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Jenny Foster

11 February 2014

Jenny Foster, a Researcher member of FOCAL International since 1996 sadly passed away 10th February.

Jenny started her television career at the BBC library but left in the early 1980s to become a freelance film researcher. She was equally skilled working on programmes about pop groups as she was dealing with current affairs, science, the arts or entertainment. ‘I first met Jenny around 1985 when she came to help me on a particularly demanding programme at London Weekend Television,’ said FOCAL’s Julie Lewis. "It was pure joy to have someone of her calibre to help ease the pressure and it also marked the start of a lasting friendship."

Jenny’s credits while at LWT included: The London Programme, The South Bank Show and The Dame Edna Experience and former colleagues remarked that ‘she was a real asset to the research team.’

From 1988 until1992, Jenny became a Staff Archive Researcher for Yorkshire Television working on programmes such as The World This Week, Network First and First Tuesday. Jenny then returned to the BBC specializing in science based documentaries. Amongst her numerous credits there Jenny worked on two landmark series Robert Winston’s The Human Mind and The Human Body. She was also particularly proud of working on Supervolcano as well as many series of Horizon.

Fellow Researcher Jane Rundle remarked on the amusing sight of Jenny surrounded by a fortress of tapes and said, “Her knowledge of the best volcanic eruptions and the best tsunamis, and who they belonged to, was quite amazing!”

Andrew Cohen, Head of Science at the BBC said, “She was such a wonderful member of the department over many years.”

Countless other tributes have been paid to Jenny by the people she worked with - the libraries she sourced footage from - and the facility houses she used - the common theme is of a highly respected, first class researcher, and more than that, a truly lovely lady!

"Jenny was so respected in this industry and was a full and active member of FOCAL International where she served on the Executive for a time," said FOCAL’s Anne Johnson.

"She attended many of our social events where everyone was enthralled with her exciting stories, her wicked smile, her laughter and her joie de vivre," added Julie Lewis.

A congenital problem with her kidneys meant that Jenny had to endure a kidney transplant in 2004. Jenny’s second husband Mike (pictured above) became the donor and both recovered well and were able to continue enjoying a full and adventurous life - a place in France, moving home from Teddington to Wales and then Hebden Bridge, but it was only recently that she returned south to Brighton. Sadly she wasn't to enjoy her retirement there for long, having been diagnosed with cancer last May. Jenny leaves a daughter Jo and son Nick and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.


Andrew Cohen, Head of Science at the BBC said: “She was such a wonderful member of the department over many years.”

Series Producer Zoe Heron said: “She was a pillar of the Science Department - sourcing brilliant archive that often saved our bacon - and a true pleasure to work with.”

Producer Giles Harrison said: “She had an encyclopaedic knowledge which she was happy to share with everyone. She always found what you were looking for - and always did it with a smile. She was a crucial and well-loved part of the team.”

Peter Leonard, Series Producer of Science Britannica said: “Jenny was an astute judge of what worked in TV. She was a brilliant film researcher – but also a fantastic person to have around - engaging, thoughtful and witty.”

Very sad indeed - Christine Whittaker
So sad – she was such a life force. Jane Rundle, BBC Science
Very sad to hear this news. She was a lovely lady and very well respected both professionally and socially. Robin James, BBC Motion Gallery / Getty Images
That is very sad indeed. Orly Yadin, Footage Farm
She did always seem fun and happy ...she was a hotshot film researcher. Jo Stones
Another legend leaves us. Very sad news. Lovely lady. James Hunt
Very sad news indeed. Declan Smith
She knew about archive, but she still persevered to get the exact information. Adam Gotch, BBC Archive
Awfully sad news. Tricia Power
I am truly sorry to hear this news. She was such a smiley happy woman who always gave me the time of day. My heart goes out to her family. Kate Griffiths
Particularly sad to get this news, she was a really lovely person. Kate Newington
A joy to work with, a dear friend and very special lady, full of style and joie de vivre - I'm so sad. Julie Lewis
What miserable news. Jerry Kuehl
Jenny was so respected in this industry and was very supportive on the FOCAL International Executive for many years. We have lost a lovely lady and friend. Thoughts go out to Mike and family at this sad time. Anne Johnson
So sorry to hear. Very sad news. Jenny was such a lovely person and great researcher, and everyone at AP Archive loved working with her. Veronique Foucault, AP Archive
Such a shame, a lovely person. Val Evans
So sad. Helen Bennitt
I feel beyond words. Maggi Cook
Jenny was such a lovely person, always full of fun and laughter. Rosalind Bentley
Such sad news about our friend, lovely lady, and we all go back a long way with her, we will
miss her. Susan Huxley
She was wonderful - as well as what everyone has said, she was a very sympathetic friend
to work alongside, particularly if things didn't sometimes go according to plan. Very sad indeed - and hard to believe. Judy Patterson
I am so sad to hear about Jenny. She had been through a lot and managed to carry on so well. Gerard Wilkinson
Devastatingly sad news. Jenny was so loved, and such a dear person to know. I am so sorry. Victoria Stable
I was VERY sad to hear the news of Jenny.  I can hear her voice now, telling some funny story with a wicked little smile; she will be much missed! Ann Williams
 was very sorry to hear about Jenny. Alison McAllan
Jenny was full of fun and a great asset when we had a pool of Film Researchers in LWT days and a sad loss to everyone that knew her. Nick Ray
I remember Jenny so well when she was at London Weekend Television. A lovely, considerate woman who was a first class film researcher. Phil Windeatt