Where’s my limo? Where’s my dressing room? Where’s my salami panini with all the fat removed? The demands of a low-key, QVC guest presenter on a foreign channel can be vast and varied, but seldom fulfilled! I’m now on my way back from a weekend of presenting some unique living gift products on the Italian QVC channel!
I’m with the almost over-efficient young Sarah, who is a champion set-builder and ensures everything for each show runs smoothly. We arrived mid-morning Friday, and after squeezing our luggage and suitcases of samples and pictures into a highly impractical Fiat 500, we set off for the florist’s in Monza, to fill it even more with fragrant, spring blooms like daffodils, hyacinths and the odd Poinsettia!
It’s the very last plants and gardening show before Christmas; so I was, naturally, very excited to bring some fantastic living gift kits to the Italian viewers, which would be delivered in time for Christmas! I spent a few hours lolling around in my hotel room, on my bed, prepping for the show. I always like to have some written notes by my side when I’m doing the sell, even though I NEVER look at them! But, it’s important to get it ‘imprinted’!
We needed to make a semi-early start on the Saturday, our first show was at 10am. We filled up with a carb-heavy breakfast, then crammed into our Fiat and headed for the studios! Sarah flung various bulbs and cut flowers across the set, which pulled together into a super, christmassy display! I begged backstage to steam my shirts, re-wrote my notes (it helps them cement into my mind!) and chatted with the first presenter, Chiara about the show. She is my favourite, because she says I look like Adam Levine from Maroon 5.
I had to think through about how I would demo each product; as most of the items were kits, so included peat tablets (which expand in water, in 10 seconds, very thrilling to watch!), the container, the bulbs AND decorative silver balls (ooh, fancy!).. I don’t demo often, so always get a bit twitchy. It’s hard to show someone how you do stuff isn’t it! Or is it just my haphazard way!!?
I met my translator, and was “micced” up. When presenting in Italy, everything the presenter says is translated into my right ear, and then I reply in English, then I wait whilst I’m dubbed over in Italian. Sounds complex but you soon get used to it!
The show was off to a good start, Sarah studies the sales screen in the green room whilst I’m on. Customers seemed to like the traditional rustic containers the most, and by the middle of the day they started to sell out! The more contemporary, glass containers were a little bit slower. The star of the show was really the Amaryllis; it looked great on set and it’s a unique, deep red, almost black (sales speak!) flowers were looking divine…!
We then did the same at 2pm, 6pm and 11pm, with sleeps, shopping centre trips, buffet devouring, etc all in between! I also worked with presenters Christina (who made me look MEGA tall), Marina (new presenter, very bubbly and loved the daffs!) and Vera (impossibly glamorous!!)
We wrapped at 11.30pm, chief “sorter-outer” Sarah packed up the set in record time. I gave the make-up girls a Poinsettia each. And then we went to bed.