Ren Mouchotte Bbc North Region

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: 21st February 2013


It is interesting isn’t it how often I was turned down by Production Companies, Commissioning Editors etc. when they were offered the story of my search for René Mouchotte. This time last year the Commissioning Editors of BBC 2 and 4 declined to take up the story and yet the Regional Commissiong Editor of BBC SE had faith in me as a presenter and in the material on offer and my documentary – although far too short – was made. I have recently learned that a cut version was shown last week on BBC South and this coming Monday, 25th February, another cut and modified version will be shown on BBC North. When you think of the population density of these regions, by my reckoning half the country have now had the opportunity to watch ‘Searching for René’.

I had to go to Tunbridge Wells on Thursday to record the new Voice Over for the Northern version of the programme. This edition will focus more on the help given me by Ian Reed, Director of the Yorkshire Air Museum who had access to Archival and Museum material which it would have been difficult for me to acquire. Not only that but he helped me with financing the three trips to France and hire of the cameraman – the more recent filmed visit was funded by the BBC.

So many people have helped me along the way over the last 5 years and I wanted to pay tribute to them all in the documentary but there simply wasn’t time – as it stood we had to leave out oodles of interesting material. My original interview with René’s sister lasted for over a half hour and she gave me snippets of information which are not contained in his diaries and material to which only the family are privy.

My friend, an ex BBC Producer/Editor who helped enormously in getting the programme aired had business in Tunbridge Wells and offered to drive me there because I had to record the VO for BBC North. My friend is also Chairman of the Dickens Fellowship. That evening they had a Birthday meeting in Chatham to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the great man. So I was invited along. I have to admit that apart from filming a programme a decade ago at Gad’s Hill, Dickens’ home, and of course knowing about his most famous stories, I am not too familiar with his lesser known works. And what a treat was in store which I will deal with under a separate heading.


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