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Tattle: Italy a gem of an assignment for QVC host

WHEN TATTLE met QVC host Lisa Robertson last year for a story that unfortunately never got into the paper, she said one of the best parts of her job was getting to go to Italy.

WHEN TATTLE met QVC host Lisa Robertson last year for a story that unfortunately never got into the paper, she said one of the best parts of her job was getting to go to Italy.

It's that time of year again for Lisa, who will be selling Vicenza Style, fine Italian jewelry, live from Villa Arvedi in Grezzana, starting tonight at 9.

Lisa, one of the most recognizable faces at QVC, came to the shopping network 16 years and hundreds of hairdos ago.

She had done pageants growing up in the South, but never prepared for such a career.

"When I was a girl," she said, "this industry didn't even exist, so no one grew up thinking I want to grow up and sell things on TV."

But Lisa's quick wit, girlfriendy demeanor, "Gorgeous!" catchphrases and the ability to get unabashedly excited over products such as handbags, earrings and eyeliner have made her a natural.

After years of public-speaking experience, she can ad-lib just about anything.

One product that stumped her: A hot-dog condiment holder . . . that sang.

"If I understand the product, I can talk about it forever," she said. "But that was one of the few instances when I looked at something and thought, 'I got nothing.' "

If she doesn't like the product? If that necklace is really and truly hideous?

"Maybe it's perfect for someone else," she said diplomatically.

What about all the skin-care products she's tried over the years?

"I'm actually 85," she said, "but holding up beautifully."

Like everyone who works at QVC, Lisa understands her audience as if they were galpals going shopping together, because, in effect, they are.

"A woman who shops with QVC is a woman who loves shopping," she said, making sure to differentiate between shopping and "buying."

And men?

"Men are not sport shoppers," she said. "We might as well be speaking Greek."

Tonight, Lisa will be speaking a little Italian.

She said she got to make the first trip to Italy 14 years ago because she was a relative newcomer and QVC "wouldn't risk taking senior hosts off the air."

"I just lucked out. It was a new venture and no one was excited about me going except me."

"Mom always said I'd never get a job shopping and talking on the phone," Lisa added. "It was the only thing she was ever wrong about."


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Daily News wire services contributed to this report.