Heather Roberts is the accidental TV host. In the past year, this stay-at-home mom of two and former teacher became a TV star on WCIA Channel 3′s ciLiving.tv show. A Gifford native, Roberts married her Rantoul High School homecoming date from her freshman year; the couple will celebrate nine years this October. After teaching and living in Texas for six years, Heather and TJ returned to Central Illinois right before Brock, now 5, was born. The couple also have a 4-year-old daughter, Jillian.
See why we think Heather Roberts is a Chambana mom to know.
Q: How did you become the accidental TV star?
I LOVE planning parties and I LOVE baking cupcakes, so I shared my blog with(former WCIA personality) Jennifer Ketchmark, who checked it out and invited me on to her 7:00 p.m. news show with Dave Benton. That eventually led to me becoming a “regular” and I would come on once a month with different party table ideas and of course cupcakes. I was so disappointed when I learned that they were cutting their hour-long show down to 30 minutes, because that meant no more segments. Then one night while watching baseball, Drew (Wilder, her now co-host) came on the TV during a commercial break saying how they were looking for someone with an outgoing personality to co-host a new show. It felt like he was talking directly to me and I knew this was my job for the taking. I submitted my video and the next thing I know, I’m the new co-host for ciLiving.tv. It was a whirlwind preparing to co-host an hour long show, having very little TV experience, but luckily they took a chance on me, and it’s been an adventure ever since.
Q: Congrats on the first anniversary of the show! How have you reflected on this milestone?
Thank you so much! This past year has been a whirlwind. Looking back it is still so surreal to me that I was even given this amazing opportunity and that they took a big chance on a stay-at-home mom. I am very thankful everyday and try to never take it for granted. To make it to one year is huge for our show, especially since ciLiving.tv. was an experiment in doing something no other station in central Illinois is doing right now and we weren’t sure what the response would be like.
Q: How has life changed for you and your family in the past year?
I went from being a stay-at-home mom to Brock, 5, and Jillian, 4, which is a job I love doing, but with a husband off work due to a work-related injury, we actually needed another source of income, so this job couldn’t have come at a better time. My family is very supportive and I’m very blessed to have an amazing mom and mother-in-law who are able to watch Brock and Jillian while I’m working. It makes being away from them easier knowing that they are in good hands.
Q: how do your kids react when they see you on TV?
You know, I don’t think they really think much of it. I think they just look at it like it’s my job, nothing too special. They’ve come on the show a few times and they get a bigger kick out of seeing themselves on TV than seeing me!
Q: What have been some of your favorite guests/ moments from the past year?
Oh my! There are so many memorable moments, it’ll be hard narrowing them down. By far my most memorable moments are in the kitchen. Not too long ago I did a cooking segment making a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Frozen Pie, and as I’m telling Drew about how cheap I found the Reese’s at Wal-Mart, I knocked them out of my hands and spilled them all over the stove! I had to scrape them up out of the grates to throw into the pie. So very embarrassing. My reaction was pretty priceless, definitely gotta love live TV. For Halloween Drew and I dressed up as Batman and Batgirl, let’s just say that was interesting! A guinea hog from Scovill Zoo tried to attack me, but one of my favorite moments was when Rod Sickler was on promoting his Red Hot Winter and he came on with his friend, Wayne Tuggle, and they were speed cutting this lady’s hair and rocking out to music. Hair was flying, hair product was flying, then Wayne pulls this lady’s hair back on her head and all of a sudden they blew a circuit and killed the power to the blow dryers. I had never seen anything like that before in my life! It was just awesome and that lady was brave. There was another time during Pink Week that a lady recently diagnosed with breast cancer came on and shaved her head. It was very emotional, but she was so strong and had such a positive attitude that it was inspiring. One of the perks is that I get to meet so many interesting people, but probably the most famous person was an up-incoming country artist, Dustin Lynch. Real down-to=Earth guy, super nice, and I had to go and call his drummer and guitar player his “little buddies” and trust me, I did not hear the end of that one from them!
Q: You and Drew work great together, how did you guys develop such teamwork?
Drew’s great! He’s been very supportive since day one and coming into this job with NO experience, he’s been a great teacher. I only had one week to learn how a TV show works before we went live, so he had his work cut out for him! But, lucky for me Drew is such a personable guy and the chemistry between us just works. He’s like my little brother and we have a lot of fun working together.
Q: What do you look forward to for the second year of ciLiving?
I’m really excited for the second year of ciLiving! I am looking forward to bringing you more examples of moms who are able to work from home in my Work From Home Monday segments. Each Monday I feature a direct sales or someone who makes a living by working out of their home. I’m always on the lookout for great mom-preneurs. (Pretty sure that is NOT a word, but it totally should be!) I’m also looking forward to putting our kitchen to work with more cooking segments and sharing tasty dishes that busy moms can whip up in a snap. And I’m also looking forward to expanding ciLiving’s social media, which I think could help take it to the next level!
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