June 17th 2021 started off as a normal day, until I received an email completely out of the blue from a production company. Explaining about a new concept for a TV show called BLING to feature on ITV. They had found me on their search for a goldsmith that specialised in making jewellery. I was asked if I’d be interested in being on the ‘MAKE’ counter….?
The next day we Zoomed and chatted both asking questions, I was told that the producer needed to see the Zoom call and if I was what they were looking for, then it was down to ITV to say yes!
Three weeks later I was on my way from North Yorkshire to Exeter to start filming with Gok Wan!
The programme takes place in the Bling shop, which has four counters – Buy, Sell, Make and Fix, each counter has two jewellery specialists.
Arriving at my hotel I checked in and tried to get an early night, I didn’t get much sleep and I was incredibly nervous the morning of my first day of filming. However, as soon as I arrived the crew were incredible and made me feel so welcome, I then met Gok who immediately made me feel at ease, he had me laughing and I straight away felt part of the team.
The Bling store was an empty shop unit in a shopping mall in Exeter, it was brilliantly transformed into a shop studio for the filming; it was a real wow when you first entered the store. The lighting, props, counters all with gold and white. It felt real but, only this time with cameras. There was even a cross on the floor at the back of the Make counter where I had to stand that said Expert. It made me laugh, but I was assured I was an Expert!
During the course of July and into August I met eight lovely customers all with their own heartwarming story, all asking for transformations of their precious jewellery.
I worked with each customer asking their needs and designing specific ideas that we could work with. Then under a tight schedule due to the filming I made the pieces of jewellery
Whilst I was working on each piece I reflected on the reasons why I was asked and trusted to remake the item, I was very touched by the stories which, on the reveals of the jewellery to the customers is quite obvious, as I cry at every reveal, even the director passed me a tissue!
I said to Gok off camera “I’m pathetic aren’t I?” He replied “No Nikki you’re just one big walking heart.” It was a lovely compliment.
Bling has certainly got the nation opening up their jewellery boxes to see what is in there to either sell, fix or make into something new, I have had a great deal of enquiries and each one has got a story and a reason, so the program is definitely working it’s magic.
Gok is a perfect front of house for Bling, not only has he got fashion and jewellery knowledge, his character shines as bright as the diamonds in the store, and he is so gifted at making people open up and share their life stories but puts them at ease with kindness and empathy.
The team of experts all helped and supported each other and we continue to do so and we all sit with bated breathe that ITV will want more… “What’s that Bling Team, are you up for a series two?”
You bet we are!