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!