All That Glitters Bbc Series

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: 7th April 2021



Nearly a decade ago, seeing all the Challenge Programmes on TV, and because I attended Adult Education Jewellery and Silversmithing classes, I believed there was mileage in a Jewellery Challenge. I saw the beautiful pieces being made by ‘ordinary members of the public’ from all walks of life. One of the most able was a 94 year old. She made a superb bracelet and I asked if she'd make one for me. She replied that she didn’t think she was good enough.

I tried to market the idea of a ‘Jewellery Challenge’ but got nowhere. I don’t have any friends in high places or any powerful contacts.

In 2017 I made an inexpensive Promotion Video and typed out the treatment including how to cover in an interesting way the more laborious and not particularly visually exciting elements of making jewellery such as polishing and filing.  I itemised details of Heats to be judged by Professional Jewellers such as Theo Fennell and Andrew Logan with a prize either financial or a Year's tuition with one of the judges.  

Decades ago, if you had a programme idea, you could contact the Commissioning Editors of both BBC and ITV and if they thought there was any mileage in the idea it would be passed to Producers and if anyone could see potential they’d adopt the idea and run with it.

All this changed and mere individuals could no longer approach Commissioning Editors but had to go through Production Companies who, by their very nature were also in the same position of having to work on ideas and present them, more often than not to meet a Blank Wall of rejection and a financial loss.

Because The Real Marigold Hotel was put up for a BAFTA, we were all invited to the Award Ceremony along with the Commissioning Editor for BBC Two - Claire Sillery. I did approach her and asked if it would be possible for me to submit my idea. She kindly agreed and then passed it on to another Commissioner Clare Paterson. The latter asked if she could pass on my suggestion to a Production Company with whom they were having talks. Of course I agreed and then heard nothing. Many months later I contacted Ms Paterson and was told that all had come to nought.

Then in 2019 I took the idea further and made a proper Promotional Video at not inconsiderable cost to me. Having been advised that the ‘Challenge’ Idea was Passé, I changed my approach slightly and kept the Challenge element but put more emphasis onto the time element to be covered whilst the ‘boring’ bits were being executed.

I’ve always loved Jewellery and am fascinated by the stories attached to some of the most famous. It was whilst doing research for a talk in Canterbury Cathedral that my interest was sparked by the story attached to the Black Prince’s Ruby which is in the Coronation Crown.
I did more and more research and came up with 13 ‘Cursed Gems’ the stories about which would have been interspersed into the Jewellery programme.

This Promo Video was also shown to several people and, of course, I had to talk about it in order to see if I could garner any interest.

Nothing came of all my efforts

Decades ago at some Charity Function Michael Grade (a real Kingpin of the BBC) advised me that if I had any programme ideas I should not only post them to potential users but also to myself in a Registered Envelope which I should not open

That envelope is still sitting in my Filing Cabinet but you can’t Patent an Idea and it all boils down to the word of yourself and someone else.

So I am left grinding my teeth with righteous fury but can do nothing about it. I’ve neither the funds to take on a Big Organisation nor the temperament to go through a lot of stress. There is no way I can prove anything - whether or not the Production Company producing All That Glitters has used any of my ideas.   And I repeat - it is impossible to PATENT AN IDEA.  

It was actually a friend who sent an email and told me about the forthcoming series and expressed her surprise that I wasn’t involved. She was one of many friends well aware of my project. 

I"m sure you can imagine my Anger, my frustration.  The series is being presented by a Comedienne.  For several years now Documentaries and Travel Programmes have been presented by Actors etc.  A few of them make good presenters and many do not. Just because one can talk does not make for a good interviewer.   I am tired of those who ask a question of a guest and then say WOW and often miss the 'nitty-gritty' of getting a good answer.

Friends have suggested that I forget the Challenge and make a series of programmes about the Cursed Jewels for Youtube - but I've neither the Finance nor the Technical Expertise to do so.

Take care and stay safe.

Not a very happy Jan.   

Photo - a few of the pieces I made at Adult Ed classes. Centre of Crucifix was a brooch left to me by a friend and as I don't wear brooches I utilised it in a necklace cross.



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