Rach proves that the sofa of success shows no regional bias as she welcomes Janine Edwards of St. James Place Wealth Management who may originate from the West Midlands but operates her business UK-wide. As a sponsor and judge of the Leicester Mercury Business Awards, Janine is perfectly placed to speak about the many opportunities which come from entering (as well as judging and sponsoring) awards.

Video Transcription


Good morning. Good Morning. It’s Rach here, an award-winning award writer with The Awards People. Have you missed me? I’ve missed you, viewer. I’ve missed you. Now, erm, you know what? Somebody once said to me, not that long ago, and I took it personally, they said, “Rach, it’s all very well that people are sitting on the Sofa of Success, but do you know what? They’re all from Leicester. They’re all from Leicestershire or the East Midlands.” And I thought, “Hm, you may have a point.” So this month’s vlog recording, we’re doing a whole session today. We’re going large, my friends. We are not going home. We’ve got a lady I’ve waited months to interview. I’m gonna squeeze 30 minutes into her very packed diary. Now, she may be from this locale, but her business covers the whole of the UK. So, I’m claiming that as a non-East Midlands victory. In fact, it’s not an East Midlands victory, is it because you’re very much—you cover the East Midlands, but you cover the whole of the country, don’t you, with your business?

JE: Absolutely. And, actually, my main office is the West Midlands.

RH: That’s—

JE: So, there you are. I’m tickin’ the box.

RH: I’m ticking every damn box. Well, this lady is Janine Edwards for the one person in the world who didn’t know her. Erm, in, in the usual Rach style, before I stuff up, I’m gonna hand it over to Janine. She’s gonna do a quick intro of who she is, so name, rank, and number, Janine. [Laughs]

JE: Thanks [indiscernible 01:24] name, rank, and number. Okay, so, so I’m Janine Edwards. Erm, I own a wealth management company, a medium-sized, erm, practice within St. James’s Place Wealth Management which is obviously the FTSE 100 probably most people have heard of. And I am—have been at St. James’ Place now 19 years and building my own practice. And, and previously to that I was in banking, erm, so I now have 9 staff—

RH: Wow.

JE: – and 3 advisors, many power planners. Er, yeah, so, the cast of Ben-Hur basically.


RH: And, and I guess, er, the idea is to just keep growing her and growing her and—

JE: Yeah, I think, erm, I think when the right person comes along. So, I’m, I’m not gonna grow for growing’s sake.

RH: No.

JE: Erm, so, obviously, clients are always—we’re always, er, taking on new clients. We, we do a lot by recommendation and so I need to make sure there’s always enough people to ensure those clients are looked after. And, and also we deal with all sorts of different things, everything from the very simple, er, you know, investments and starting pensions-type, er, advice and, and mortgages. You know, the more simple things to the really complex, big corporate business sales, and MBOs and things like that.

RH: Ooh.

JE: It’s, er—lots of estate planning for clients. Lots of tax planning. So, I need all the right people to deal with all the different aspects of that advice as well.

RH: Heck, yes.

JE: So, I’ll grow when I need to and when the right person comes along.

RH: Perfect. Perfect. Well, I’ll [indiscernible 02:47]. Erm, so the reason why I asked Janine to come sit on the Sofa of Success is I became aware of her—well, who hasn’t—really through the Leicester Mercury Business Awards—

JE: Mm-hmm.

RH: – and your sponsorship of those awards, and the fact that, obviously—I say obviously—I was thinking that as, er, a sponsor you’ll also become a judge with that.

JE: That’s right.

RH: So, we’ve had many people sit on the Sofa of Success. We’ve got people lined up today to sit on the Sofa of Success who ha-, have either got a very long awards history of entering and winning or just starting out, but it’s the judging and the sponsoring of awards that I thought was really interesting.

JE: Yeah.

RH: So, why as a business person did you decide to start judging and also sponsoring and/or also judging the, the awards?

JE: I have a few different reasons, really. So, so I’ve been sponsoring the, the Leicester Mercury Business Awards for probably eight years now, I think.

RH: Good grief. Yeah.

JE: And, and I—a, a few different reasons. I got it into it—it was actually a, er, one of my clients I know really well, er, is, is part of the organisation, and asked would I be interested.

