Press Centre

Gems TV

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Tue 02 Sep 2014
  • TX Confirmed: 

    No
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 36 2014 : Sat 30 Aug - Fri 05 Sep
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    New
  • Amended: 

    Wed 20 Aug 2014
The Bennett family run Britain’s number one retail jewellery business - without having a single shop. Their customers buy jewels having seen them on cable TV. They have a close relationship with the owners, because Steve and Sarah Bennett – their son, aunties, in-laws and cousins – are frequently on screen.  
 
The Bennetts broadcast to Europe and North America 24 hours a day, every day of the year, helped by a team of presenters who talk minerology for four hours at a time, and mix their sales patter with jokes and high jinks that have viewers dialing in at a furious rate - up to three thousand calls an hour, and everyone who gets through to the call centre wants to buy, making up to a quarter of a million pounds worth of business in just four hours. 
 
Part of the Bennett’s success lies in their business method. Purchasing direct from the mines and keeping costs low means viewers can buy a little, at bargain prices. Steve says: “If you go direct to the mine, you’re always going to get better value for your customers because you cut out all the middle men.”
 
The other integral aspect of Steve’s business is the product – along with the usual diamonds, emeralds and rubies, the company sells a host of lesser-known gemstones, surrounding each with an alluring backstory. 
 
Steve says: “When we buy something we don’t actually need, what is it that we’re buying? Well, we’re buying something we get emotionally attached to - it’s the story. It’s understanding its place in history, which King and Queen wore that gemstone, how rare is it? What pulls at the heartstrings and makes us want to wear that gemstone?”
 
Turnover is very healthy – around £100 million a year, but there’s a problem on the horizon. The Bennetts’ business is based on two natural resources, the first being minerals. The number one best-selling stone is a blue African gem called Tanzanite. It comes from just one outcrop in Tanzania, and the lode is running out. With ten million pounds a year at stake, Steve Bennett flies out to see if he can find a new supply himself. 
 
Steve says: “In the late 60s when they started mining, they were getting it off the top of the ground. Now they’re down to 800 metres. You can’t keep going deeper and deeper to the point where it’s not financially viable to mine it. It’ll still be around on the market for a few years, but then the prices will just go crazy.”
 
The second integral resource for the Bennetts is human – their schedule relies on a large pool of presenters and the search for new talent never ends. The film begins as Christmas approaches, and the need for new blood is urgent. 
 
Can the Bennetts find a replacement for the blue beauty, and enough new presenters to keep the show on the road - or is it Game Over for Gems TV?