Former newsreader Jan Leeming helps to celebrate RAF anniversary

York Press: Former BBC newsreader Jan Leeming and Yorkshire Air Museum director Ian Reed arrive at the De Grey Rooms Former BBC newsreader Jan Leeming and Yorkshire Air Museum director Ian Reed arrive at the De Grey Rooms

VIPs were out in force for a sell-out event to welcome the Tour de France to Yorkshire - and got the red carpet treatment from Jan Leeming.

The BBC presenter, actress, and past winner of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here was Master of Ceremonies for La Grande Soirée des Officiers Français.

The black tie event on Wednesday was a collaboration between the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum, City of York Council, York Theatre Royal, Jurade de St. Emillion and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

It was organised to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the arrival in York of the two French Squadrons of RAF Bomber Command, based at RAF Elvington and, due to the timing, to help celebrate the Stage 2 Grand Départ of the Tour de France in the city on Sunday.

Jan Leeming and Museum director Ian Reed arrived in style in a 1930's white Citroen Traction Avant cabriolet, which will be taking part in the Tour de France cavalcade and is expected to travel all the way to Paris.

Ms Leeming, also vice president of the Air Museum, greeted guests at the Champagne reception held in the elegant, early Victorian ballroom on St Leonard’s Place.

Diners who paid £80 a head enjoyed a four-course French dinner served with a selection of fine wines courtesy of the Jurade de St Emillion.

Entertainment was provided by Jean-Jacques Delaunay and his Paris-based band in the chandeliered ballroom that was once the favourite haunt of the officers of the French Air Force.

Guests included the York civic party, as well as representatives of the French military, with Colonel Nicholas Chambaz, French Air Attaché to the United Kingdom, Lt. Col. Dominic Caligaris, French Liaison Officer, HQ RAF High Wycombe and Major Olivier Renard, President of Souvenir Français UK.

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