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: And I jumped at the chance when it was offered, to be fair, erm, because I think it’s nice to recognise other businesses—

RH: Yeah.

JE: – erm, in the area. Oh, well, all over the country for me, but certainly in this area, and this is where most of my clients are based in Leicestershire. And it’s what I do. You know, so for on a day-to-day basis, what I do really is meeting people. So, yeah, we’re giving people advice, but it’s largely—it’s a relationship business, erm, that happens to be givin’ people financial advice. Erm, so, meeting people, gettin’ to know people, then the becoming a really, really, really good, erm, friends almost, a lot of clients, and, and looking after them for many years to come all through their life is what I do. So, actually, the Business Awards and the opportunity to go and meet some new people via judging them, I just jumped at the opportunity. So, oh, yeah. Actually, that really sounds really exciting, and from day one I’ve loved it because you get to go and meet people that, actually, the reason they’ve entered the awards is because they’re either really, really, really excited about their company and they love it and they want to get that recognition, and they often want to get that recognition for them more than them, actually.

RH: Mm. Mm. Yeah.

JE: And that, that’s really—it’s really infectious. Erm, or they’re planning to maybe make some moves into becoming bigger or to even selling maybe at some point. An award is a good thing for them to have and a great badge to have. So again, that, that falls, you know, completely into my bag of what I do.

RH: Mm.

JE: Erm, but yeah. I, I, I love the visits. So I, I often end up over-runnin’ massively because people are so excited to show you ’round and show you everything, you know, so you, you end up staying for longer than you meant to really, but I lo—I really enjoy it.

RH: We’ll pick up on the visits in a minute ’cause I-, I’ve got a question that a couple of my clients have asked in terms of what are judges looking for with the visits but going back to what you said about the entrepreneur piece or, or wanting their teams to be recognised. Even when I have clients who are entering Entrepreneur of the Year, which you would, er, think, think is a singular piece, no, no, no. They want their team up with them. They take their team with them because they are only there, they are only the entrepreneur that they are because of the people around them—

JE: Absolutely.

RH: – er, because the team that’s supporting them. You know, it’s, it-, it’s very love-up 06:00 most of the time. [Laughs]

JE: Completely. Yeah. Complete love-up.

RH: And it certainly should.

JE: I know, absolutely it should be. You, you can’t do it without the people behind you. We were just having this conversation this morning, actually. We were talking about in the new year with my company doing the piece of—almost like a jigsaw piece—of all the different people in my business and how they all work together, and how they all make a really, really important piece. And without that one piece, the other pieces just don’t work.

RH: No.

JE: Erm, I know. And it’s really important, you know. Entrepreneur is great to reward that person that’s taken the guts to go out there and do something new, and maybe invest in something new, and take risks, but, like you say, you can’t do it without people behind you.

RH: So, how do you choose the awards ’cause, as we said, your business is across the whole UK, that you’re located in the West Midlands, how do you—I, I appreciate what you were saying about the Leicester Mercury one be it coming from a client and a, a known source, but how do you then look at the—I mean, because there are so many awards out there, how do you look and choose the one’s that you are going to sponsor? How do you select them?

JE: Er, to be fair, probably the Leicester Mercury Business Awards chose me, effectively.

RH: Yeah.

JE: So it came the other way around, actually. Erm, I—it wasn’t something I was looking for.

RH: Yeah.

JE: Erm, but now I’ve done it, and it’s been a huge success, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Erm, then I have gone and sought out a few others in, in different areas, erm, still not too—not far away.

RH: So, what do you look for?

JE: Erm, something that’s on the, sort of, same level as Leicester Mercury Business Awards really. So something that awards every different category, erm, but something where we have the opportunity to actually meet the people. So, so, an award that is just literally a badge and you, and you don’t get a chance to go and meet the companies isn’t, isn’t something that really interests me as much.

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: If it suits other people, that’s fine, and—but what I wanna do ’cause I’m a people person, I wanna go out and meet people—

RH: Mm.

JE: – so, you know, as long as it’s got, you know, er, good numbers, obviously, a good number of entrants is really important because, obviously, you’re not interested in judging a category that’s only got two entrants—

RH: Yep.

