Jan Leeming Blog

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 20th January 2020

Hallo Everyone

I'm sorry I so rarely write a Blog these days but I tend to write essays and that takes time whereas I'm restricted to characters on Twitter and can have immediate reaction from my followers - over 3,500 - so I spend time on there.

So it's a bit cheeky but knowing that my Blog is read around the world - sounds grand but it's only a few here and there - I wonder if you might be interested in helping the Koalas, Roos and other wildlife decimated in the horrific Australian Bushfires.  

I was in 'I'm a Celebrity get me out of Here' in 2006. When we exited the Rainforest (it isn't a jungle??) they took most of our kit but left us with our Brasher Boots and Traditional AKUBRA Hats.  I decided to Auction mine, plus a signed photo of me coming out of the Camp (bubbly in hand) and, if you live near London, I'd travel to St. Pancras Station and meet in the Champagne bar to hand over the hat.  Akubras retail at around £150 and mine is sitting doing nothing.  I could post it within the UK.

On my last day in Australia the company allowed me to visit a Wildlife Sanctuary at Currumbin. I cannot get any news on whether it still exists or has been destroyed in the fires.  I would donate the money to Currumbin or else SAVEM Australia.

If you have a Twitter account mine is @Jan_Leeming and I'd be thrilled if you could make an offer either publicly or by Message - I've opened messages so that I can receive them even if you don't follow me.

So again apologies for the cheek in asking for help when I've virtually abandoned my Blogs but hope you will understand.

That Twitter account - @Jan_Leeming

Many thanks and I will try to write the odd blog but I'm currently not travelling to Fabulous places so there's not a great deal abut which to write.

Hope you all have a Happy and Healthy New Year.  The older I get the more I realise 'Your Health is your Wealth'

Jan xx


What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 13th May 2019

Dear All

Wonder if you can offer any advice. Today I received a package from Guangdong, China.  In it was a pair of Gucci Sunglasses - obviously fake.  

I have never ordered anything online from China.  Gucci Sunglasses are out of my price-range and anyway I have to have prescription lenses in sunglasses.

So I'm in receipt of these Glasses - and on the package the value was put at $15 - otherwise I might have had to pay Customs. Even more of an indication that they are Fake.

I definitely did not order them but what is worrying is how they got my address.  What is the point of sending goods unordered and unpaid for?

If anyone has any helpful information I'd be very grateful.  Just hope I'm not caught up in a scam somewhere along the line.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 8th May 2019

As you know I have a Twitter account.  Through it I met and became friendly with a lady who'd rescued a severely traumatised feral dog from Romania.  Through patience, love and kindness, he is now a gorgeous domestic animal and I met him.  We've remained in touch and she recently wrote to say how much she enjoyed "Reunion' the Radio 4 programme reuniting four of the firsr woman newsreaders.

Then a propos of nothing she gave me a link to my performance on the Russell Harty show in 1981.  I remember the year because I was pregnant with Jonathan - who will be 38 on 18th May!

Russell was a naughty boy - I wasn't keen to go on the show and sing but Russell assured me he would sing with me.  Needless to say he didn't.

My piece is 32 minutes in - hope you enjoy.


Best wishes,  Jan




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Date: 4th May 2019

A few weeks ago I did a Hospital Radio recording and a friend has now transferred it for me.  For some reason I couldn't open the sound recording so he has put it onto Vimeo and put photos on to the screen so one isn't staring at black whilst listening.

If you are interested it is about a half hour and this is the link 


What a change in the Bank Holiday weather.  We were sweltering over Easter and I had friends for lunch and we were able to sit out in my little garden which was bliss.  Today the weather is all over the place from Sunshine to grey skies and hail.  If you look at Twitter - @Jan_Leeming I've tweeted a short segment of Hail as it built up in my gutter.  I'd put away the winter duvet and my sweaters and turned off the central heating - all being yanked out of cupboards and heating back on.??

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.

