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Who knew?


As many of you will know if you read my book or have seen me on air with Aeropilates or Bodyblade, I contracted polio as a fourteen-month old baby in August 1957. Fortunately more me, and thanks to my mum – who knew there was something more seriously wrong with me than ‘teething’ – I was diagnosed and began treatment before the crippling disease reached my lungs, which would have killed me. Although I have been left with a severely weakened left leg, I know it could have been so much worse.

With Andy Love MPThe reason I am mentioning all this is because on Wednesday I was invited to tea at the House of Commons by the MP Andy Love, along with seventy-five other survivors of this insidious disease, to mark Post Polio Syndrome day. Many of my fellow survivors are in wheelchairs and most are older than me. It was a great pleasure to catch up with Paralympic swimmer James Crisp and his wife Katy, both of whom kindly took part in my swimming gala last year, and also sixteen-year-old Hamish.

Both James and Hamish were unlucky to have caught the virus from the polio vaccine they received. Naturally-occurring cases of polio have long been wiped out in this country thankfully but what was not realised until fairly recently is that the medical condition Post Polio Syndrome will affect, in varying degrees, 80-100% of people who thought they had beaten the disease by surviving the original infection. It is a condition that is often overlooked by GPs and there is no ‘cure’, but just knowing what is causing unpleasant symptoms relieves the worry of wondering what is causing them.

Also at the tea was QVC fan Sandy and her husband, who I have met at other events. It is very humbling to be in the company of Hamish and Sandy and others who have things so much worse than me, but it strengthens my resolve to do all I can to help raise awareness and money for this small unfashionable charity… watch this space.

Well I have had a busy few days on air as well. I hope you all enjoyed the Saturday Night Show last week? Miceal and I are both presenting again this week, a slight adjustment to the plan as we are featuring some Green Seasons products and I am a vegetarian. Miceal also doesn’t eat meat so it’s a good job Will is on hand to do a bit of tasting!! Remember there is also the chance to win QVC credit in our competition ‘Will He Do It?’… last week’s winner won £60 to spend on QVC goodies of their choice.

Liz Earle TSVWe will also be featuring the final Liz Earle TSV of the year (assuming we have any stock left) and it’s a good one. Once again the team have come up with a ‘daily essentials’ element (double-size Cleanse & Polish, and full-size Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Skin Repair Moisturiser and Eyebright) and a separately gift wrapped full-size Orange Flower Body Wash and Botanical Body Cream, and handbag-size Hand Repair… all for under £50 and on EasyPay! Check out Will’s blog to see what else is featuring.

photo (3)Today on QVC is all about Christmas preparations. I have a premiere show at 5pm (in place of Fashion on Friday) with well-known home expert Alison Cork who has appeared on the TV shows ‘Don’t Move, Improve!’ and ‘Homes and Property’, so hope to see you there.

A couple of you have been asking after Wilfie as I don’t talk about him so much since he went to live with Daniel. Apparently he is doing well although he did manage to trap his paws in the door yesterday – he was sitting on the top of it and it swung closed. Daniel said he let out a real yelp, poor thing.







CylamenThinking of him reminded me of his favourite plant, a cyclamen, that for some reason he used to play ‘pat a cake’ with. He had battered it around so much that all that was left was one tiny leaf and the root ball. I re-potted it, watered it with a bit of Richard Jackson’s Flower Power and put it outside… just look at it now – green fingers or what?

Enjoy your weekend

Much love

Julia xx


  1. Susanne October 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm -  Reply

    I remember the lovely Alison Cork (who surely has a portrait in the attic – she doesn’t look a day older (gnash, gnash!)) from about 20 years ago when she had a programme filmed in her own home, where she gave home decorating advice. I used to be glued to it so I’m so please QVC have found her.

    Perhaps she could do some of her ‘home crafting’ on another show? She really is a lovely lady with a warm and welcoming style so it would be good if QVC made the most of having her.