JE: – and, you know, so you’ve gotta have lots of entrants to, to have a look at, erm, and something where, as I say, you’ve got multiple opportunities to go and meet those people, you know, on judging visits, erm, you know, maybe at—that you, you know, at the actual awards ceremony itself, you know, etc., then I’m, I’m in.

RH: Awesome. And in terms of, of the judging, so I think—I was talking to a client yesterday, and he said, “I love it when you get to meet the judges because that is when I can go into that room, I can shine, I can tell my story,” because quite often on awards, and we’ve talked about this before, you’re word-limited which is a good thing. I’ve been a judge. It’s a good thing ’cause, you know, by the time you’ve got through 25 paper submissions or 125, whatev— [huh sound], you know, the best one in the world is tiring.

JE: Yeah.

RH: Erm, but it just allows client to, to get their, to get that pan 08:46, that punch out there.

JE: Yeah, absolutely.

RH: Erm, so he loves that, but what, what are the judges, or what do you as a judge look for either on that paper submission or in that face-to-face visit? What, what gives you that click that makes you go, “Ooh.”

JE: I think that being alive, I would say. So, so, the, the paper application is really important but it’s like a CV for a job.

RH: Yes.

JE: Does it really give the, erm, personality of the business and the punch of the business? Not necessarily. So, some applications are better than others, as you can imagine. Some are two pages long. Some are ten pages long. Erm, I would say too wordy, er, it’s like anything, you probably don’t read—you know, you don’t read it all in detail, er, lots of ISO factors, not necessarily, but I think the things that bring things alive—obviously, we’re looking at businesses that are growing, so businesses that are successful, and not just in a monetary-wise—

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: – but in, erm, you know, the, the, they’re growing. They’re, they’re innovative. They’re going somewhere. And, but also, erm, things that jump out to us in an application are where, er, they may be giving back to the community. They’re, er, very aware of, erm, lookin’ after their team and their staff, erm, charity work, you know, that, that sort of thing as well jumps out. Erm, I think a big thing that always jumps out as well that’s always really impressive is testimonials. And if they can be in picture form or, even better, video form, then that’s amazing because that really jumps out at you. So when—

RH: I’m hearing a top tip there, team.

JE: I-, it’s a huge tip, actually, to be fair. I mean, I do it a lot with my business is client testimonials because as much as we all talk about our businesses and how fantastic our businesses are, erm, I think if someone else is saying it, it’s far more powerful.

RH: Mm.

JE: Erm, so if you’ve got a few testimonials from your clients saying how wonderful your business is and why they think you should’ve won an award, then that, that, that’s quite powerful to a judge, I think—

RH: Mm.

JE: – because that’s saying everything in, in a few words from a third party.

RH: When you, you come in to the judging room, you’re sitting there with your fellow judges—

JE: Mm-hmm

RH: – looking all serious and severe, erm, playing good judge, bad judge.

JE: Er, yep. It’s about that.

RH: [Laughs] Oh, yeah. Erm, what do you want to see or hear from the person in the room? I guess the way I’m coming from with the question is death by PowerPoint or not? Erm, something really sh-bangy11:11 and flashy and whizzy or not? Anything or nothing? You know, and what, what top tips have you got around being in front of the judges live?

JE: My biggest top tip would be when you’re with the judges live, don’t go over what you’ve already put in your application.

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: And that is probably stating the obvious, but weirdly, everyone does it.

RH: And you know what my top tip is for—er, I’ve got three top tips for entering awards, and one of those top tips is answer the question.

JE: Yeah.

RH: You remember when you were at school, I don’t know about you, but, you know, you’re sitting there for exams, and they used to give you the exam briefing. Rachel, answer the question. Don’t put in what you want to put in. Answer the question.

JE: Yeah.

RH: And, you know, it’s the same thing on the awards.

JE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely, yeah. Yeah. Don’t be tempted to waffle, certainly.

RH: Which I probably have all morning.

JE: [Laughs] But, er, but I, I would say yeah. Definitely answer the question. Be to the point, but try and give, erm, evidence. So try and think of taking some evidence so, so, you know, testimonials again is a good thing, erm, you know, videos, er, photographs, you know, they always bring things alive really. Erm, so anything you can do to evidence what you’re saying about why your company’s so great and why you should win. Erm, and just try and think of things outside of just the physical words in the application, you know, things that bring it alive and maybe anything else you can think of—

RH: Yeah.

