Carmen Lbc London Alan Titchmarsh Show Itv

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: 3rd September 2008

On Saturday went with friends to see a production of Carmen in a marquee in the grounds of Leeds Castle.  The parking and disabled facilities were woefully inadequate and though we got my friend to the Marquee via the Landtrain, there were no such niceties after the show and she had to walk until we finally managed to flag down one of the 'trains' having already been passed by a grumpy employee (met on the inward journey) who passed us even though he had room in the back of his vehicle.  It then took us an hour to leave.  I'd not go there again unless it was someone I'd almost kill to see like Lionel Ritchie or Tina Turner.

 Carmen was enjoyable.  The Orchestra was very good indeed and the female singers were strong - particularly Don Jose's fiancée (sorry can't give names as programmes weren't that visible and I'm tired of paying a fortune for a booklet which just goes on a pile).  The much advertised 'Horses' were adorable though not much in step.  They had a Black horse with the feathers of a Shire (couldn't understand that) and he was such a showman,  he was a joy to watch.  The band should have been given lessons in deportment - they strolled on in a lacklustre fashion in ill fitting uniforms.  And as for the 'Surtitles' they were a waste of time.  Anyone more than a few rows back could not have read the words.  I appreciate that in the round, one can't have the words above the stage but the two screens could easily have had larger type which might have enabled a few more of us to read them.  Carmen is my favourite opera and you'd have to do a great deal to destroy the music of Bizet so, in that sense, it was enjoyable and, of course, a lot less expensive than going to the Coliseum or the Royal Opera House - but it was the facilities which ruined the event for me.

LBC - London

Great furore this week over Selina Scott bringing an action against Channel 5 on the grounds of Age discrimination.  Apparently she'd been in talks to take over from Natasha Kaplinsky during her maternity leave. Then a young man from the BBC comes in to Head Channel 5 and decides to reneg on her 'offer/contract' and brings in two 30 year olds.  So Miss Scott fires off a broadside.  Must say, I admire her courage - I don't think I would dare.  With hindsight, I should have brought a case years ago against the BBC for wrongful dismissal having worked for them for 7 years, won many awards and popularity polls and been dismissed on the pretext that I wasn't a journalist (although I had belonged to the NUJ but resigned because of it's politics) and that they were changing the format.  The format didn't change for ages and they retained Moira who was even less of a journalist than I was.  At least I'd had 15 years of Television Experience as a reporter, interviewer, presenter.  Ah well, it was a long time ago and I was badly advised by my agent (IMG - the biggest in London).  Mind you, in 1987 you could only be employed by the BBC or ITV so had you fallen out with one, you would really have queered your pitch.  The stupid thing is that no journalist could possibly cover all the stories passing through the News Room each day, therefore many would be written by others. 

Anyway I was invited to take part in a Phone in with Nick Ferrari on LBC.  He is an extremely good Chat Show host and I thoroughly enjoyed the repartee with Nick defending the 'nubile young thing' role and me asking why Good Presentation and Gravitas no longer seem to count.  I was a bit naughty and asked why we couldn't have the older woman and the toyboy presenting the news.  IF ONLY ........

Then in the afternoon I was a guest on the Titchmarsh Show - again discussing the same subject of Older women in TV. Alan is a very good host  and the format reminded me of the good old days of Pebble Mill at One.  I was in the hot seat with Kelvin McKenzie (ex editor of The Sun) and was very concerned that he'd make mincemeat of me but he was like a pussy cat and quite amiable.

 It's always difficult under the spotlight to give appropriate answers no matter how well prepared one is.  I'm told I conducted myself well and looked good.  But the joy to me was that the audience were given a poll and asked who, of the older presenters, they'd like to see back on TV and mine was one of the names on the list -  and they were completely unaware that I was to be on the show.  If only the Programme Heads would take note ....................


 On Sunday, Jonathan and I will be going to the show at the London Palladium.  It's in aid of the RAFA Benevolent Fund and is a night of nostalgia - 40's and all that sort of thing.  I've been asked to take part in The Lambeth Walk on stage, so I hope my son isn't too embarrassed.

 Till next week.   Best wishes,  Jan

 P.S.       And I will ask Simon to get some pictures into the Gallery of my flight with the Blades which was stupendous.

 P.P.S    Next week I  am going to have a go at 'Salsa'.  One of the lovely ladies I've met through Juice Plus is taking me under her wing - so watch this space.

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