Jan Leeming

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Jan Leeming
Jan Leeming and a 3 yr old cheetah 12s2004.jpg
Jan Leeming with a three-year-old cheetah in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa
Janet Dorothy Atkins

(1942-01-05) 5 January 1942 (age 77)
Barnehurst, Kent, England
OccupationTV presenter and newsreader.
Websitewww.jan-leeming.com Edit this at Wikidata

Jan Leeming (born Janet Dorothy Atkins; 5 January 1942) is an English TV presenter and newsreader.

Early life and personal life[edit]

Born in Barnehurst, Kent, England,[1][2] and educated at the Assumption Convent, Charlton & St. Joseph's Convent Grammar School, Abbey Wood.

She has been married five times.


Presenter and actress[edit]

She worked as an actress and presenter in Australia and New Zealand before becoming a well-known face on British television in regional and children's programmes. An early UK TV role came in the BBC sitcom Hugh and I in December 1966.[3] In 1969, she joined the presenting team of BBC1's children's science programme Tom Tom, which she co-hosted until 1970.[4] In 1976, she fronted the 10–part BBC2 handicraft series Knitting Fashion[5] which was repeated several times through to 1978 and from 1977, she was the anchor of the BBC's regional programme Zodiac & Co for the South West area,[6] switching to the Midlands for the regional show Midlands Tonight in 1979.[7] Leeming began a long stint presenting the Monday–Friday BBC1 afternoon show Pebble Mill at One between 1976 and 1979, during which time she also often co-presented Radio 4's Woman's Hour.[8] Beginning in April 1980, she became one of Britain's best-known newsreaders across the BBC and also hosted the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest.

She has kept a relatively low profile since leaving the newsroom in 1987,[9] with bit parts and one-off specials including as a stand-in newsreader for the Channel 4's breakfast show The Big Breakfast during the 1990s. Her recent appearances include one as herself in the film Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, starring Tom Courtenay, in 1999; and latterly on The Harry Hill Show; So Graham Norton; Lowri; Good Morning Australia; Esther and Through the Keyhole.[citation needed] At the Barbican she presented the RAF concert to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Since 2000, much of her time has been spent in corporate work and her longtime passion working with a cheetah conservation charity in South Africa. She appeared in Safari School, a reality television series, which was first broadcast on BBC Two during January and February 2007.

In February 2010, Leeming appeared in a special celebrity episode of the dining programme Come Dine with Me for Channel 4.

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here![edit]

In November 2006, Leeming was a contestant on the sixth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! on ITV. Leeming has done a record number of six 'Bush Tucker' trials.[citation needed] For one of the trials, Leeming volunteered and for the other five she was voted to do them by the British public. Some of her trials included being lowered into a dark tunnel with various unpleasant creatures, shut in a box amongst snakes, jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet to catch falling stars and having to eat various insects and Australian delicacies to win food for camp. During that trial, Leeming ate a vomit fruit and a witchety grub smoothie. However, she refused to eat a kangaroo's eye, tongue, anus and reproductive organs. Leeming was evicted on the 19th day of the series where she came 6th.

Searching for René[edit]

In 2013, Leeming researched, wrote and presented a Documentary on WW2 Free French Pilot - René Mouchotte. BBC 1 South East 'Inside Out' Currently considering writing a book about her 6 year extensive Search. Through her research she met the Director of the Allied Air Forces Museum at Elvington near York.[10] Ian Reed was able to source historic material which added to Leeming's programme. She is now a Vice President of the Museum.[citation needed]

The Real Marigold Hotel[edit]

In January and February 2016, Leeming appeared in the three-part BBC series The Real Marigold Hotel, which followed a group of celebrity senior citizens including Miriam Margolyes and Wayne Sleep on a journey to India.[11] In December 2017, she also appeared in the second season of The Real Marigold on Tour to Havana.[12]

Celebrity First Dates[edit]

Broadcast on 2 November 2017, Leeming took part in a special celebrity edition of Channel 4's First Dates, in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.[13]

Money for Nothing[edit]

Celebrity edition. Leeming donated the money raised to Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys.[14]

Marigolds on Tour - Cuba[edit]

Leeming joined Miriam Margolyes, Wayne Sleep and Bobby George in BBC 1 programme 'Marigolds on Tour'[15] when they visited Cuba to look at how Cubans treat their elderly and the way the elderly spend their retirement. She also went on a date with a local.

Hotel Marigold on Tour - Argentina[edit]

In February 2019 Leeming joined Sheila Ferguson, Wayne Sleep and Paul Nicholas in BBC 1 programme 'Hotel Marigold on Tour'[16] when they visited Buenos Aires, Argentina.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The story of a true hero". Kent Online. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Biography - Jan Leeming". www.jan-leeming.com.
  3. ^ "Hugh and I". 8 December 1966. p. 37 – via BBC Genome.
  4. ^ "Tom Tom". 20 November 1969. p. 43 – via BBC Genome.
  5. ^ "Knitting Fashion". 14 October 1976. p. 33 – via BBC Genome.
  6. ^ "Regional programmes". 24 November 1977. p. 66 – via BBC Genome.
  7. ^ "Regional programmes". 1 February 1979. p. 62 – via BBC Genome.
  8. ^ "Woman's Hour". 12 October 1978. p. 61 – via BBC Genome.
  9. ^ L is for ... – tv.cream.org
  10. ^ "Museum role for Jan Leeming". York Press.
  11. ^ "Series 1, The Real Marigold Hotel - The female residents - BBC One". BBC.
  12. ^ "Cuba, Series 2, The Real Marigold on Tour - BBC Two". BBC.
  13. ^ "Celebrity First Dates with Roman Kemp, Sinitta and Michael Fabricant: Everything you need to know". London Evening Standard. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  14. ^ Jan Leeming http://www.jan-leeming.com/blog/3014-money-for-nothing. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "The Real Marigold on Tour - BBC Two". BBC.
  16. ^ "The Real Marigold on Tour - BBC Two". BBC.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Doireann Ní Bhriain
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
Succeeded by
Marlene Charell