JE: – that would appeal to someone that makes your company something different to everything else out there.

RH: So, it’s making things pop. Now—

JE: Yeah, absolutely.

RH: – for some people, that will be a, a fantastic bit of PowerPoint on a screen, particularly if it doesn’t look like PowerPoint, i.e., not death by PowerPoint and not a million bullet points in your—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – I mean, especially me. It’s Becky Four Eyes. I can barely see the best of times let alone when there’s 40 bullet points on a slide. Is that even possible? I don’t know, but, you know, I’ve also seen Barrie Stephen’s rockin’ when he won Businessman of the Year at the Niche Business Awards. And he, erm, he had some sort of presentation. Er, god know if it was PowerPoint or not. If it was PowerPoint, it’s never—I’ve never seen anything like it in my life, but it was big, bold photos of, you know, his first salon and his vision of what barbering was going to look like—is that even a word—erm, in Leicester—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – because he was just bringing in a new concept to male, er, grooming and barber shops. Erm, and, er, I really just got [gasping sound]. And, and after he bounced out of the room, I mean, you’ve met Barrie.

JE: Yeah.

RH: He’s larger than life anyway.

JE: Oh, yeah.

RH Charisma, kind of, you know, is dropping out of his socks [indiscernible 13:32], but I kind of just sat there and went, “I feel sorry for anybody who’s coming in now because we’ve really gotta go over what we’ve just seen,” and—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – and judge the next person fairly and squarely—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – but boy did he come in. So, and I often get asked by clients do, do we put a presenta-, a PowerPoint presentation together. Most of the time, I’ll go, “No, don’t,” because there’s that temptation to ha—because it-, it’s live. It’s speaking live, isn’t it?

JE Mm. Yeah, absolutely.

RH: And it’s that whole fear of—and the people who cling onto this PowerPoint, I’m like, “You’re going to go and see three or four friends—

JE: Yeah. Yeah.

RH: – whom you’ve not yet met—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – and you’re gonna talk to them about your business which you know everything about because you’re passionate about it. And we know you’re brilliant, er, as an apprentice employee,” or whatever category you’ve entered, “Let that come across.” And we coach, because we do also offer coaching to clients who are just, like, white knuckles, can’t—

JE: Yeah, you mentioned it.

RH: – can’t breathe yet. So we do, er, some coaching as well—

JE: That’s a good idea.

RH: – and really try and limit what they’re going to put on a screen.

JE: Definitely limit what you’re gonna put on a screen. Don’t read the screen out—

RH: [Gasping sound].

JE: – because you’ve probably seen that as well.

RH: Yes.

JE: Oh, god. We get that all the time. Erm—

RH: Back of the head, right?

JE: They just read, er, read off the words on the screen. What the point?

RH: I saw that person, but I saw the back of their head—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – for the whole 25 minutes they were in there. What I really wanted—and, and I’m, kind of, going turn around and talk to me.

JE: I know, I know.

RH: [Laughs] I don’t want to see the back of your head.

JE: And, and as someone who is a recipient of that, you think, “Actually, I can read.” [Laughs]

RH: Yes. Yes.

JE: I know I’m blonde, but I can read.


JE: So, yeah. No, I’d agree with that. I do. I totally agree with that. I—the, the one other thing I’d say as well is make sure that the person going to do the presentation is the person that absolutely knows everything they’re talkin’ about. Again, it’s probably statin’ the obvious, but sometimes you’ll get the person that’s the best in the office at present-, presentation skills talking about something actually the guy who invented that thing they’re talking about should be talking about—

RH: [Gasping sound].

JE: – because it, er, I think—

RH: Ooh, another top tip. That’s two. Is she going for three, is she? Yeah, she will be.

JE: I’m trying.


RH: No pressure.

