsight, the new studios are far more practical and a nicer working environment. It just goes to show we shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. More reminiscing in my next blog, which is due out this Friday.
Well, as you will know if you read my blog regularly, I have just come back from a family holiday in Javea. Directly after my show with Ruth Langsford on the 11th, I went home to finish packing before heading to the airport for our evening flight. I was really looking forward to a break from the protracted building work. We arrived in Javea at around 1 a.m. to a lovely villa and a very comfortable room with amazing views – not that we could appreciate them fully in the dark! I got up before breakfast on Sunday morning and went for a swim in a lukewarm pool – just a gentle eighty lengths to get me started. It was a really enjoyable day, relaxing, reading, playing with Amber and Taylor, my daughter’s boyfriend’s children, and culminating in an Indian meal in the garden of one of our favourite restaurants, Everest Spice – the mutter paneer is to die for!
Monday morning, more of the same, only this time it was 100 lengths of the pool (does that sound familiar to any of you?) before breakfast. Then, on the way to dinner on Monday evening, disaster struck. I overbalanced on my weaker Polio ankle and fell hard onto my right knee. I won’t go into detail but the lacerations were so bad that I had to go off to hospital in an ambulance, where I had two stitches across my knee cap (without anaesthetic, I might add) and dressings on the two open wounds that were too big to stitch.
I was instructed to take Ibuprofen to manage the swelling and told not to get it wet, so no more swimming for the rest of the holiday and showers with my leg wrapped in cling film.
We still managed to have a good time with lots of lovely barbecue lunches or dinners, and I went along to watch them all on the go-kart track, although in truth I would have loved to have taken part. Even the weather was slightly against us, as after four days of sunshine we had grey skies and thunderstorms for most of the remainder of our holiday with an occasional glimpse of blue sky.
To top things off, on the last afternoon, Reece jumped from the side of the pool onto a lilo and dislocated his shoulder – I kid you not! In all the years I’ve been going to Javea (thirteen to be precise), I’ve never been to the hospital before and on this trip we had four visits between us.
The good news is my knee is on the mend. The stitches come out tomorrow and the open wound is apparently healing well. The bad news is, I need another holiday to get over this one! I’ll finish there as there will be another blog on Friday, continuing my look-back over the twenty-five years of QVC UK.
P.S. My mum absolutely loved her peridot dragonfly pendant for her birthday present… in case you were wondering. xx