One morning back in 1989, Susan Yull arrived for her job interview at the Canadian Home Shopping Club (CHSC). After the typical job interview banter, Susan was spontaneously put to the test. She was given a piece of string and a pencil.
“Sell me this string and this pencil. You have 5 minutes for each. Go!”
Safe to say that the interviewer back then saw what we know now, Susan Yull was built for this business. This month Susan celebrates her 25th Anniversary as a TSC host, making her one of the longest tenured home shopping hosts in the world!
Here are Susan’s Top 10 memories over the past 25 years:
1. Walking into the building on my first day
In those days, the Canadian Home Shopping Club ran 24 hours. The place had a tiny group of offices around the perimeter with about 30 people taking orders on phones – and they were in the middle of the floor. About 30 feet away from them was the studio. It was the size of a postage stamp. The “studio” was no bigger than a desk and lit to photograph products.
2. Going full motion in 1995
I left CHSN briefly between 1992-1995. The building was very much the same when I returned, but the studio had been transformed. It was larger and now had proper TV cameras and studio lighting. The desk, fondly called the “turret” was gone. We were now an actual television station!
3. Dancing with Ted Rogers
CHSN was Ted’s baby. He loved the newness of the concept and being the first in Canada to have it. He would occasionally break from his busy schedule and drop by. He always found time to come to studio and talk with everyone. This one occasion we were celebrating (can’t remember what) and music started playing. He took my hand and we danced. Such fun!
4. Moving to Ambassador
Rogers owned the building at Ambassador and our lease was up at our old location. We took over Ambassador and turned it into what you see today. It was so much bigger, cleaner and more professional than where we came from. It was truly exciting and a fresh start. We all felt like true broadcasting professionals.
5. TSC outlet store on Orfus Road
We used to have a retail store on Orfus Road. Many times we would broadcast from the store on special occasions. This was the perfect way to connect directly with the viewers. I would hang around after my shows and chat with them about their CHSN/TSC experience.
6. The Guests
Laughing with Joan Rivers, interviewing Isaac Mizrahi, searching for Phyllis Diller before a show (only to find her asleep on the corporate boardroom table), singing on air with Broadway star Polly Bergen and Frankie Avalon (not at the same time), joking with Suzanne Sommers and having a private concert with classical guitar player Liona Boyd or comforting Ivana Trump after the death of her friend, Dodi Fayed. The guests are the best!
7. Travelling to Montreal in Search of New Vendors
In 1998, TSC did a cross country vendor search by travelling to major cities looking for local vendors with unique products. The experience was fun. We actually did a broadcasting from a rooftop in old Montreal—what an incredible view.
8. Filming TV Commercials
In 2000, along with Carol and Greta we spent the day at Graydon Hall, filming four TV commercials in one day. They ran on all Rogers stations across Canada. It’s was fun to show Canada what TSC could deliver.
9. Broadcasting from New York
In 2013, we flew to New York to broadcast from Brooklyn with the NYC skyline in the background. We joined a crew from QVC/ HSN and the guests were Joan Rivers, Isaac Mizrahi and Carol Brody. Richard Nester, Rachel Huber and I were selected to host. It was a truly exciting!
10. My Top memory,? Working with great people
Our host team and crew are truly family and have saved my bacon countless times on air. When I’ve gone through tough times in my life, I could always count on my TSC family to lift me up, keep me laughing and make me look good. Once I was stabbed with a kitchen knife in my foot and one of the crew crawled behind the counter and wrapped it up. When I had an ulcer attack on air, one of my fellow hosts ran out and took over for me (even when it meant she had to do 5 hours in a row). I’ve enjoyed so many great moments and can’t wait for more!