JE: It’s okay. [Indiscernible 15:35]. But, erm, but it’s so obvious sometimes when—and you feel so sorry for the person. And they might be great at presenting, but, actually, when they don’t wholly know everything about the subject they’re talking about—

RH: Especially if it’s around innovation or sustainability. These are—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – er, yes, they are buzzwords. They are key words, but they shouldn’t be treated as such in the awards process. Christ, Rach, they shouldn’t be treated as such anyway, but if you’ve got some serious, serious innovation, and, actually, it needs—the judges need to understand the technical largeness of that, then the main—that needs—that technical guy, er, I use in the loosest possible sense [indiscernible 16:16], but it needs that person to, to be able to say, “This is the problem that we were solving. And, actually, this is the complexity of what we needed to go through”—

JE: Yeah.

RH: because otherwise—you’re not in that industry. Best one in the world—

JE: Exactly right. Exactly right.

RH: -you’re gonna get—i-, i-, is that huge?

JE: It’s really, yes.

RH: Or is it another wheel that’s a different shape?

JE: Absolutely. It’s tellin’ the people, it’s tellin’ the people what the why. And it’s tellin’ the people the result of what they’re inventing or doing or developing as opposed to, er, all the technical aspects of how they’re doing it. Erm, and that’s actually really exciting as a judge because when you hear someone talking about, erm—so, so I visited, erm, someone who was into, erm—they were, they were basically developing new pharmaceuticals.

RH: Ooh.

JE: And, and, you know, the guy is talking about how—

RH: Cutting edge.

JE: – it was amazing. It was fascinating, actually—fascinating tour, but the guy talking about how they made up certain medicines—wasn’t that interested, if I’m honest, but actually them talking about a problem that they, they had in South Africa and how they’d thought of a way they were going to solve it and what a difference it would make to the numbers of people in South Africa—

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: – that was amazing—

RH: Mm.

JE: – because, you know, I can understand that. I’m not in the pharmaceutical industry—

RH: No.

JE: – and I could totally get that. And that then came alive, and it was really exciting, but the guy they got to talk about it was a guy that was the—had, er, had lived over there for years—

RH: Oh.

JE: – and had seen the issues—

RH: Oh, wow. First hand.

JE: – and so knew what a difference it would make.

RH: Yeah.

JE: And that came so alive rather than the owner of the, the company presentin’ it. He would’ve still been passionate about it because, obviously, he’s putting the money into developin’ it, but, actually, it wouldn’t have come across in the same way—

RH: Yeah.

JE: – erm, you know, because this guy just was so passionate about it. So that-, that’s the big thing I would say is make sure whoever’s speakin’ is the person that knows it inside out. And if, for some reason, it can’t be that person because not everybody wants to stand up and present, then the person presenting it needs to absolutely make sure, sure that they’ve gleaned every piece of information from that person—

RH: Mm.

JE: – and they know it. Practice, practice, practice.

RH: Mm.

JE: Erm, and, and it does come across when people have made the effort—

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: – to know what, to know what they’re talking about.

RH: My final question for you, er, and it’s, it’s one of these ones that I keep hearing, and I, I try and debunk it on a regular basis, quite a few people who perhaps haven’t entered awards will say—and I know this doesn’t include you guys ’cause you-, you’ve chosen to sponsor and judge awards rather than enter yourselves—but quite often people will say, “Well, they’re going to win in, aren’t they, because they’re the sponsor of the category?” Or they’ll say, “X sponsored the event. And guess what? They’re up on the stage winning every category.” Is that even true because from my point of view, it’s a happy coincidence. It’s not that’s—just certainly the awards I’ve been in-, er, involved with, that is just not true at all. If you sponsor and enter, you’re still—you still go through the same rigorous process that everybody else does, but what, what was it like—what would you said about it because you’re far more experienced on the whole side—that side—from me?

JE: Yeah, I, I’d absolutely agree with you. I’ve never, ever experienced that myself. I mean, I don’t enter any awards. I sponsor.

RH: Mm.

JE: Erm, I have seen the occasional awards where a sponsor of a category might enter a different category, erm, but there’ll be totally different judges. I mean, so the, so the judges of the category that I sponsor have nothing to do with judging the other categories. Nothing to do with it all. Erm, you know, sometimes on the night even, I’ll, I’ll get to something, and I think, “Oh, good.” That judge I was with [indiscernible 19:39] in another category. I didn’t even know. Erm, so no. That, that absolutely doesn’t happen. You know, and, and any awards that does allow that to happen, I’d question that that would be one I want to get involved in anyway because, er, that just doesn’t seem right because I’d, I’d never compromise—

RH: Doesn’t leave the right taste in your mouth, does it?