BBC RADIO 4 - REUNION - Sunday 5th May 11.15am

Date: 3rd May 2019

To my faithful followers I again apologise for not posting Blogs - I seem to constantly apologise.  I'm spending far too much time on Twitter.  One of the reasons being that I am restricted to word count and that is good for me.  I love to write and when I regularly wrote Blogs - I ended up writing essays which was very time consuming.  There are so many issues about which I get 'hot under the collar' and I can give vent to my feelings more quickly on Twitter.

However I thought I'd publicise a BBC Radio 4 programme this Sunday in the Reunion Series.  This one reunites the first women newsreaders and features Julia Summerville, Angela Rippon, Sue Lawley and myself.  Anna Ford was due to come but pulled out at the last minute.  I'd not see any of the girls for decades.  The programme was well orchestrated by Producer Emily Williams and well chaired by Sue McGregor.  We recorded for 2 hours so much will disappear in the editing!.

If you are interested, I hope you will find the programme enjoyable.  And I promise I'll try to keep up with a few more Blogs but life hasn't been particularly exciting for a while so there's not really been a lot to share with you

But if you want to catch up with day to day activities - do sign in to Twitter and my account is @Jan_Leeming. 

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.

GREETINGS to my followers

Date: 30th January 2019

Dear All, 

Apologies for neglecting you for so long but I’ve been busy working on a project and I also find that Twitter is taking up more time than it should.

I tend to report goings on through Twitter because I have to keep my news to very limited characters. As I’m verbose and tend to write essays on my Website it takes much longer.

If you are interested in keeping up to date my Twitter account is @Jan_Leeming and I’ll be pleased to welcome you on board.

I’ve had no travel to report as, sadly, Just You didn’t renew my Ambassadorship this year. However I did have some great adventures with the company and am grateful for my 2 years with them. Needless to say I’ve not been doing that amount of travelling so haven’t got any shots of beautiful places to share with you.

My Project is something I thought about 10 years ago and simply couldn’t get any company in the UK to take it on board. Then through Twitter I became friends with an English man living in the States who ‘believed in me’. He’s put together a website and I’ve funded a promo which will probably be active by the end of the week and then dropped into the web. I’m afraid I’ve become very cynical in my old age and TV ideas are very easy to ‘crib’ (have had it done before and it’s very difficult to copyright an idea). Consequently the Website can only be opened with a password which I shall jealously guard??

However, if the idea is picked up and goes into production then I shall tell all. Please wish me luck - everyone to whom I’ve told the story can’t understand why the idea hasn’t been grabbed. Sadly everything has changed so much. In the old days of BBC1, BBC2 and ITV anyone could write to a Commissioning Editor with a suggestion - if the Editor thought it might work the proposal would be passed down to production and often the idea would be taken up and the programme made. Now, one cannot approach a Commissioning Editor - it has to be done through a Production Company of which there are legions and one simply doesn’t know who to approach. The more people you approach and tell about the idea the more chance you have of it being ‘stolen’.

It would be wonderful if the series gets made in the States - they actually fund series very well and pay ‘real money’. My prime aim is to see my idea come to fruition.

I had the same problem when I tried to have a documentary made about the Free French pilot #RenéMouchotte. I spent 6 years - on and off - researching and visiting France and Belgium where he was laid to rest after washing up on a beach at Westende near Middlekerke. He was repatriated and lies in his family tomb in #PèreLachaise Cemetery in Paris. It was in the tomb that I left a letter and was contacted by a member of his family and the rest, as they say, is history.

I sent the proposal to Yesterday who turned it down saying he wasn’t ‘famous’ enough. The History Channel said it was Military - it wasn’t - it was the story of a very courageous Man. BBC2 and BBC4 sat on it for months and then turned it down. Finally I met someone who knew the Commissioning Editor for BBC South East and I got a short documentary spot on the Regional Programme ‘Inside Out’. The inserts are usually only 6 to 7 minutes long but the Producer couldn’t get it below 15 minutes - the viewing figures that week doubled!!!!!! Then BBCSouth East ‘gave’ the programme to BBC South and BBC North. All in all about 1 million people saw it.

I’m so please that all my hard work paid off and René got some of the recognition he deserved but the story really needed at least a half hour. ‘Searching for René’ remains the piece of work of which I am most proud during my 50 years in Television. I researched, wrote and presented it.

