JR & JR

21

This is one of my favourite pictures taken with Joan Rivers in the Bahamas in 2000 and I’ll tell you more about it later in my blog as we look back to 1999/2000.

But first, I’m instantly back in the swing of things at QVC after my week away in Javea. To be honest, I did very little apart from relaxing, reading, swimming (I was up to 120 lengths of a 10 metre pool by the last day) and watching the sunset, but it was just what was required to recharge the batteries. Thanks to my line-up of Ultrasun products, I was able to get a rich tan, safe in the knowledge that my skin was being protected.

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know how much of a cat person I am, and one night after dinner we went for a walk along the breakwater in Javea port, where we came across a mummy cat and her five small kittens. There were three grey tabbies and two blacks, which reminded us of a young Wilfie, and they looked about six weeks old.

The following day we bought a bag of cat food and fed them every evening after dinner. There are a lot of street cats around the port area, probably because of the supply of fresh fish bits from the fishing boats and scraps from the restaurants, but they seem well cared for, including being rounded up for spaying and neutering. This is the view from the kitten’s rocky home and it definitely beats being a stray in a big city in my opinion. I’m pretty sure they won’t go hungry without us feeding them.

Talking of food, there is a Vitamix TSV on QVC tomorrow. I bought mine several years ago and although I don’t use it every day, I can assure you it makes the smoooooothest smoothies, hot soups that don’t need to go anywhere near a saucepan and things like hummus and nut butters. I’ll make some almond butter tonight to show you on air tomorrow… it will take me approximately two minutes. Method: tip two packets of salted roasted almonds into the Vitamix and blend!

On Sunday, we have a great Marla Wynne balloon dress TSV. I’m a huge fan of this shape – this one is sleeveless, patterned and is available in three colour choices.

Bank Holiday Monday (which once again looks promising weather-wise) is our Got To Have It event. I love these days, as all the hours have a variety of products, lots of special deals and presenters sharing shows. If you’re going to be out on Monday, I’m going to share a little secret. Some of the best offers can be found early on our website under the header ‘Bank Holiday Offers’ if you fancy an early bird look.

So, it’s memory lane time again. By the time QVC celebrated its 6th anniversary, only Paul Lavers and myself remained of the original seven presenters. Katy and Suzanne had both gone and I think Kara Tritton may have been on maternity leave. We were doing seventeen hours of live television a day, with regular five hour shifts on air which was pretty exhausting. We needed new recruits and they came in the shape of Anne Dawson in November 1999 and Charlie Brook in January 2000, but unfortunately, around the same time, we lost Paul Lavers and Debbie Flint.

Paul’s last show was a two-hander, with me on Christmas Eve morning, and he gave me an ‘Eagle’ clock as my Christmas present. Paul and I were great friends and I was really sad to see him go, and of course Debs and I had known each other for years having worked together pre-QVC at a cable TV channel, which is how I was able to get her the audition soon after QVC started. Of course, I kept in touch with both of them, but it was hard to be without my friends, although I still had Julian Ballantyne. With those two gone, we were once again on the lookout for new faces and Kathy Taylor, Alison Keenan and Debbie Greenwood were recruited in the late summer of 2000. Before that though, Claire Sutton and I were lucky enough to be selected for the most talked about outside broadcast ever in the history of QVC UK… Paradise Island in the Bahamas!

The funny thing is, I almost didn’t go. I was asked if I would like to do it (REALLY – they needed to ask?) but the departure date clashed with my daughter’s ballet exam. I was torn, but in the end I decided (as I always do) that my family came first. I thought I’d blown a wonderful opportunity but no – QVC said I could fly out a day later than the rest of the crew. Claire also reminded me that the intention was for Jilly Halliday to be the second presenter, but she was unable to go because she was pregnant.

We did several live shows from the brand new Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, which had only opened a few months previously and we were lucky enough to stay in the hotel too. Claire, who had only been married a few months, stayed on for an extra few days with her new husband, Dan, pictured on the giant throne with me and Simon Wilson.

Claire presented a Billy Blanks fitness show, Kim & Co fashion, a cooking show and a two-hander Honora pearls show with me, and I had Butler & Wilson, Elemis (with Keeley’s predecessor, Bonnie) and Joan Rivers. Joan was also there to do shows for QVC US later in the evening, but our slot was scheduled for 4pm to allow for the time difference in the UK. The problem was, the American crew hadn’t thought about providing shade and when Joan arrived on set, fifteen minutes before going live, she said she couldn’t sit in the blazing sun for two hours, which was a good point. Resilient as ever, two pagodas were dragged over and joined together with cable ties and the lighting adjusted accordingly. One slight problem was that the centre legs of the pagodas were interfering with the camera shots, so the crew sawed them off! We went to air about a minute later than scheduled, with no-one viewing any wiser about the preceding panic – until now of course.

You may also have heard me mention during Kim & Co shows that I arrived in the Bahamas minus my luggage. Kim very kindly loaned me some Kim & Co clothing so that I was able to go to the opening night cocktail party in something more presentable than the clothes I had travelled in!

The whole experience was nerve-racking in terms of the live shows, but a truly wonderful experience which both Claire and myself feel privileged to have been part of. Do leave a comment if you remember watching any of the Bahamas shows. It was definitely my year for trips, as I also went to Italy later in 2000, but I’ll tell you more about that on next week’s instalment.

Have a fab Bank Holiday weekend!
Love,
Julia xx

21 Comments

  1. Elizabeth keenan May 25, 2018 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Julia
    Nice blog as always and loads of memories there as well.
    Looking great after your ho!iday, it’s good to get away and get a bit of sunshine.
    Much love
    Elizabeth ?