JE: – No, no, no. no. No. Absolutely. And I don’t think the person judging would want to, er, win it for the wrong reasons and be, er, be in something that wasn’t being judged, you know, fairly either—

RH: Hm.

JE: – from, from my experience. So, no. I’ve, I’ve never seen that with the ones I’ve, er, I’ve been involved in.

RH: So, you’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth, friends. Just because somebody is sponsoring an award or a category does not mean that they are in any way, shape, or form better positioned to win. In fact, in some ways, they might actually be hamstrung by it a bit because people are going, “Oh. We need to be more due diligent around this one than—”

JE: Absolutely.

RH: But—

JE: And even if they think they’re [indiscernible 20:30] winner, maybe they don’t choose them because they are worried about people thinking exactly that, yeah. I’ve, I’ve never come across it, as I say, when the one person’s judging, er, someone—another judge anyway. So—

RH: – but as we have said on the Sofa of Success before, all, all awards are not the same. So, you know—

JE: Yep.

RH: – you’ve got to choose which awards you sponsor, which awards you enter. Choose with care. Erm, and as from an entry point of view, as a person who might be interesting in entering or a company might be interest-, interested in entering, the ones that have very, very high entry fees and/or trying to start selling you a table before you even put your entry in, those are the ones that have the alarm bells for me. I am not saying, just for clarity, friends—I’m not saying that just because somebody charges an entry fee, that is a bad award. Lloyds Bank, er, National Business Awards charge an entry fee—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – and I’m not surprised. The, the team that they must have working behind that—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – yeah, it’s just to cover staff admin costs—

JE: Gotta cover costs. Yeah.

RH: – but there are others that are just huge. And you just, kind of, think r-, really? And it feels like it’s for a business. It feels like the reason they’re in this is to make profit. That’s the—those are the ones that you, kind of, need to go, “[Breathes in]. Mm. Leaving a bit of a taste. That one is leaving a bit of taste in my mouth.” So—

JE: Yeah.

RH: – select with care. If in doubt, phone them up. Talk to them. We all, we all can tell when we’re being sold to. Those are the ones that I, kind of, go, “Oh,” from an entry point of view, “Mm.”

JE: Yeah.

RH: Is this one I wanna be associated with?

JE: Yeah.

RH: Have my friends been associated? Have my competition been involved with that? How does it feel to me when I look at their website or speak to them on the phone? Some little tips about entering them, but certainly, erm, from a, a sponsoring point of view and a winning if you enter type of point of view, my experience is the same as yours although, obviously, on a different scale.

JE: Er, if I was entering, do you know what I’d do as well? If I was en-, if I was looking for an awards to enter, I would ask for testimonials from those awards.

RH: Yeah.

JE: Erm, there you are. Tip number three. I knew I’d get it in somewhere.

RH: She’s good.

JE: And so I would say, erm, actually, to—as for the people that are asking you a fee, and I, I don’t think asking a fee is necessarily a problem, like you say, and cheap is not always good. Erm, so what, you know, if you’re paying a fee, think about what you’re going get back from it. Think of it as investment. And if you’re going to get back what you’ve put in, then it’s worth it. So, it’s about quality, and it’s about the number of touchpoints, the number of, of the people you’re going to meet. You know, so meeting them, it-, it’s something people forget is meeting the other entrants actually can be really good. So sometimes some of the people in my category have met each other, and they’ve ended up doing business together.

RH: Mm.

JE: Erm, you know, so don’t forget about that angle of it as well.

RH: Mm.

JE: But I wouldn’t be afraid. If someone’s asking you to write a cheque to enter an awards, ask them for some testimonials of some previous entrants and how they found it, and whether it was successful with them and how was it successful with them. That’s what I would do.

RH: She’s good, isn’t she? She’s worth waiting for.

JE: [Laughs]

RH: I don’t wanna say I told you, but I told you. [Indiscernible 23:30], lady. Thank you very much. Ooh, ooh, no. I’m not quite finished.

JE: Oh.

RH: I’ve gotta ask my three—

JE: Oh. Oh.

