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.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Modelling coats, 1978

October 5th, 1978 - Jane modelling coats.

Phillip Jackson / Associated Newspapers/REX/Shutterstock.


I hope 2017 will bring you love, hapiness, health and peace🌟 💫 ✨ 💖 🌌 💖 🌌 💖 🌟 💫 ✨

Monday, 26 December 2016

Klosters Switzerland, 1966

March 1966 Jane & Paul on their skiing holiday at the resort Klosters. 

Lady Jane group at yahoo.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Jane Asher’s Christmas Yule Log Recipe, 2014

For my December recipe it obviously has to be something Christmassy, and this Yule log is delicious and the perfect alternative for those who don’t like the traditional rich fruit Christmas cake. Or it makes for a great dessert served with some berries or crème fraiche for any meal over the holiday time.

I’ve made this Yule Log with a very light, flourless sponge cake. Not only is this less rich and heavy than an average Swiss roll recipe, but is also easier to roll up. But you could, of course, make it with any chocolate sponge recipe you like – or even use a ready-made chocolate Swiss roll and just cover it with icing if you’re really short of time and energy.

I shall be back towards the end of December with a recipe for the New Year. Do get in touch if you have any queries or ideas for my Poundland baking range: we’re adding items to it all the time and it’s great to hear your views.

Happy Christmas!

Best wishes,


For the cake:

  • 6 medium eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • A little caster sugar for dusting

Tip: You can use instead two of my Poundland chocolate cake mixes: just follow the directions on the packet but cook on a baking tray as shown below for about 15-20 mins. The cake may crack as you roll it up but as it’s going to be covered in icing, no one will know!

For the icing:
  • 120g dark chocolate chips
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 3tsps (15ml) vanilla extract
  • A little sieved icing sugar and edible glitter for dusting

Tip: You can use instead two packets of my Poundland chocolate icing mix: make up for butter icing as directed on the packet OR use 1-2 tubs of my ready-made Poundland chocolate frosting. With either, make sure the icing is at room temperature, and, if necessary, beat in a little vanilla extract or milk to soften it further; you need a light textured icing so you don’t tear the cake when spreading.

You will need the following from Jane Asher’s Kitchen range:

  • Chocolate cake mix (or use ingredients as listed)
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons
  • Stainless steel whisk
  • Large sieve
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large baking tray
  • Baking parchment
  • Scissors
  • Spatula
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Chocolate icing mix
  • Ready-made chocolate frosting
  • Wooden spoons
  • Small disposable icing bag
  • Palette knife
  • Christmas cake board
  • Small sieve
  • Edible silver glitter
  • Green sugar shimmer
  • Edible holly leaves
  • 7 Piece cake set

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/160C fan assisted/350ºF/gas mark 4.
  2. Prepare a large baking tray by lining it with baking parchment, cutting a piece larger than the tin and letting it hang over the edges.
  3. Separate the eggs and put the whites and yolks into two large, clean bowls. With an electric mixer or by hand, whisk the egg whites until stiff and thick. Add 2 tbsps of the caster sugar and continue whisking until the mix is in firm peaks.
  4. Add the remaining caster sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is foamy, pale and thick. Sieve the cocoa powder on top, then stir gently in.
  5. In batches, add the stiff egg whites carefully into the yolk mixture, folding firmly until well mixed but still airy.
  6. Turn the cake mix into the tin, spreading it gently into the corners with a spatula. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set but still a little soft. While the cake is cooking, cut two sheets of baking parchment a little larger than the size of the cake. Wet two tea towels under the tap, then wring them out so they are damp. Lie one on the work surface and cover with one of the pieces of baking parchment. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
  7. Once the cake is cooked, allow it to cool a little before turning it out onto the sugared paper. Carefully peel off the baking paper then cover with the new piece of paper. Top with the second damp tea towel.
  8. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over hot water or in a microwave. Allow to cool.
  9. Beat together the softened butter and the sifted icing sugar (or mix together in a food processor without needing to sieve the sugar). Spoon a very small amount of icing into a disposable icing bag for piping the rings onto the ends of the tree, then add the cooled, melted chocolate and the vanilla extract to the rest and mix till smooth and fluffy.
  10. Once the cake is completely cool, spread it thinly with about a quarter of the icing, using a palette knife.
  11. Roll the sponge up from the longer side as neatly as possible, using the paper to help you, and peeling it away as you go. Trim both ends then, using a diagonal cut, take a chunk off one end to make a short branch.
  12. Put the cake on a cake board or rectangular plate. Stick the ‘branch’ onto the side of the cake with a little icing, then spread the log all over with the remaining icing, including the ends.
  13. Mark the ‘bark’ with the end of the palette knife. Cut a tiny bit off the icing bag and pipe rings onto the ends of the tree. (If you’ve used my chocolate icing mix or ready-made frosting, mark the rings with the end of a skewer or knife.)
  14. Dust the top of the tree with a little sifted icing sugar and edible glitter, and add some holly and other decorations as you like. You can also decorate the board or plate – I’ve sprinkled mine with some shimmering green sugar and a little icing sugar. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it – it will stay fresh and delicious for up to a week, and it also freezes well.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Jane Asher and Cliff Richard, 1995

Jane Asher and Cliff Richard at the cover of the Jane Asher's Magazine 5th issue, the Christmas special. 

