Longtime home-shopping fans, rejoice. An OG host is headed back to QVC.
Kathy Levine, one of the network’s original and best-loved former hosts, will return to the network on June 1, two-plus decades after she moved on to other ventures. And, as is fitting for this multifaceted gem of the television retailing universe, Levine is coming back as the official spokesperson for QVC’s iconic simulated diamond brand, Diamonique.
Levine – best known for her rollicking jewelry shows with her friend and fellow entrepreneur, the late Joan Rivers – explains that her new gig is the happenstance result of a recent chat with Michaelann Van Kirk, a three-decade QVC employee who is now Vice President of Broadcast Production for Qurate Retail Group, QVC’s parent company.
“She said, ‘You know, you live so close [to QVC’s West Chester PA studios]. You never know. Maybe we’d ask you to stop by,” Levine says. “I said, ‘Well, you know, I hear it’s Diamonique’s 36th anniversary. I am the brand. I am the face. I’m your girl!’ And the next thing I knew, I’m coming back as the Diamonique representative.”
Though she’ll debut a full line of Diamonique products on June 24, Levine proudly notes that her June 1 segments will feature the reintroduction of her best-selling, Levine-designed “Kathy Ring,” a classy, can’t-miss bauble that features a large, heart-shaped stone atop a bold crisscross band. “They’re calling it ‘The Icon’ now,” she shares. “A lot of people have told me over the years, ‘I lost your ring.’ Or ‘My mother had it and she left it to me, but I lost it.’ Or ‘I’d like to get one for my sister.'” Now is their chance.
And for I Love That for You viewers wondering if Levine had to toe the newbie line (something Vanessa Bayer’s home shopping host Joanna has to do often on the Showtime series), even if she could once lay claim to $150 million in sales for the network, the answer is a hearty yes ma’am.
“I had to go back to what QVC calls Guest Class to qualify to come back,” she says. “It’s just protocol. Doesn’t matter that you might have been the first host, or you were considered the best for a while. You are new. We don’t know you. And you gotta sit in class with nine other new people who have products coming on.”
When we spoke, Levine was fresh from a prep day at the QVC studios, taking photos and doing an interview with her pal, 28-year QVC host Rick Domeier, whom she happily notes shares her affinity for keeping it real. And really colorful.
“He said, ‘So what’s new?’ I said ‘bifocals. My teeth. My boobs are still mine, just a lot lower.’
“I’m hoping he’s my real host when I do the big show on June 24,” Levine adds, hoping to recreate the on-air magic she once had with another bawdy blond. “I’m hoping it’s Rick, because he’s my Joan Rivers.”