Place In The Sun star calls for TV di­ver­sity

Place In The Sun pre­sen­ter calls for more di­ver­sity on screen

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Bill Gibb [email protected] – Jean Jo­hans­son

TV pre­sen­ter Jean Jo­hans­son has just started her dream job but says there is still a lot to be done to get more di­ver­sity on the small-screen.

Jean wel­comes more black, Asian and mi­nor­ity eth­nic (BAME) faces on TV but fears too few have won a per­ma­nent, prime-time pre­sent­ing role.

The broad­caster, whose dad is Scots and mum Ugan­dan, said: “You have to put your TV on and de­cide for your­self if there is enough di­ver­sity,

“Are there enough BAME prime­time house­hold name pre­sen­ters? I can’t re­ally name any now in 2018.

“When we’ve got black pre­sen­ters fronting the X Fac­tor and The One Show and I’m A Celebrity – I mean reg­u­larly, not stand-in pre­sen­ters or re­porters – then we’ll be closer to nor­mal­is­ing see­ing eth­nic mi­nori­ties on telly.

“We’re def­i­nitely not there yet al­though there have been big im­prove­ments over the last few years.”

Mak­ing her de­but on pop­u­lar prop­erty show A Place In The Sun last week, Jean, 36, re­vealed it was sec­ond time lucky. The pre­sen­ter, who is mar­ried to for­mer Rangers player and now Mor­ton man­ager Jonatan Jo­hans­son, first ap­plied for the job two years back but lost out to an­other Scot, pre­sen­ter Danni Men­zies

“It was a mas­sive blow and I didn’t think it would come up again be­cause no­body leaves A Place In The Sun,” said Jean, who has a sev­enyear-old son, Ju­nior.

“I was happy when I heard Danni got it as it was an­other Scot­tish pre­sen­ter but I thought I’d blown it.

“In my per­sonal life I prob­a­bly wasn’t as set­tled, as my son was that lit­tle bit younger and it’s hard to leave them. Now he’s two years older and is well into school with a great rou­tine.

“When it came up again I thought I re­ally want to get it and I think that de­ter­mi­na­tion might have got me through.

“Tim­ing is ev­ery­thing and I feel I was meant to get it now.”

In the mean­time, Jean landed roles on The One Show, An­i­mal Park and This Morn­ing, be­com­ing a bet­ter-known face hav­ing pre­vi­ously worked on kids’ TV and pre­sent­ing weather bul­letins for STV.

It still took three days of screen tests at a glam­orous Lon­don home be­fore she heard she’d been suc­cess­ful.

“I did shed tears of joy,” said Jean. “Be­ing a face on Chan­nel 4 day­time is just per­fect for me. I’m not a kids’ pre­sen­ter any more who’s lively and bub­bly and in your face.”

And Jean reck­ons she has also ma­tured as far as her gen­eral at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iour are con­cerned. “As you get older you be­come a dif­fer­ent per­son and your pri­or­i­ties change,” said Jean.

“I’m am­bi­tious with­out be­ing ruth­less or com­pet­i­tive.

“I don’t grudge any­one get­ting any job now, while in my 20s I prob­a­bly was that bit more ruth­less and a bit more bitchy. I just con­cen­trate on my­self and not what any­one else is do­ing.”

Jean has plenty of house-hunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to pass on, hav­ing upped sticks reg­u­larly dur­ing Jonatan’s play­ing ca­reer.

“There’s a lot of emo­tions in­volved and I al­ways tell my house hunters to go with their gut,” adds Jean.

“When I’ve done that things usu­ally work out all right but when I’ve ig­nored a gut feel­ing I’ve ended up in trou­ble.

“If there’s any­thing nig­gling you, you can’t push it to the back.

“We moved to Swe­den when Jonatan played for Malmo and I wanted to be next to the train sta­tion so I could hop over to Copen­hagen.

“But it was such a noisy flat be­cause you could hear the trains come in and out.

“The first train was at 5am and you’d hear it screech­ing out.”

Do­mes­tic life is work­ing out well for Jean with their home just a 15-minute drive from the sta­dium and 20 min­utes from the train­ing ground. It means Jonatan can do the school run when Jean is on her reg­u­lar film­ing trips to Span­ish sun spots and beyond.

“I go away for a week at a time and I’ve got a good work-life bal­ance at the mo­ment,” adds Jean.

A Place In The Sun, week­days, 4pm, Chan­nel 4.

TV host Jean Johnans­son just landed a prime role on prop­erty show A Place In The Sun

Jean with hus­band Jonatan

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