Jane's suit by Sam Browne. Earrings by Agatha. Jane's hair and make-up by Anna Cobley. Photography by Bonieventure. 

Welcome to my Christmas issue!

Welcome to the Christmas Special issue of my "Cookery & Craft" magazine.

I am delighted to bring you this year's edition of my Christmas Special. Again, it's packed with delicious cookery and clever crafts, all designed to make this a Christmas to remember.

I am delighted to be welcoming a special Christmas guest to this issue – Cliff Richard. I know from your letters just what a favourite he is, and as he is busy as ever, preparing for his new musical 'Heathcliff', I was especially pleased that he found time for us to meet so that I coupld present him with the cake I had designed for him. With the announcement of his knighthood, this has been a particularly exciting year for him, and we had a lot to talk about when we got together.

(...) I do hope you enjoy my christmas Special, and that you find plenty of ideas to inspire you. But most of all I hope you have a wonderful time, and a big thank you to you all for making the first year of my magazine such a resounding success.

A very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Jane meets Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard is one of our best-loved entertainers, and Christmas wouldn't be the same withouth one of his songs in the charts.
This year, he's been awarded a knighthood – and with his new stage show, Heathcliff, coming up, next year should be a special one, too.

Mistletoe and Wine. 'the decorations are up and it's time to relax, enjoy a glass of wine and toast everyone's good health.'

Get cracking. 'Pulling crackers is a good way to start celebrating and we had plenty at hand to get the party under way.'

Festive fun. 'Giving and receiving presents is always such fun, especially when the gift is a complete surprise!'
The last time I met Cliff Richard was this summer, at the Hampton court Flower Show, which he was visiting to help publicise a number of charities.
His knighthood had recently been announced, so on greeting him I naturally fell to my knees and grovelled...
But I was pleased to see the same old Cliff smiling at me – or should I say the same young Cliff? He retains so remarkably the boyish charm and unassuming friendliness that we have all come to know and love over the years, that a less pompous or jollier knight would be hard to imagine.
I love the ring of it: "Sir Cliff" – I know none of us will think of him as "Sirr Harry Webb", his original name – has an intriguing misture of grandeur and informality that sums up perfectly the lack of pomposity that is one of this trademarks.

I have been very lucky so far in previous issues, in having three good friends – Joanna Lumley, Jeremy Irons and Maureen Lipman – agree to join me on these pages. i like to choose someone whom not only do I admire, but whom I know all of you will enjoy reading aout – and I know from your letters that they were all extremely popular subjects.
For this Christmas Special, Cliff was not only my choice, but yours, too. However, he has very little time to spare with the announcement of the knighthood, I knew he would be more in demand than ever. So it was with a little hesitation that I telephoned him and gave him the good news that he had been selected for yet another (and far more exclusive) honour – the Conferring of the Cake. Would an incredibly busy knight-to-be let me make a cake for him, and be photographied receiving it, so I could show all my readers?
As you can see, he agreed enthusiastically, and we met at a hotel for an early Christmas party.

Cliff enjoys every aspect of Christmas: naturally, as a devout Christian, he never forgets the reason for all the celebrations, but he indulges wholeheartedly in the fun and glitter that has come to surround the basic message. 'My ideal way to spend Christmas would be to go on midnight communion on Christmas Eve, then enjoy the Big Day at home with the family, opening presents round the tree and having Christmas dinner with all the trimmings – goose is my favourite.'

As we helped to finish decorating the beautiful tree that the hotel had installed in a corner of the room, we both agreed that ours at home nver looked quite so effective.
'I have two trees each year and I always mean to plan an elegant colour scheme like this,' Cliff says rather wistfully. 'But somehow I can never resist piling everything on until it's really over the top. I suppose I should be more ruthless and chuck out some of the old favourites.' But somehow, I don't think he will, and his trees – like mine – will go on on bearing those familiar decorations that carry their own nostalgic messages from over the years.

All that glitters. 'Cliff loves putting up the Christmas decorations each year. At home he usually has two Christmas trees, uses lots of holly and poinsettias and strings lights over the mantlepiece and doors.'

The next year or so is going to be an especially busy and exciting time for Cliff. When he begins to talk about Heathcliff, the musical he is producing and starring in,  based on Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, his face lights up and he can hardly contain his enthusiasm.
'I have wanted to do this ever since I read the book as a schooloy. it's a dream come true that it's really happening after all the years of talking and planning. I've recorded the album – the magnificent music and lyrics are by John Farrar and Tim Rice. The first single, Misunderstood Man, was released in October and the next, Hard to Be, is set for release on November 27th. The songs involving Cathy I recorded with Olivia Newton-John – largely because we have worked together before and our voices blend very well – but obviously, once we start performing the show on stage, we will release a cast album.'

