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.



2020 - July (2)
2020 - June (1)
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2020 - March (1)
2020 - January (1)
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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: 28th July 2020


Do forgive me if I am not exactly impressed with Boris Johnson’s obsession with bikes. I think the Mac Cartoon summed it up (mentioned by John Humphrys on Classic FM this morning) - a little boy asking his Mother ‘Mum, if I put on 3 stone will the doctor prescribe me a bike!’

A Clinically Obese person would be totally incapable of riding a bike even one with the enhanced E-power.

We’ve known about the growing Obesity problem for several decades but Fast Food outlets have multiplied like rabbits as has the amount of Junk food so ardently pushed on the Adverts. (My cynical take on that is that the Food Lobby is far too powerful)

Frankly I feel that Boris and the Government would be far better putting the money they are going to spend on this new initiative into Re-educating the public by bringing back Domestic science in schools so that everyone learns the basics of cooking - not to be a Cordon Bleu chef or to appear on Celebrity Masterchef, but to be able to rustle up a healthy dinner for four for the same price as one Pizza eg. A small chicken costs around £3, 3ks of potatoes another £2 and then vegetables another £2 - and it doesn’t take much effort to cook and make a tasty meal. There’s nothing wrong with a Pizza - I like one from time to time - but a diet of Pizzas and junk food is totally unhealthy.

Secondly, surely the money would also be better spent in giving subsidies to the Farmers who supply Good Food - grown organically and raised humanely.

Obesity has been a Taboo subject for a very long time.

When I was a young reporter working for the BBC in the West Country, I was sent to interview a Doctor who’s patch was the village of Lacock in Wiltshire. The story was that he’d taken several Cwt. in weight off the villagers by a strict and healthy Food regime. In those days I truly believed that Fatness (not sure we had Obesity in the 1970’s) was an illness and felt very sorry for people and said as much to the doctor. I’ll never forget his reply - ‘Young lady, with few exceptions, fatness is because people have ever open mouths’.

There was also a lovely story of the Farmer’s wife who came in to be weighed every week and simply did not lose an ounce even though she swore she was keeping to the fitness regime. Eventually the exasperated Doctor said ‘Are you sure you aren’t eating anything extra?’ To which the chubby little lady said in a broad Wiltshire accent ‘Oh yes Doctor, I forgot to mention the pound of honey a day’. I’ll never be sure if this was the truth but it was very amusing.

I had an obese friend who swore she ate very little - she didn’t eat much of good food, but was continually snacking on cakes and biscuits.

JOGGER PANTS have a lot to answer for. Because of the elasticised waist which expands as you do, many are unaware of how much weight they are gaining.

People often say to me ‘It’s okay for you, you are naturally slim’. Well in my early 20’s whilst on tour with a group of Shakespearean actors covering the whole of New South Wales, and with endless hours to while away in between our performances at schools and village halls, we would frequent cafes and load up on milky coffee and cakes. Returning from that tour, I’d put on nearly 2 stones in weight. I was supposed to audition for a Producer in Sydney (and I can still remember his name!) For a part in the play ‘Recruiting Officer’. He took one look at me and said in his gorgeous French accent ‘You ‘ave put on weight’ - that was that - out of his office and no Audition. It took me several years to lose the weight and, apart from having my son, I’ve remained around 8 stones for the last 4 decades.

My only secret is getting on to the Bathroom scales every morning and if I’ve put on a pound or two - perhaps that extra glass of wine or a social engagement - I then have salads etc. until I lose the weight. It is so easy to pile on the pounds and so very much more difficult to get them off. And I’ve followed a healthy eating regime all my life - not expensive foods but lots of vegetables and fruit, very little meat, and trying to avoid temptation in the form of cakes, puddings and chocolate. What is interesting is that you can develop and school your taste buds. I did not like Spinach but is is very good for me - especially as I have AMD - but I trained myself to like it. I don’t like oily fish but again those are the ones full of Omega 3 so I ensure I have Mackerel (very inexpensive) at least one a week.

The Stomach is a Balloon - the more you fill it the more it wants. That’s why people go for Gastric Bands.