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 10:51 am -  Reply

      Hi Susanne
      I totally agree with your comments about Alison Cork, a really lovely lady who has been wanting to come on QVC for three years! So pleased we have finally got her on air and as the show was such a success I’m sure she’ll be expanding her repertoire with us.
      Beautiful Christmas items particularly the silver twig tree.
      Julia x

  2. Lynette Cunningham October 25, 2014 at 7:23 am -  Reply

    Julia you are one of my favourite presenters. To think that you overcame this terrible disease yet I never knew you even had it is astounding. You are an inspirational woman and a delight to watch on QVC. Congrats on being a survivor and I have to say good on your mum for not sitting back and letting doctors dictate to her when you were a baby. I know that a mothers instinct is always right and I personally have fought with doctors to get the correct diagnoses for one of my children. You must be so proud of her xxx

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Hello Lynette,
      I am so pleased you like my presenting style – thank you.
      My mum is an amazing lady…. she had her own problems growing up but overcame them and then had to deal with health issues in each of her three children. She is now eighty-eight and has battled breast cancer and more recently shingles, a horrible condition in the elderly which most people underestimate.
      I am very proud of her as I am sure you children must me of you.
      Julia x

  3. annie cain October 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Julia would you be able to have a word about how they put the sizes on tv,and do you think they would put the sizes like you always,eg 10/12 14/16,there have been items on the fasion shows but I don’t understand them,hope you will be able to ask thm if they would change them,thank you Julia.

  4. Jean P October 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Yes I remember reading in your book about you having Polio at such a very young age and that was really young poor you. It is a condition as you say that is often overlooked. I remember reading about Mary Berry she had it when she was young.
    You must have felt honoured being invited to the House of Commons in connection with this.
    Enjoying the Saturdary Night Shows, lots going on and some lovely products.
    What a beautiful photograph of Wilfie poor thing getting his paws shut in the door. Maybe he will think twice about sitting on top of the door now.
    Love the plant, what a beautiful colour looks very healthy.
    Love Jean XX

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 11:02 am -  Reply

      Hi Annie
      QVC are about to change the way we give sizes in fashion shows. Instead of giving out the actual dimensions of a garment we are going to give the information for the size body it will fit.
      I am not sure when this change will be implemented but I hope you and others will find it easier to decide on which size to order.
      Julia x

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 11:08 am -  Reply

      Hi Jean
      Yes I read about Mary Berry too. She was affected in her left arm I believe and went on to have a career where she needed the use of both hands …. just like me with dancing needing full use of both legs. Maybe polio survivors enjoy being perverse!
      So glad you are enjoying the Saturday Night Show – this week is hosting on his own, then me solo the following week then back together for the 15th November.
      We went round to Daniel’s on Sunday and Wilfie seemed none the worse for getting his paws trapped … he is such a gorgeous boy (Dan’s okay too!)
      Still more flowers appearing on the cyclamen, it’s gone berserk.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  5. Rose Gould October 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia i am in such admiration of you.with all the problems you have had to dealt with over the year’s.
    I hope you are keeping well and i hope i can be brave when i go into hospital on the 10th Nov for a op i am so nervous!
    tweet again soon
    love Rose xxxx

  6. Rose Gould October 26, 2014 at 7:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia hope you are feeling well,you look amazing as per usual,i have watched QVC since day 1 and bought lots of famtastic products over the year’s.
    You are such an inspiration to lots of people you have battled with your illnesses over the year’s and have always remained so upbeat.
    I am going into hospital on the 10th November for an operation and am feeling quite anxious but i am sure i will be ok and back home watching you all on QVC whilst reccouperating.
    Love to Ali Keenan too
    all the best
    love Rose xxxxx

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 11:13 am -  Reply

      Hello Rose
      Thanks for both your messages. Don’t fret too much about your operation on the 10th and good luck with it.
      I saw Ali K yesterday – she is struggling a bit after her latest surgery with an unexpected complication but she is trying to stay positive.
      I have had a few health issues in my life, despite trying to do the best for my body with diet and exercise, but nothing compared to what some people have to cope with so I feel I am one of the lucky ones.
      Keep up the tweeting
      Julia x

  7. Jeannette Wiltshire October 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    C links of london founded in 1990

  8. Pat October 26, 2014 at 10:21 pm -  Reply

    Like you Julia, my left leg was affected. Have had what I now learn a lot of post polio flare ups! last one was 17weeks ago and it was mega (osteopath) am now seeing a Homeopathic doctor and am having the polio nosode. It seems to be working well. Take care Julia.

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 11:18 am -  Reply

      Hello Pat
      Sorry to hear you are suffering from Post Polio Syndrome but at least you know what it is so you are able to get the correct help.
      I have read about the polio nosode and am glad it seems to be working for you. Some people ridicule homeopathy but I believe you shouldn’t knock something until you try it.
      I wish you continued relief from the pain and please keep in touch on here
      Julia x

