March 27, 2004
THE QUEEN HOLDS COURT
VALLEY'S LINDA COBB IS 'TALKING DIRTY' ON DIY NETWORK
She's the Valley's own Linda Cobb, and her new TV show, Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean, premieres Monday on the DIY Network.
The 65-part series, which was taped before live audiences at Great Scott Productions in Phoenix, features the handy cleaning tips for which Cobb is known, such as using Tang as a toilet-bowl cleaner and vodka to clean up mildew.
Cobb, who has published six books on cleaning and has another due out in April, also will tackle cleaning projects and host guest presenters. The half-hour show, which will air Mondays through Fridays, also will include segments taped at other locations, such as a Cincinnati dance studio, where Cobb showed dancers how to polish their shoes and clean their costumes.
The show has been two years in the making. In 2001, Cobb filmed two DIY Network cleaning specials, which received tremendous viewer response, said Karen Daniel, DIY Network's director of programming.
"I think she has the potential of being the next Emeril Lagasse for DIY," Daniel said. "She's like the total package -- the perfect package -- of what you want in a TV host. ... First of all, she's a hoot. But also, she's an expert.
"She's game for anything."
Shannon Reichley, executive producer with DIY Network, called Cobb a natural: a quick study, witty, enthusiastic.
"What will make this TV show is Linda Cobb," Reichley said. "She's got more energy than all of us."
During one of the early tapings, Cobb, dressed in a fuchsia sweater as bright as the gold- and blue-colored set, was in typical form.
She greeted the audience and laid out ground rules: "When you leave here, people will ask you what was the Queen like. You need to say, 'The Queen is much thinner and prettier in person.' "
This got laughs from the audience, mostly women in their 40s to 70s.
Her guest on that show was Steve Markovich, a Cincinnati resident dubbed the "aerobic housecleaner," who exercises -- he lunges, he does splits -- while he cleans.
"Steve gives a whole new meaning to pumping iron," Cobb deadpanned to the camera and audience as she pumped an iron up and down with her hand while Markovich energetically picked up toys, vacuumed, and wiped down the set's walls. When filming stopped between takes, Cobb asked Markovich to show his biceps to the audience, a move that elicited wolf whistles. Cobb joked with audience members and even sat with them for a while.
"It's fun to see how people respond to her," said Daniel, the director of programming. "They treat her like she's a rock star. She could be Mick Jagger out there."
Sisters Kathy Meyer of Chandler and Leslie Bell of Mesa, at a January taping of the show, said they liked how Cobb takes a typically boring activity and makes it interesting.
"This day and age, everything is so technical," Bell said. "No one really talks about housecleaning. The thing I like is she makes it easier and fun to keep your house clean."
Meyer added, "She definitely seems to have a lot of personality."
Cobb, who is thrilled about the show, attributes her success to the people of Arizona, "who made me the Queen of Clean." Nevertheless, she is surprised by all of the popularity, she said.
"I do my own cleaning," she said. "I live my life just like everyone does."
Linda Cobb's background
* Learned cleaning tips as a child from her mother.
* Owned a cleaning and disaster- renovation company in Port Huron, Mich., where she began experimenting with products to get rid of smoke smells and fire damage.
* Has numerous radio and television appearances, including Oprah, HGTV's Smart Solutions and Good Morning Arizona on Channel 3 (KTVK).
* Has written six books. Her seventh book is scheduled for release in April. For a book list and more information, visit www.queenofclean.com.
* Continues to experiment and try new products.
* Lives with her husband, John, in Peoria.
"If House Cleaning were an Olympic sport, Stevie Markovich would be in the running for a medal." Bob Hagerty, WALL STREET JOURNAL