Feel so sorry for the children of obese parents because they stand little chance of growing up healthy. We used to think of the Americans as the Obesity champions. Sadly we aren’t far behind them and are definitely the most obese in Europe.

Just had to get this off my chest.  

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


Date: 4th July 2020

Hi there,

There’s not been much to talk or write about recently.

I’ve been lucky during lockdown to have a small garden on which I’ve lavished much care and attention and the wonderful weather also helped.

I love Agapanthus - maybe because of living in Australia in the 1960’s and spending a lot of time in and around Capetown. Agapanthus grow prodigiously in both countries. I love their majesty.

Recently I made a discovery about which I wish I’d known before. There is an Agapanthus Speciality Nursery at Beaulieu in Hampshire. I have 5 healthy Agapanthus in my garden and want to keep them so - found an advert for specialist Agapanthus food and it came from Fairweather’s Nursery.

Because I’m obviously on their system, recently received a Newsletter - WOW - they’ve this gorgeous flower in every colour from white through to deepest purple (almost black). They have small, medium and large, and those flowering in Spring, mid Summer and Autumn. It is an Agapanthus Lover’s heaven and I hope to visit next year - it’s a long trip but I could stay with my sister mid way.

I wanted to share my find with you.

http:// info@fairweathers.co.uk


Best wishes and Take care,


Jan x


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Date: 10th June 2020


Those of you who’ve been with me for a long time will know that I’ve been an Assistant at Canterbury Cathedral for many years. Over that time there are parts of the Cathedral and stories associated with it which have appealed greatly to me.

For several years now, our lovely Cathedral has been swathed in scaffolding - well she is extremely old and time is telling on her. As you can imagine the costs of all this work are astronomical and though helped by a Lottery Grant, the Cathedral still has to find millions.

A few visitors have been disappointed to see so much scaffolding both in and outside the Cathedral and to counteract this and offer more ‘value for money’ we were asked a while ago if any of we volunteers would like to give short talks free of charge to the public.

On my Sunday duty I always station myself in The Martyrdom and never tire of sharing the story of Becket’s Murder and the events which led up to it. Sometimes I spend my full 2 hour duty in that one spot modifying the story to fit the needs of the visitors - expanding if that is required, shortening or simplifying for the foreign visitor who might not have too good a command of the English language.

When it came to choosing a talk, I felt that there were more of my colleagues better qualified to talk on Becket than I am. Although not an expert, I am fascinated by the Black Prince whose tomb is my favourite and I do know something of the Huguenots - possibly being descended from them, have attended the Huguenot Chapel which was the Black Prince’s Chantry and felt that a talk on why the Chantry became the Huguenot Chapel might be of interest to the public.

So I formulated a talk and am delighted to say that I’ve had as many as 30 attending my talk - and as few as one - yes, on one particular Sunday there was only one taker but I still gave the talk although it did feel rather odd standing in the Chapel and giving my delivery to an audience of one. It transpired that she was quite knowledgeable on the subject of the Huguenots so we actually had an enjoyable time.

More recently and in the light of this awful Covid Pandemic and our lovely Cathedral being shut, we were asked again if any of us felt able to record Podcasts which could be broadcast on line. Well, that’s what I’ve done for over 50 years and I readily agreed to give my talk - although I had to completely re-write it. It is very different giving a delivery to a live audience and recording one to be broadcast when there’s no Audience reaction and no visuals - of which there are many in the Huguenot Chapel, not to mention the glorious tomb of The Black Prince.

So, if you are interested, here is the link to the Podcast http://bit.ly/CathStory
The Black Prince and the Huguenot Chapel

There's also an interesting video of The Tomb being investigated by Scientists and Art Historians 

http:// http://bit.ly/BPtomb



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Date: 4th May 2020


There was a massive surge in the number of people who came to my Website this week - possibly because of my appearance on Pointless.  I can always tell when a programme of mine is repeated (although we are never informed) because the Website visits go up enormously

As I explained at the end of March, I tend not to write very many blogs any more because they are time consuming and as a chatty lady I like to write good English and make them into Essays.  Twitter only allows so many characters and I have to be brief.

I spent a half hour writing this blog only to discover it disappeared and didn't make it on to the Website - no idea why.  So this time I'm going to be more brief.