  9. Tina S. October 26, 2014 at 11:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I did hear you mention me during your Yankie Candles hour! I was sitting with QVC on in the background, when I just caught you mention my name. I rushed upstairs to tell my hubby. It made my day!
    My Diamonique Veronese studs came a couple of days ago and they are stunning. They are just right, not too over-the -top as to make them unbelieveable. I put them on straight away.They are really sparkley and did cheer me up.
    As a retired Staff Nurse your experiences with Polio are truly inspirational.Without sounding condescending, we should really count our blessings and not take things for granted. It is all too easy to feel ” woe is me” when things are’nt going our way. I am ashamed of myself sometimes when I moan about what seem mundane things.
    I had to get some more plants for my kitchen recently and I bought 3 cyclamen’s. The colours are lovely but I made the mistake of putting one on a sunny windowsill. It was looking rather bedraggled when I remembered that they are normally found growing in woodland under tree’s so therefore should not have been placed in direct sunlight. (Silly me!)
    Well must dash as its my bed-time.
    All the best, Tina (S.Wales)

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 11:24 am -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      I didn’t know you were a retired staff nurse – do hospitals even have that position anymore? Those were the days when the wards were ruled by strict matrons … In some ways I wish we could return to a system that was run completely in house rather than subcontracting out to agencies. It would certainly be cheaper!
      Glad you like your Diamonique earrings – you do know it’s Jewellery Day on QVC tomorrow sshhhh!
      I didn’t realise cyclamens like shade, mine is in a sunny conservatory.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  10. Annette Roberts October 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia

    Hope you enjoyed your tea at the House of Commons, nice to see you have been recognised as a worthy Ambassador, bringing the message to a lot of people who have no doubt heard about Polio, but not really understood so much about it and now to find that in later life there is another hurdle, so to speak of Post Polio Syndrome. It at least lets people know that what they are experiencing could possibly be the effects of that. Well done for writing about it on your blog to raise awareness…very humbling indeed!

    Gosh, the last time I was at the HoC was as a young teenager on a school trip followed by a visit to the Ideal Home Exhibition. We arrived home in darkness and I shivered all they way back, needless to say I had flu and was off school for a few days after!

    I did buy the Bodyblade, but not sure about it yet, struggling with the one where you have it in front of you vertically, moving it side to side, if you know what I mean, can’t quite get the rhythm right, any tips much appreciated.

    Saw Charlie beating your score with the TSV this morning, running round like a lunatic…very funny, you’ll have to ‘up’ your game a bit now!

    Annette x

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      If raising awareness of Post Polio Syndrome can help even a few people then the House of Commons visit will have been worthwhile. Funny thing, I just registered with a new doctor as we are no longer in Surrey and the GP had no knowledge of PPS – that is quite shocking I think.
      I missed Charlie beating my score but everyone was talking about it. It made me laugh as my score was achieved backstage during the Saturday Night Show with very little practise… Maybe we should have a charity challenge?!?!
      Re the Bodyblade, Debs Flint is your best bet as I’m a Pilates girl really. I find the wiggly exercise the toughest but love the overhead one.
      Hope all is good with you
      Julia x

  11. Carole cooper October 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello julia I am loving your sat night show it is great loads to buy and you were very funny with the fur coat on doing a bit of modeling. My next purchase I want a slanket buts it beauty day Sunday so it may get pushed to the back of must haves ha ha. R you on this sat night take care Carole wigan

    • Julia Roberts October 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

      Hi Carole
      So pleased you are enjoying the Saturday Night Show – I’m not on this Saturday (Miceal & Will) but back next Saturday and then with Miceal again on the 15th (Elemis TSV preview in that show).
      Enjoy Beauty Day on Sunday but remember slankets are usually only on air in the months prior to Christmas so don’t mss out especially if it’s going to be a cold winter.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  12. martin forbes October 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm -  Reply

    hi julia enjoyed the last 2 saturday shows 8 to 10 with micael.hope you chris daniel and sophie and poppy the cat arewell iam on a 1 weeks holiday 2weeks on friday last holiday doing nothing done xmas shopping 3 weeks ago 10 minutes to do it have you done yours yet,.hiope you have settled in to your own house.
    i still have the last show from marco polo house on sky plaus to kkeep honora pearls with youself and the gentleman i dont know his hame you switching off the studio lights for last time .was chris daniel and sophie with you when you did that i bet yoyu sged atear or 2 .

  13. Julia Roberts October 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    Glad you have been enjoying the Saturday Night Shows – I’m not on this week but back for the 8th & 15th.
    I have done nothing for Christmas yet. I tend not to start with anything until after Daniel’s birthday on the 27th November then I panic!
    Still lots to do on our house but we are taking our time.
    I have the final Marco Polo show recorded and yes th family were there (unbeknown to me) and yes did shed a tear or two.
    Enjoy your holiday
    Julia x

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