My Mentor: Diane Louise Jordan on Lewis Bronze

‘To start with, i was an appalling presenter. He should have let me go, but didn’t’
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The Independent Online

I first met Lewis when I interviewed for Blue Peter in 1990. It was odd because I was probably one of the few people in the country who didn't get what a big deal Blue Peter was. I'd always been a Magpie girl, the short-lived ITV attempt at a hip Blue Peter. So I had only really heard of Biddy Baxter, the previous editor, and wasn't even aware Lewis was the new editor.

In my first interview with Lewis I felt like I had been caught speeding and brought into the local police cell. He was very dismissive of me and at the same time completely terrifying. So my first impression of him wasn't good, I was absolutely petrified of him.

But he surprised me by offering me the job and I soon started to see the warmth and humanity he had to offer. He said that he'd seen qualities in me that I hadn't even seen in myself. And I think this was the beginning of me realising what an amazing mentor he would be to me.

To start with I was an appalling presenter. He really should have let me go but he didn't. So I knew he believed in me and I knew that he kept me there when any other editor would have got rid of me. Nonetheless he was frightening all the way through; he never let that guard down and was regimental in his discipline. Thankfully he went out of his way give me the idiot's guide to being a presenter.

We are still very close today. I joined Blue Peter when my daughter was little, so she has known Lewis all her life and considers him an uncle. It has gone beyond the professional. He still advises me, even when I don't want it, and he still calls me up and gives me notes. I think he still believes he's my boss.

Other people can flatter my ego but he's just not interested in that. He's a total truth-teller, so if I get a compliment I know he means it.

Diane Louise Jordan presents 'Songs of Praise' on BBC One. Lewis Bronze was editor of 'Blue Peter' from 1988 to 1996