I use Twitter predominantly because it gives me a platform to help Animals and Animal Charities either by Retweeting or giving actual help.

One Charity which really caught my heart strings is a newish one called Miracle's Mission which is raising money to build and run the very first DISABLED ANIMAL CENTRE  in the country. The inmates will be nursed back to health and rehabilitated both physically and mentally.

They are currently holding an Auction on line to raise funds.  I've donated a few articles including my 1982 Eurovision Song Contest Scirpt, Programme and the Working Script with all the songs, words and biographies of all those taking part and photos too. The current bid has come from Germany for £210 (well they won in 1982).

There's also a plastic mug which Declan had decorated with 'FAN OF JAN' and which I managed to keep hold of after the I'm a Celebrity Get me out of Here programme finished.

I've also given several books by Battle of Britain pilot - Wing Commander Tom Neil.

I've attended the Battle of Britain Memorial Day from 2007 until this year when, sadly it has had to be cancelled.  At the first one in 2007 we had 25 Veterans - last year we had one and he, Paul Fearnes, has since died.

So if any of you love animals and feel that a Handicapped Dog should be given as much of a chance at life as a healthy one, perhaps you could either donate a few pounds or even make a bid on line.

So PLEASE Google Miracle's Mission and be Generous.

Stay safe

Bless you,


Jan xx


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Date: 4th May 2020

Hallo again

I've now got the full list of information with regard to the Charity MIRACLE'S MISSION

Website is: https://www.miraclesmission.org/

Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/MiraclesMission/

Twitter: @mirimission

Instagram: @miraclesmission

People can donate through the donate button on the Facebook page or by PayPal to info@miraclesmission.org

Auction link is https://www.facebook.com/catherine.gamaleldin/media_set?set=a.10158282604436018&type=3 (sometimes the FB links don't work but I will pin it to the MM FB page too.

Just to wet your appetitie - this is how the Auction stands at the momet and there are still 12 days to go

Eurovision £210
Plate £160
Book - Gun Button to Fire £100
Book - The Silver Spitfire £60
Fan of Jan mug - £25

And I've also donated a signed copy of Princess Michael's book 'A Cheetah's Tale' - a fascinating story especially if, like me, you love Cheetahs.

Thank you for reading - and PLEASE think about a donation however small.  I know there are so many calls on our Piggy Banks at the moment with all Charities in a pickle.  But this one had only just got off the ground and raised enough money to start their Dream Hospital.

Till the next time - and sorry I'm not whizzing all over the place doing Interesting Television - but we are all in lockdown.

Stay safe,


Jan xx



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Date: 30th March 2020

Dear All

I've been very remiss for a long time now and haven't been writing Blogs like I used to do mainly because when I write I write essays and they are time consuming.  I've been favouring Twitter where I am limited to a certain amount of characters so have to be thrifty.  Also I get so worked up about certain subjects like the Chinese Bushmeat Markets - where this current Pandemic originated - that I don't know that I could trust myself not to give full vent to my feelings.

On Twitter - which I attend to daily, I post photos, comments, retweet items of interest, and share with a large community.  I've built up my followers from nothing to over 3,300 (not a lot by some standards but I've nothing current on TV which would increase the followship - if there is such a word)

Now that we are all 'incarcerated' and there's not much else to do, I can no longer use the excuse of not having time.  Although I've set myself two fairly heafty tasks - getting my autobiography up to date and possibly publishing it on line.  And I've always wanted to write the story of my Search for René Mouchotte which was made into a short BBC Documentary. He was a Free French WW2 Pilot whose name I sponsored on the Battle of Britain Memorial Wall - and then a 6 year search commenced.  The documentary was only 15 minutes - I could have filled an hour and so much detail was omitted - so I really do have enough material for a book - it's just collating all the information which is now currently covering my dining table - still as we cannot entertain it's being put to good use

The Documentary 'Searching for René' can be found on https://youtu.be/oVNwEZ8KriM - if you are interested.

And if you want to follow my doings - not so many of late - on Twitter it's @Jan_Leeming - If you haven't got a Twitter account it is easy to set one up.

Stay safe and stay indoors

God Bless

Jan xx


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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


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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.??

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