When Sheenie met QVC
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the infamous TV shopping channel QVC’s studios in Battersea, south west London. It was the 15th anniversary of Liz Earle selling its products on the channel which helped launch Liz Earle to a wider audience and to mark the occasion, Liz Earle invited a small group of beauty bloggers to go behind the scenes, watch her live show and (depending on which way you look at it), audition as a QVC presenter, selling Liz Earle’s best-selling product, the Cleanse & Polish.
I have to admit, I was the only one who found the last part traumatising which is why I was the last to go for it, after slapping myself endlessly and reminding myself that I’ll live to regret it if I don’t try it. Besides, I couldn’t be worse than this fella, could I?
We were given sufficient time to brief ourselves on the product but most of us were already familiar with Cleanse & Polish so it was a case of gathering our thoughts and figuring out what to say.
We also met the great lady herself, Liz Earle, just before she went on camera and she looked stunning.
So how was it? Well, I’m only going to let you see a few screen shots because I can’t bring myself to broadcast the audition tape on the blog. My hair was a big heap of a mess ( thanks to a stressful day at work) and I’m extra self-conscious from leaning over the bowl too much and giving the camera man a view of my cleavage. (Look, my mum pointed this out and I am mortified!) But I am so glad I did it as it was a lot of fun and an amazing experience, sitting in a professional television studio.
I had the pleasure of presenter, the fantastic Miceal Murphy helping me through my 5 minute screen test which just flew by as he engaged me in a conversation which I responded to by talking in detail about the product, demonstrating it and selling it to the camera.
There were one or two gaffs but luckily no umming and long pauses. With this having the feel of a ‘live’ recording, you simply had to carry on. Not a second of air-time is wasted in real-time QVC – it’s all precious revenue, for which we got to see how many sales were coming in during one live broadcast. It was staggering. And let me tell you something else, if you watch QVC for more than two minutes, you can’t take your eyes off the screen. It’s strangely hypnotic and by the end of the evening, I was wishing I could buy the super-duper saucepans they were demo-ing on the cookery hour.
Before I came to QVC, I always had a profound respect for presenters on this channel because it definitely doesn’t look easy, not when you watched how the candidates on The Apprentice struggled. The presenters don’t use an auto-cue and they research the products thoroughly till they know them like the back of their hands. Behind the camera there are a team of runners, editors and floor managers ensuring a broadcast runs smoothly.
What you see looks effortless and easy but never underestimate the collective efforts that go into producing such slick shows. It’s why QVC has grown internationally and shifts truckloads of merchandise every hour, and it’s why Liz Earle remains loyal to the platform that made her a household name.
I would like to thank the team at Liz Earle and QVC for giving up their time to look after us this particular evening. On another note, no QVC presenter should feel threatened by me poaching their job. I am so happy to stick to blogging. To explore Liz Earle’s entire range, visit uk.lizearle.com.