The Press Damned If You Do And Damned If You Dont

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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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.

THE PRESS - damned if you do and damned if you don't

Date: 5th May 2021

THE PRESS - Damned if you do and damned if you don’t

Some time ago a journalist took what I’d written on Twitter and on my Website and somehow turned it round to adversely affect me. I had declined the opportunity to give an interview over what I’d said regarding the payment of the Licence Fee. What I actually said and how it was interpreted were totally different. The Headline was that JL attacked the BBC.

I was certainly not attacking the BBC by saying that I slightly objected to paying the Licence Fee as there was little on Terrestrial TV that I watched it being full of repeats, Reality and Woke programmes.

Having refused an interview the journalist wrote an article anyway and made me out to be attacking the BBC.

The BBC has been my employer on and off over many decades and I’ve been please and proud to work for the Corporation as a Secretary when I left College and in programmes such as ‘Tom Tom’ ‘Pebble Mill at One’ ; Reading the news for 7 years; getting a taste of the wild in ‘Safari School’; visiting India with The Real Marigold Hotel and Argentina and Cuba with Marigolds on tour.
I’m hardly likely to bite the hand that feeds me.

I am now being accused of ‘Attacking the BBC again’ because I wrote on Twitter and my Website how gutted I was to see All that Glitters with a Comedian as the Presenter and using Jewellers with years of experience rather than gifted Amateurs who might have encouraged the public to take up Jewellery Making as a hobby- sometimes lucrative. (I bought pieces from other students) I took Jewellery making and Silver smithing at Adult Education classes and was amazed at what some of the students were producing. Not only did I enjoy the creative process but it was a chance to meet and make friends with members of the public from all walks of life. Adult Education classes are a very good antidote to Social Isolation.

Most of the Challenge Programmes have led to Take Up by members of the public and that is what I wanted with my “Jewellery Challenge’ - All that Glitters is hardly likely to do that. For a start the jewellers are working in a fully equipped Jewellery Department with all the machinery needed to produce the kind of pieces being made by the competitors on the current programme. It is possible to make relatively simple pieces at home on the kitchen table - even setting jewels - with the minimum of equipment. For the more advanced pieces, yes you do need the rolling machines and the high intensity heat which is not possible at home and for which you would need to attend a fully equipped workshop as would be available at Adult Education Establishments.

I took part in a ‘Cash in the Attic’ and gave away some of my artefacts; praising my Teacher to the heights. The result was that the following term, I couldn’t get a place in the class! Also I’d reached the extent of my capability so the classes stopped for me.

I spent a long time and fruitless approaches trying to get a ‘Jewellery Challenge’ off the ground (was met with the comment that Jewellery is Elitist) and did send my proposal to a Commissioning Editor for BBC 2 in 2017 who asked if she could pass on the Proposal to a Production Company. Of course, I agreed as how else am I going to get my project off the ground. I heard no more for months and when I finally got in touch was told that the talks with the Production Company had come to nought. (I never knew the name of the Company). Then 4 years later I see a programme series so close to my original proposal as to wonder whether my idea was hijacked.

You can’t patent an idea - all I have is an unopened registered envelope addressed to myself (a tip given me by Michael Grade (Lord) decades ago) with the Proposal. There is no way I can prove that my concept led to All that Glitters.

I was approached by a lady from the Telegraph with regard to my attacking the BBC. I didn’t want to give an interview but as I said at the top ‘You are damned if you do and Damned if you don’t’. I did speak with her and she seemed charming so I hope I don’t get a misrepresentative press.
I’m very thin skinned and hurt easily and in the past many is the time I’ve wept over what journalists have written about me - very little of which was actually true. Unless one is very rich, you can’t take on the Press and have to take the Blows on the chin.

So Yes I am gutted that All that Glitters has been made the way it has and that I am not the Presenter - I’m only human but I do know a lot about Jewellery, Jewels and Jewellery Making which I doubt the Comedian does. I’m even more upset that as I see it an opportunity had been missed to introduce members of the public to the joys and creativity of making a piece of Jewellery for yourself.

But there is a trend - heaven knows why - to use Actors and Comedians to present Documentaries etc. Actors and Comedians perform to a script. Interviewers and Presenters interview the guests and present them in the best light - they are not the stars of the Programme.

There was one element I suggested which has not been taken up and I’m keeping that close to my bosom as it were! However if All that Glitters does not elicit a favourable press, I feel that any programmes about or surrounding Jewellery will be dead in the water. Programme makers and Commissioning Editors only want to build success on success. They don’t often stick their noses above the Parapet. 

 

Below a few of the pieces I made at Adult Education Classes.  I cut out the silver cross but the elaborate interior is from a brooch left to me by a very good Friend.  I don't wear brooches so it seemed the best way of honouring her memory.  RIP Griselle Linday/Beauchamp

THE PRESS - damned if you do and damned if you don't

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