The “Oops” and Downs at Ideal World TV Shopping

Get a sneak peek behind the scenes at the highlights and lowlights of the fascinating world of Ideal World TV shopping

The world of TV shopping combines the best (and worst!) of high-pressure environments. The average day is like riding a rollercoaster: giddying highs lead you to a precipice where you don’t know if you’re going to enjoy the plunge or end up sopping wet. Check out the video of some of the more fun moments that have not gone quite to plan at Ideal World.

If you’ve ever fancied the cut-and-thrust of a sales environment, then TV shopping is the place for you. New products can land and have to turn around on a dime and be out the door and on sale quick-as-you-like.

As the copywriter for Ideal World, I am the last step between the “back-of-house” world of buyers, warehouse, quality assurance and planning, and the “front-of-house” world of marketing, live TV and the all-important customer.

When a new product rolls into the warehouse it’s all-hands-on-deck to get it photographed,

examined, tested and briefed to presenters so we can start selling it.

But while I’m safely tucked behind my keyboard constructing sentences, the real avant garde are the Ideal World presenters in front of the cameras. Not only are they using the skills of a honed salesperson to communicate to customers the key selling points of each product, but they’re also demonstrating the product at the same time.

We’ve all struggled to unbox a new product from time to time, working out where the batteries go, where the on-switch is (and what on Earth does this button labelled “N” do?) Being able to do this live on air while selling the product is a real test of someone’s chutzpah and quick-thinking. And that’s not even mentioning the team of gallery technicians and producers feeding you lines, stock and sales figures and directions on where to stand, what to hold and which camera to look in at the same time.

It’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time, whilst telling viewers at home how to perform such a feat while a team of head and tummy experts are giving you patting and rubbing tips, too!

“Over the past four years I can honestly tell you that very little has gone wrong on TV, but when it does, it really does,” says Paul Becque, a veteran of TV shopping. Having broadcast more than 7,000 hours of live output and entertained millions of viewers, he’s well-loved at Ideal World and has his own following of regular watchers.

“One of my favourite examples of car crash telly is a show dedicated to a stand mixer,” says Paul.

“The Chef explained how easy it was to add the attachments and then struggled to add them to the mixer, followed by an extraordinary demonstration designed to show how the blender would slowly speed up to ensure very little spillage, but he turned it on, the whisks were on full speed and we both ended up being covered in white baking flour! Fun times.”

“I’m most proud of presenting our launch shows with giant brands,” he tells me. “Which may be exclusive on TV, in the UK and sometimes the world.” Paul is enormously proud of his work, and you can tell by the verve and energy he brings to each show. “A couple of great examples would be Tefal and Gtech and most recently the world exclusive launch of the eLife Air electric bicycle with nine electric gears.”

“My most amazing moment this year is with fellow presenter Shaun Ryan” Hayley Green is also an entertainer-turned presenter, working as a Blue Coat and a singer before striding in front of the camera at Ideal World.

“When he came back from his holiday with his beard (which I love) and I had bought myself a cardboard cut-out beard and put it on during the show when he wasn’t looking! It took him by surprise and had to carry on doing the show while in stitches and I became his bearded twin!”

“My proudest thing is always the fact I am lucky enough to actually work on Ideal World, for many years before I was a presenter I was a guest on the shows and being a presenter was my dream job.”

Despite the trials and tribulations of working in such a pressure-cooker the team always remain upbeat and friendly, and it seems like the constant smiles of being in front of the camera carry on into the green room and the offices beyond as it seems that no matter what goes wrong: the show must go on.

Written by: Phil Mann, Ideal World Copywriter




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