    • Julia Roberts June 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

      Hi Elizabeth
      Replying to both your comments here – thank you for your kind compliment, my holiday definitely did me good. Unfortunately it seems a long time ago now
      Love
      Julia x

  2. Diane May 25, 2018 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Love hearing about the early days and seeing the photos.

    • Julia Roberts June 11, 2018 at 3:40 pm -  Reply

      Hi Diane
      So pleased you are enjoying my series of blogs looking back over my twenty-five years at QVC -lovely to look at the old photos ?
      Love
      Julia x

  3. Elizabeth keenan May 25, 2018 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Julia
    Nice blog as usual and nice memories as well.
    Looking well after your holiday, it’s good to get some sunshine.
    Much love
    Elizabeth ❤️

  4. AnnaCW May 25, 2018 at 10:53 pm -  Reply

    Wowzer, Julia, I knew you had a rich history with QVC and before, but what an amazing collection of stories! I had no idea La Rivers was with QVC too, what a hoot you must have had! This is the first time I’ve read a presenter’s blog and you’ve hooked me immediately…can’t wait for more (and your ‘backblog’) is going to keep me happily occupied for some time to come! Thanks for sharing…more, more, more!!

    • Julia Roberts June 11, 2018 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

      Hi Anna
      So pleased you are enjoying my lookback over QVC UK’s history – I must confess I’m enjoying writing them although the research is quite time consuming.
      Joan was brilliant to work with -an absolute professional and far less diva’ish than most of today’s reality TV ‘stars’. I hope you enjoyed the previous ones and, trust me, lots still to come.
      Thanks for dipping in to my blog
      Love
      Julia x

  5. Wendy May 26, 2018 at 8:21 am -  Reply

    I remember this and it was just wonderful to watch. No idea of last minute lighting issues. I wish qvc would do something like that again. Miss Joan rivers.

    • Julia Roberts June 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

      Hi Wendy
      We all miss Joan Rivers. It was a fabulous outside broadcast to be involved in and, like you, I wish we still did them but feel lucky to have done it
      Love
      Julia x

  6. Rosaline Greening May 26, 2018 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Remember this time well gosh it’s just so incredible that I’ve been watching since the first year,have had some incredible purchases from QVC over the years also 25 years older!!
    Well done Julia for always giving an honest and detailed account of your products

    • Julia Roberts June 13, 2018 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

      Hi Rosaline,
      We’re all 25 years older but looking better for all the QVC beauty products!
      Sp pleased you are still watching and thanks for your kind comment – I don’t see the point in being anything but honest
      Love
      Julia

  7. Gloria Leonhardt May 26, 2018 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

    I remember and certainly enjoyed the Bahamas shows. That theme music stuck in my head for a long while. Very upbeat. Great job guys..x

    • Julia Roberts June 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm -  Reply

      Hi Gloria,
      It was such a fantastic series of shows – so lucky to have been asked to go to the Bahamas and present them .
      Good to know you are still watching
      Love
      Julia x

  8. Linda Rasool May 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Julia! Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian! It contains animal rennet. Buy Sainsbury’s Italian hard cheese instead please.

    • Julia Roberts June 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      Thanks for your suggestion – there are quite a few non-animal rennet Parmesan type cheeses now
      Love
      Julia x

  9. martin forbes May 26, 2018 at 7:19 pm -  Reply

    still enjoying your reminising over the years i remember qvc also did in the litchen with tefal home electronics with goodmans phiips hitacchi tv sharp hifi radio tape recorders tim goodwin dpresented small office home office enchantica with debbie flint presentin also remebr the collecrable star trek and star wars showa which the late steve whatley presnted also remember the brilliant paul lavers doing big boys toys i think i boght aout 5 one being apink elvis presley cadillac .there doent seem to be much mens fashion hours howadsy will they return in future no mens jewellery either or no wat hopurs nowadasy .iwas watching back an old video tape amonth ago my video recorder still works it was kahuna watches ialso had apurple le chat watch .how did you get on with annette baker malpas who used to present the tefal shows her husband did john the ironing with tefal shows whatever happened to suzi b jewellet and jenifer kirks foly jewelley iam in amiddle of a 2week lazy holiday from work doing nothing hope daniel sophie you and chrisare well.

    • Julia Roberts June 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      I wonder how many people will actually remember the shows you mention? The Tim Goodwin ‘Small Office, Home Office’ day’s seem such a long time ago.
      I guess certain ranges begin to lose popularity on QVC and get replaced with new ones…. just the way of the world.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  10. Donna Andrews May 26, 2018 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, we too go to Javea and love it. Infact noticed you at Alicante airport last year and the a previous year in the Arenel area . We go June usually as well and two years ago saw mum and kittens. We also feed them. Sometimes fish from the stall there. We were also concerned about water so put containers down and filled them up nightly . It’s so nice to know that others are just as kind as we do worry what they do when we leave. We might be there first week of July this year and will take over feeding . All the best . Donna

    • Julia Roberts June 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

      Hi Donna,
      Let’s hope not too many people discover our special place – you should have come and said hello. We went twice last year in June and October – we tend to avoid July and August as it can get very ‘sweaty’ on the Arenal!
      Really pleased to hear that you feed the kitties too – I’m sure there are lots of us around.
      Enjoy your holiday
      Love
      Julia x

  11. Linda Watkins May 27, 2018 at 8:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Great to see the pictures from QVC as it was! I usually holiday on the Greek Islands and cant count the number of times I have fed stray cats as they dont tend to look after them, although I think things are improving.look forward to the next memories! Linda xx

    • Julia Roberts June 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      Good to hear you are enjoying the trips down memory lane – hoping photos will be easier to fine as we all take so many on our phones these days.
      I can remember feeding cats in Skiathos when we holidayed there a few years ago -so many more strays abroad than in the UK it would seem.
      Hope you continue to enjoy the series
      Love
      Julia x

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