Friday, 13 July 2018

25 Examples of Jan Leeming Being a BBC News Fashion Icon


For many years, all I knew about Jan Leeming was that she briefly appeared in the 1985 Roland Rat Christmas special Roland's Yuletide Binge. When I got a little older I discovered that she had been a BBC newsreader. And, many years later, after trawling through innumerable VHS tapes of old TV recordings, I realised just how fantastic a newsreader she was. Blessed with an innate calmness, yet complemented by an authoritative air, Leeming delivered the news with all the chutzpah of a classic BBC newsreader.

However, what I also noticed with all this old footage of Leeming was that she was an absolutely amazing dresser during her tenure on the various 1980s BBC News programmes. Versatility was the key to her style success as she mixed polka dot blouses, knitwear with embellishments going in all directions and even dungarees. It's easy to mock 1980s fashion, but Leeming always pulled it off with consummate ease. Whilst Princess Diana may have been getting all the plaudits for her fashion sense, Leeming was matching her at every step.

And, to celebrate this sartorial elegance, I decided to gather together 25 examples of Jan Leeming being a BBC News fashion icon.

1.

2.

3. 

4.

5. 

6.

7. 

8.

9.

10.

11.

12. 

13.

14.

15.

16.

17. 

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

So, it should be evident to anyone with even an ounce's worth of taste that Leeming managed to pull of every single one of these outfits. They're no doubt helped by her fantastic hair and the iconic aesthetics of those ancient BBC News studios, but even if you removed these factors, these frocks, jumpers and blouses would still be beyond compare.

Let me know which of them are you favourites in the comments below!

6 comments:

  1. #24 looks like an Early Evening News Christmas special!

    Have you kept notes of the date of each screenshot? It would be interesting to know.

    I've been trying to make informed guesses, based on the fashions of what Jan's wearing and how she's styled her hair, as well as the changing design of the newsroom. Occasionally, the card behind her offers a helpful clue, such as in #7!

    We know that Jan Leeming was a BBC newsreader from 1980-87. These are my estimates of which year each picture comes from...:

    1. 1984
    2. 1987
    3. 1985
    4. 1980
    5. 1980
    6. 1980
    7. 1984
    8. 1986
    9. 1984
    10. 1982
    11. 1984
    12. 1983
    13. 1983
    14. 1982
    15. 1987
    16. 1981
    17. 1985
    18. 1983
    19. 1986
    20. 1980
    21. 1984
    22. 1980
    23. 1986
    24. 1983
    25. 1981

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    Replies
    1. I didn't keep note of the dates, unfortunately, as I didn't feel they were too relevant to the piece. However, number 24 is definitely a Christmas Day edition as I remember reading that alongside the video it came from!

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    2. Oh and number 11 is from 1982 as that's one that I found on VHS.

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  2. I've found 18 of them. Only got 7 right, but I did get all the rest within a margin of two years, with two exceptions. I had 10 down as 1982, when its really 1985 - that very heavy knitwear was really a mid-eighties thing. Conversely, I had 17 (cream satin with bird print) as 1985, when it's actually from 1982 - Jan was ahead of her time!

    1. 1982
    2. 1986
    6. 1980
    7. 1984
    8. 1984
    9. 1984
    10. 1985
    11. 1982
    12. 1982
    13. 1982
    14. 1981
    17. 1982
    18. 1983
    19. 1985
    20. 1980
    22. 1980
    24. 1984
    25. 1981

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  3. I always preferred Frances Coverdale when it comes to early 80's BBC newsreaders!

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  4. You should've slipped in one of Pamela Stephenson from NTNON https://youtu.be/KUYCjwNeHG0?t=16s

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