If my new Project take off, I shall be over the moon. It will also prove that so many in the TV industry do not ‘think outside the box’.

See - once I get going at the keyboard, I write and write and write.??

Please do have a look on Twitter - @Jan_Leeming - there’s so much of interest on there.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 30th January 2019

There's another series of "Marigolds on Tour" and I was lucky enough to be asked to film in Argentina.

Just been told that the programme will go out on BBC 1 on Wednesday 20th February at 9.00 pm.

Once I'm given the go ahead I'll post some of the photos I took in Buenos Aires.  Also I might be able to tell you who were my travelling companions - mostly different from before and delightful to be with.

Hope you enjoy it - I certainly enjoyed getting a small glimpse of the Argentinian way of life.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 29th January 2019


I went up to York to make the Promotion for my Series Idea. My best friend lives at Barwick in Elmet and another friend suggested a Production Company in York so I combined business with a visit.

A friend of my friend asked me if I’d do a little piece of advertising for @NelliesTree which is being entered into European Tree of the Year Competition 2019 having won the British Tree of the Year in 2018.

I was expecting to do a little piece on the Video of a mobile phone but they’d got the services of a professional cameraman (who incidentally used to work with my friend Sue) Tony Mewse.

Nellie’s Tree - In 1920 on the Parlington Estate near Aberford (Leeds) a young man trained some saplings into an “N” to impress his sweetheart. He won her heart and the rest is history.

My website won't accept the download - maybe later.  However you could look up European Tree of the Year and cast a vote - I think the site becomes active in a few days.

Many thanks




What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 8th November 2018

I am not stupid although not totally brilliant on Phone Apps etc.

Today I needed to go to London for a Memorial Service.  I decided to drive to Ashford International because there are more trains to London. I arrived there with a half hour to spare before the 10.12 train.   I  had booked and paid in advance to park in Car Park B.  Yes, they do say this does not guarantee a parking space but they don't give you any directions to the Overflow Carpark.  By the time I found the Overflow which was FULL I had missed my train.  One person was about to leave and I was finally able to park - needless to say I arrived a quarter of an hour late for the Memorial Service.

I had made and paid for a 3 day Car Parking as I have to return to London tomorrow and will have to overnight to attend various Remembrance functions on Saturday.   After today's fiasco, I will not be trying to park at Ashford again.  

Yes there is a very small car park at the bottom of the hill close to my home and the local Station BUT you can't put money into a machine you have to book through the Indigo Parking App.  I had problems with this months ago and have avoided parking there since.  I have now spent one hour trying to book parking for two days.  I downloaded the new app and after much trial and error put in all the details and thought I was there - NO - the site was showing an old card number and I was totally unable to change it.  I phoned and yet again all I got was ten minutes worth of 'If you want to hear the options again please press 0 ......   PERLEASE .....  I just want to talk to a person.

I've tried emailing through the App. and the email won't sen.   I've read on the Internet that this App is C..p!  And it certainly is.

As I cannot make my booking I'm now going to have to spend 15 minutes driving to another station - a waste of time, petrol and bad for the environment.

I'm totally fed up.  Why can't we just put money into a machine - Oh! I suppose they'd have to employ staff and we can't do that can we!  What on earth is going to happen to future generations when almost everything is being done remotely, by robots and AI.

I'm so glad I am the age I am and won't have to be dealing with all this frustration for too much longer. I'm now going to pour myself a large brandy and try to calm down.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 29th October 2018

Invited to give the After Dinner talk at the FIBIS Conference, I learned that it was recorded and can now be viewed on line - but only if invited by myself or a FIBIS Member.  Had I been aware of it being recorded I'd not have worn the distracting dangly earrings.This is the link.


I talked about my Family and it's association with India - my father having been born in the Nilgiri Hills and our family going back almost 200 years in India.  I also gave the audience a glimpse behind the scenes of when we filmed 'Real Marigold Hotel' in India 3 years ago.  Gosh, is it that long.  Where does time go.  I remember longing to be 18 and adults telling me not to wish my life away as it would go quickly enough when I was older.  How right they were.  Months and years go by now at the rate of an express train - going downhill!

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.