RH: – my three top questions. My three fast questions. Now, you do have to pretend that you have entered an award to answer these questions.

JE: Okay.

RH: So, you and, I would imagine knowing you slightly, you-, your team are at a table. You’ve entered an award. You’re there as a finalist, and somebody is standing on the, the, the stage—it’s probably you usually, but somebody is standing on that stage and they’re saying, “And the winner is Janine Edwards.” High five or bear hug?

JE: Oh.

RH: How do you celebrate it?

JE: With the rest of the team?

RH: Mm-hmm.

JE: No, I think bear hug.

RH: Bear hug. She’s a bear hugger.

JE: Mm. And, and actually drag your team up.

RH: Oh, that was the next question.

JE: I love that. Drag your team up.

RH: Would you go up on your own, or would you take your team?

JE: No, take the team.

RH: Take the team.

JE: Take the team.

RH: So, we’ve got the stage invaded by—

JE: Definitely.

RH: – by Janine’s team. You’re coming off the stage. Somebody very kindly is standing at the bar going, “Janine, what’s it gonna be?” This is the top—this is the hot question—would it be Champagne or Prosecco?

JE: Oh, Champagne.

RH: Good [indiscernible 24:35].

JE: Prosecco? No. Actually, get in one of my categories because whoever wins, I always take over a magnum to them.

RH: Oh, my god. Right. Now, I’m—

JE: [Laughs]

RH: There’s your third, fourth top tip. The reason we have to ask and celebrate is Pam Marr, Superstar, who is usually here but she’s on holiday, er, this week. Erm, she’s another member of the The Awards People. She’s a Prosecco person.

JE: Oh, really? Mm. Not for me. No. No. Champagne all the way. Do it properly.

RH: Glynis Wright’s up next. I’m gonna lay money—

JE: It’s Champagne.

RH: I’m gonna lay money that that’s a Champagne.

JE: Absolutely. Champagne. Champagne. And the best. Champagne.

RH: Now, I was, I was winning ’cause I’m Champagne and Pam’s Prosecco. Erm, she did pull it back by saying that Prosecco you can make loads of different cocktails and mix it with other alcoholic beverages, but I said, “Well, you can with Champagne.”

JE: Champagne. Champagne and flavoured vodka. Amazing.

RH: Oh, ho!

JE: So, yeah. Yeah.

RH: Top tip number five.

JE: It’s what you wanna do.

RH: Top tip number five.

JE: Yeah, ends with an alcoholic one.


RH: These conversations almost always turn. Thank you so much for joining us—

JE: You are more welcome.

RH: – taking time out of your very busy schedule.

JE: Not at all.

RH: I’m so grateful.

JE: I hope it was of some use.

RH: Oh, definitely. Definitely. We’ve got loads out of that. Erm, and our viewer in, erm, Dulwich, er, will have too. So, er—

JE: Brilliant.

RH: – thank you so much. Do come and join us again. I’ll tell you what. Let’s try and grab you next time when you’re doing the next lot of—

JE: Okay.

RH: – Leicester Mercury Business Awards, and you can give us, kind of, a what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard without mentioning names, of course.

JE: Yeah, that would be good.

RH: Erm, yeah. Something like that.

JE: Yeah, give you some little titbits to talk about.

RH: That’ll be fun. Ooh. Inside scoop. Love it. Now, you’re heading off down to—

JE: We are heading off down to—

RH: Essex?

JE: – Essex now, aren’t we? And that, too—

RH: And that’s business award-y 26:15, isn’t it?

JE: – a business award. Yeah, it is, actually.

RH: Fabulous.

JE: So, so I probably do about—I don’t know, five, six, seven days a year of visitin’ as we’ve got a day of visitin’ today.

RH: Gosh.

JE: So, yeah. It’ll be good. Be exciting.

RH: That is awesome.

JE: We’ve got some very good businesses to visit today. Interesting.

RH: Ooh. Thank you so much—

JE: Not at all.

RH: – for coming and joining us.

JE: More than welcome.

RH: I’m so grateful.

JE: It was lovely to see you again.

RH: Erm, right. So we will see you next week here on the Sofa of Success. Erm, but until then, see you soon.

JE: Bye.