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‘Angry and upset’ ex-newsreader Jan Leeming says she pitched idea for All That Glitters

‘Angry and upset’ ex-newsreader Jan Leeming says she pitched idea for All That Glitters reality show to the BBC in 2017 and fears they ‘hijacked’ it without her

  • Jan Leeming, 79, said she was ‘angry’ after watching All That Glitters last month
  • She said she pitched idea to BBC in 2017 after taking jewellery-making classes  
  • Leeming was told production company did not want to go ahead with her idea
  • All That Glitters features Canadian actor and comedian Kathryn Ryan at the helm

A former BBC newsreader has claimed she pitched the idea for a All That Glitters reality show in 2017.

Jan Leeming, 79, said she was ‘angry and upset’ to see the show air on television with comedian Katherine Ryan at the helm.

All That Glitters: Britain’s Next Jewellery Star appeared for the first time on BBC Two on April 13. It features two expert judges and a series of heats in a format not unlike The Great British Bake Off or The Great British Sewing Bee.

Leeming said a surprised friend emailed her after it aired to comment on the fact she was not presenting it, reported The Telegraph.

Jan Leeming (pictured), 79, said she was ‘angry and upset’ to see the show air on television with comedian Katherine Ryan at the helm

She told her Twitter followers she ‘put [an] identical proposal to the Corporation in 2017 – it is impossible to patent an idea, so who is to say who got there first’. 

She said the programme did have ‘all the elements’ of her original idea. 

Leeming said she thought of the idea after taking jewellery-making classes. She said a BBC executive forwarded it to a production company but she was told they would not be going forward with her proposal.

Of not being asked to present it, she told the newspaper: ‘When I saw it I was very upset and yes, I do have an axe to grind because comedians and actors are out of their environment. An actor needs a script, an interviewer doesn’t.’   

All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star appeared for the first time on BBC Two on April 13. It features two expert judges and a series of heats. Pictured, Kathryn Ryan presents and Shaun Leane, right, is one of two judges

All That Glitters: Britain’s Next Jewellery Star appeared for the first time on BBC Two on April 13. It features two expert judges and a series of heats. Pictured, Kathryn Ryan presents and Shaun Leane, right, is one of two judges

On her blog she wrote: ‘Yes, I am gutted that All That Glitters has been made the way it has and 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.’ 

A BBC spokesman said: ‘All That Glitters is an original format developed by Twenty Twenty Productions.’

It comes after viewers were left cold by the opening episode of the show, with many taking to Twitter to brand its judges ‘wooden and dull’.

All That Glitters – similar to the format of Bake Off, but with jewellery instead of cakes – sees eight talented jewellers battle it out in two tasks over the course of six weeks. 

It’s hosted by Canadian comedian Ms Ryan, while the contestants are competing to impress judges Solange Azagury-Partridge and Shaun Leane.

But while many viewers were impressed by the skills and craftsmanship on show, many claimed the programme lacked the warmth of fellow talent shows The Great British Sewing Bee and The Great Pottery Showdown. 

Jewellery maker to the stars Shaun Leane, who designed Princess Beatrice’s  engagement ring and wedding band, says he wants to find the ‘new fearless, driven, ambitious jeweller of our generation’, while Solange Azagury-Partridge, whose pieces are displayed in museums around the world including the V&A, warns she doesn’t have a ‘poker face’.

‘If I don’t like something, I’m afraid it will be very apparent,’ she said in the opening montage, before later telling a contestant his piece is ‘not very original’.   

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