This blog is for English actress, cakemaker and writer Jane Asher, with many pictures and accurate information of one of the most beautiful rock muses from the 20th century.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Five O'Clock TV Show, 2010

July 2, 2010 - Jane Asher and Darius Campbell at 'The Five O'Clock Show' TV Programme, London, Britain.

All pictures Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Jane Asher and Joanna Lumley at "Jane Asher’s magazine", 1995

1995 - Jane Asher and Joanna Lumley. From the second (Spring) issue of Jane Asher’s magazine, on sale from March 1995.

For the second issue of her “Jane Asher’s Magazine”, the Spring 1995 issue, Jane Asher had in actress Joanna Lumley her special guest, whom she invited to have a cup of tea, and made a cake. Here there is the full article typed by me:

It’s always a treat to meet up with old friends and exchange news – so I was particularly pleased when Joanna visited me for a cup of tea and a chat at my tearoom and cake shop in Chelsea.

I have known the beautiful and talented Joanna Lumley as a friend for many years, but since her career has gone into overdrive recently, she has become so busy that it seeks increasingly difficult for us to get together. So I was delighted when she found time to come and have a cup of tea in my tearoom, and as for a long time I’ve been threatening to design a cake specially for her, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

Jo is one of those people who is just as charming, witty and glamorous off screen as she is on, and we behave like two schoolgirls when we get together – it’s very refreshing to the soul for two forty-eight-year-old mothers of grown-up children to collapse in heaps of giggles. And it’s not only when we meet that we tease each other – for a long time we have kept up a sporadic but continuing correspondence consisting of derogatory postcards sent to each other at important moments. Our birthdays are just three weeks apart in April, and as the older of the two I can always be sure of receiving a sympathetic card showing immense concern about my great age, sometimes written in capitals to help my ancient eyesight. I, in return, send my condolences for her immaturity and lack of experience and offer to give her a helping hand in her career, or send her a few tips for life acquired in those vital extra three weeks.


We’ve only worked together once – on stage in ‘Blithe Spirit’, where Jo played the beautiful ghost Elvira – and it was as much fun as I had always thought it would be. After a few months in the West End, the inevitable little tricks started to emerge among the actors to relieve the potential boredom: some nights an unspoken agreement would mean that whichever player was facing upstage (away from the audience) would have to keep their eyes crossed – very difficult for the other actor to keep a straight face – or perhaps a scene would have to be played standing on one leg. All these silly games had to be done without the awareness of the audience, so as not to spoil their evening. But as well as the fun and games, working with Jo was a very satisfying experience, as she takes her work very seriously and cares about getting things just right. Her extraordinary success over the last couple of years has opened up all sorts of avenues to her; when we had tea, she was not long returned from America, where she has been working on a new Walt Disney film, and her recently announced OBE couldn’t have gone to a better person.  

In private, she has always made me laugh more than anyone else I know; it’s a great treat for me that, with the advent of the series ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, her giant talent for comedy is now recognised by the public. She is a woman who is truly in her prime: an extraordinarily successful career, a wonderfully happy private life with her husband – conductor Stephen Barlow – and far more than her share of beauty and glamour. As her old, wise friend, I am very proud of her.

“It wasn’t difficult to think a cake for Jo – she started her career as a model and she loves make up and applies it immaculately. I decided to create an elegant, black, quilted cosmetic bag for her, complete with luxurious looking lipstick, eyeshadow, blusher and compact. Her initials in gold were the final touch”  – Jane Asher.
“People often ask me how I can bear to see my cakes cut, especially when they’re very ornate, but for me that’s part of the fun”  – Jane Asher.
“An elegant, sophisticated cake that perfectly matches the owner. It would work very well as a man’s shaving bag too, or in pink for a teenager” – Jane Asher.


Monday, 21 March 2016

"Great Expectations", 2016

Jane Asher as Miss Havisham in Charles Dicken's "Great Expectations" in the new adaptation by Michael Eaton, directed by Lucy Bailey and designed by Mike Britton at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from Friday 4 March to Saturday 2 April 2016. 

Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’s thirteenth novel and his penultimate completed novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip.
The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens’s weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.

It is set among marshes in Kent, and in London, in the early to mid-1800s, and Jane Asher plays the character of Miss Havisham, a wealthy spinster (an unmarried woman who is past the usual age for marrying and is considered unlikely to marry) who lives in her ruined mansion, Satis House, with her adopted daughter, Estella. Dickens describes her as looking like “the witch of the place.” Although she has often been portrayed in film versions as very elderly, Dickens’s own notes indicate that she is only in her mid-fifties. However, it is also indicated that her long life away from the sunlight has in itself aged her, and she is said to look like a cross between a waxwork and a skeleton, with moving eyes.

Some good reviews:

From West Yorkshire Playhouse. Photography by Idil Sukan Photography. Picture 2 with Daniel Boyd as Pip.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Sir Ian McKellen's surprise birthday party, 1999

October 19th, 1999 - Richard E. Grant, Jane Asher with Gerald Scarfe, Imogen Strubbs, Ian McKellen, Trudie Styler and Sting at Sir Ian McKellen's 60th birthday party at the Royal Garden Hotel, London, Britain.
Jane, his West End co-star in Alan Ayckbourn’s "Henceforward..." recalls of that time: “We had a competition to see who could do the most ridiculous things on stage: standing on one leg, closing the up-stage eye, both eyes, or passing red knickers from one to another. He is the most ungrand person.”

Photo 1) From Richard E. Grant Official Website.
Photo 2) From the net. If it's yours, please comment below and I'll give you full credit!
Photo 3) Mike Lawn/REX/Shutterstock

Monday, 14 March 2016

"Alfie" film stills, 1966

Alfie is a 1966 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Michael Caine as Alfie, Jane Asher as Annie, Shelley Winters as Ruby, Millicent Martin as Siddie, Vivien Merchant as Lily Clamacraft, Julia Foster as Gilda and Shirley Anne Field as Carla. It is an adaptation by Bill Naughton of his own novel and play of the same name. The film was released by Paramount Pictures.

Alfie tells the story of a young womanising cheeky chappy who leads a self-centred life, purely for his own enjoyment, until events force him to question his uncaring behaviour, his loneliness and his priorities. He cheats on numerous women, and despite his confidence towards women, he treats them with disrespect and refers to them as "it", using them for sex and for domestic purposes. Alfie frequently breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera narrating and justifying his actions. His words often contrast with or totally contradict his actions.

Annie, Jane's role, is a young hitchhiker from Sheffield who is looking to make a fresh start in London and moves in with Alfie. She proves preoccupied with a love left behind, scrubbing Alfie's floor, doing his laundry, and preparing his meals to compensate. He grows resentful of the relationship and drives her out with an angry outburst, later regretting it. Around the same time, Lily (Vivien Merchant) informs him that she is pregnant from their one encounter, and the two plan for her to have an illegal abortion, that proves traumatic for both Lily and Alfie. The stress of the situations with Annie and Lily makes Alfie decide to change his non-committal ways and settle down with the rich Ruby (Shelly Winters). 

This was the first film to receive the "suggested for mature audiences" classification by the Motion Picture Association of America in the United States.
The film had its World Premiere at the Plaza Theatre in the West End of London on 24 March 1966.