A trim, blonde housewife and mother of two children, Mrs. Robert Daniel fits in well with the smart, suburban atmosphere of Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire.
And as Jean Morton, sparkling-eyed actress, commentator, interviewer and TV personality, she’s becoming part of the pattern of television in the Midlands. She is ATV’s new staff announcer.
Jean has been happily married for 10 years. She lived in Cardiff until a year ago, when her husband, a sales engineer, moved to the Midlands. They have two children — Eloise (9) and Gavin (6).
Although her professional activities take her all over the country, Jean spends a lot of time at Sutton Coldfield. Recently she was elected to the committee of the local Conservative Club. “I find the work very interesting,” says Jean. “That’s what comes of sitting in the front row at one of the meetings!”
Besides working extensively in television, Jean is in demand for fashion commentaries. She is booked by fashion houses throughout the country, and was engaged at the recent Homes and Gardens Exhibition in Birmingham.
Her ability as a fashion commentator stems from her work in a programme called What’s New in Nylon, which came from Cardiff. She made such an impact that she’s been in demand ever since.
Christian Dior was so impressed by the way she described a visit to his costume jewellery factory in Wales that he presented her with a brooch.
In addition to her three days a week as ATV staff announcer, Jean travels to Manchester every weekend to appear in the advertising magazine What’s In Store.
Jean views her busy life realistically: “I come home after every job and get down to domestic chores. There are lots of things only a mother can do. Washing the children’s hair is one. It’s no use getting starry-eyed about mixing with mink and diamond tiaras when you have to get down to brass tacks as soon as you get home.”
It was her daughter Eloise who first gave Jean the idea of approaching ATV. “You always seem to be working from London or Manchester, Mummy,” she said. “Why don’t you try and do something from Birmingham?”
Jean took her daughter’s advice. It has certainly proved sound.
Like Noele Gordon, with whom she toured in Black Velvet for three years, Jean is a Scot. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and went into repertory. At the height of the blitz she joined Black Velvet. During the run she became engaged.
“My husband, Bob, was a childhood sweetheart,” she recalls. “I hadn’t seen him for years — until the show happened to be playing at Dudley. One night an Army officer came backstage to see me. It was Bob. Stationed nearby, he had seen my name on the posters and called round.
“From then on we saw each other as often as possible. Then Bob was sent to India, and I didn’t see him for six years. We became engaged and were married when he got back to this country.”
Jean decided to stabilise herself in London. First she made two films — A Yank in the West Country, in which she played an American, and London Town, with Sid Field.
“I’ve managed to acquire quite a range of dialects,” says Jean. “American and mid-European are my specialities. So far, I haven’t been able to master the rich Birmingham accent, but I’m training hard.”