Baftas 2017 The Real Marigold Hotel

Jan Leeming

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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.

BAFTAS 2017 - The Real Marigold Hotel

Date: 18th May 2017

We had a really lovely afternoon and evening and Two Four Productions really pushed the boat out for us. We commenced with a delightful cocktail party in the Drawing Room at the BFI.

The Addison Lee Driver dropped me at the Festival Hall rather than the appropriate venue even though he assured me he knew where he was going. I felt a bit silly in full evening dress at 4.00 in the afternoon and with clear blue skies and the sun blazing. Just inside the Festival Entrance a delightful chap in a High Vis jacket - Glen - offered to escort me the few hundred yards back to the BFI and then went inside to ascertain the proper venue. The Drawing Room is not an easy place to meet unless you know the layout of the BFI. Heartfelt thanks to Glen.

It was good meeting up with the other members from The Real Marigold Hotel series. I’d only seen Miriam a couple of times when she comes down to one of her properties not far from my home and more recently in Rubenstein at the Park Theatre (she was brilliant) and Patti and I were invited to the TRIC Awards a month ago. None of us could believe that our adventure in India was over a year and a half ago.

The BAFTA Ceremony was very enjoyable - lovely set, good short clips and everything appeared to run like clockwork. Our category was Reality and Constructed Factual (whatever that is when it is at home) and we were up against First Dates, the Secret Life of 5 year olds and British Muslims. Inevitably the latter won. It’s not sour grapes but I did watch the programmes in the hope that I would get a better understanding of Muslims in Britain and maybe what generates the hatred a small minority have for the country which has given them refuge and succour - and it is our country and though few of us practice our religion it is officially a Christian country.   I have to say I came away from British Muslims none the wiser - it was a programme of extremes with both a black male convert to Islam who was a total fanatic and refused to sit at the same table as his ‘sisters’ because they were not suitably moderately covered, and an elderly white woman convert who did cover her head but never really explained what had led her to convert.

However it was great to be in the running and to be at such a prestigious gathering. I am not very good at approaching celebrities - knowing how much I value my privacy - but I did tell James Nesbitt how much I enjoy just about everything in which he features. I didn’t have the courage to ask for a photo - damn!

Later, at the excellent dinner, I did take a discreet photo of Benedict Cumberbatch and posted it on Twitter. He is a superb actor but doesn’t float my boat but he must be the heartthrob of a huge number of females. My simple fuzzy photo got over 25,000 hits. I also tweeted a photo of lovely Sylvester McCoy and that got over 6,000 hits - obviously from his Dr. Who fans.

I don’t engage in Facebook but when I became Ambassador for Just You Singles Holidayshttp://justyouholidays they wanted me to sign up to Twitter - so I did. Actually I have a lot of fun with it and enjoy passing on beautiful photos taken by others especially James Kitto who is a superb photographer living in Cornwall and we have become friends through Twitter.

Back to the BAFTA Evening. From my heyday I have a wardrobe full of lovely evening clothes so I didn’t need to buy a dress for the occasion but as I’ve aged I find I can’t spend an evening tottering around in stilettos. So I went for a pair of ‘kitten heels’ and the only ones I could find were satin in white. I had them and the matching bag dyed black. Although our day commenced with bright sunshine, by the time we got to the Red Carpet it had begun to rain - and you know what is coming don’t you. I got inside the Festival Hall and wondered why my hands had streaks of black all over them! And when I got home after the event, my feet were similarly streaked. Thank goodness my dress was black or I would have been in a pickle.

So huge thanks to TwoFour Productions for giving us such a splendid and memorable evening. Sorry we didn’t win for you but at least we were in the race. And also thanks to my Knight in a Shining Vis Jacket - Glen. 

And thanks to the Catering Company and the staff who gave us the very best meal I've ever had at a gathering of such size. There must have been at least 2,000 people sitting down to a three course dinner.

In The Drawing Room at the BFI at our private cocktail party with the lovely Sylvester McCoy - so sartorially dressed.

BAFTAS 2017 - The Real Marigold Hotel

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