I wondered if Cliff have ever worried that, as a man in his fifties, he might be too old to play the dashing young Heathcliff?
'To do Wuthering Heights realistically, you would have to use children,' he explains. 'did you realise that Cathy was fifteen when she got engaged to Edgar? That's why this musical is called Heathcliff – it's one aspect of the story, seen through his eyes as he looks back in his forties. He died at 42, you know – and as forty-year-olds in those days were considered old men, I feel completely comfortable playing him in my fifties! The age scale is completely different now.'

Lighting up time. 'The Christmas decorations are all in place, the presents are arranged under the tree, and the food is ready. It's nearly time for the party to begin, so Cliff takes care of the final touch by lightning the candle.'

Cliff is so intrinsically good natured and exudes such positive niceness that there have understandably also been doubts expressed in the media as to whether he can convey Heathcliff's moody, turbulent and troubled character.
When asked about this, he shows a natural irritation of any professional performer at the assumption that it will be his own personality, rather than that of the character he is playing, that will be projected on the stage.
'Jane, I've said this to the press so many times: I may well be Mr Nice Guy and I don't have any problem with that; I like being liked. But give me a dagger and I'll stab Caesar viciusly to death on stage – and then go out to dinner with him afterwards!'

Cliff is particularly pleased with the designs for the production. They are based on the paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, an early 19th century German Romantic artist, whose style is in many reminiscent of some of the early drawings of Emily Brontë herself.
As Cliff says, 'the cover of the CD (Songs From Heathcliff, released on EMI on October 3th) looks absolutely wonderful – I only wish, at times like this, that large, old fashioned LPs were still made. The fronts of CDs and cassettes seems so small when  you've got a magnificent picture like ours to use.'

The necessary flashbacks to Heathcliff and Cathy's early years will be achieved using the very latest in design technology: images will be projected onto vapour screens, through which the live performers can move without disturbing the ghostly images between, achieving the effect of beings in a state of semi-existence and mystery.

Novel moment. 'Cliff was suprised and delighted with his special Heathcliff cake, which I gave him not only to enjoy at Christmas, but also to wish him well in his marvellous new production.'

Initially, Cliff will take the show to strategic UK arenas. After that, it's to australia, south Africa and maybe even Broadway, and a run in London's West End.

It promises two or three very busy years ahead, but as always, Cliff will find time to escape to his Portuguese retreat near Albufeira in the Algarve, where his current prode and joy is his vineyard. 'I can't wait to start sending bottles of Château Richard to my friends!', he laughs. 'And I've got some olive trees, and figs, too.'
It's obvious just how much this haven means to him; he goes over there several times a year, often with members of his family, and as usual this year he plans to fly over immediately after Christmas to spend New Year there.

When the production of Heathcliff finally appears next year, it will be the culmination of years of thought and planning, and the fulfilment of a long-cherished childhood dream. I hope he has a huge success with it and that this Christmas, and all the others to come, are as happy for him as he truly deserves.

Music man. 'Unsurprisingly for someone who has spent so long working in the music business, Cliff's enjoyment of music is far ranging. At Christmas, he loved listening to classics, but carols are definitely his favourite.'

Cliff fans are sure to love the Heathcliff cake.

Basic Cake Recipe

For the Heathcliff cake: 
25cm/10in square cake
Serves: 25-30 portions
Cooking time: 3 1/4 - 3 3/4 hours.
  • 25 cm/10in square cake tin (double lined with baking parchment)
  • 450g/1lb currants
  • 450g/1lb sultanas
  • 175/6oz raisins
  • 175g/6oz mixed peel
  • 175g/6oz glacé cherries
  • 175ml/6fl oz brandy
  • 450g/1lb plain flour
  • 450g/1lb butter
  • 4 tsp mixed spice
  • 450g/1lb dark unrefined molasses sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 100g/4oz ground almonds

To make the cakes:
  1. Mix the dried fruit and glacé cherries together and soak overnight in the brandy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF/Gas 2). Sift the flour and the spice together.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat the eggs and add to the creamed mixture a little at a time, beating well with each addition. Fold in the flour, using a metal spoon.
  4. Fold in the fruit, the mixed peel and the ground almonds and mix well.
  5. Transfer into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 3 1/4 - 3 3/4 hours for the 10in square cake. Oven temperatures vary, so always cook until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Royal icing:
  • 1 egg white, size 3
  • 225g/8oz icing sugar
  • few drops lemon juice

Whisk the egg white until slighly frothy. Sieve, and stir in, a little icing sugar. Beat well. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and beat the mixture until smooth and glossy.

Heathcliff cake

You can adapt this design for use in other celebration cakes: an open Bible for christenings or an open photo album for anniversaries, for example.

  • 25cm/10in square fruit cake
  • apricot jam, boiled
  • 1,75kg/3 1/2lb marzipan
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 1,8kg/4l roll-out icing
  • assorted food colours including brown and green
  • non-toxic gold paint
  • royal icing (opcional)
  • fine paintbrush
  • 40.5 x 30.5cm/16 x 12 in cake board

  1. Cut a 7.5cm/3in strip off one side of the cake and stick with hot apricot jam to the next side of the cake. Trim off any excess. This will give a rectangle measuring roughly 33 x 18 cm/13 x 7 in.
  2. Cut the two outside edges vertically at an angle to form the pages. Shape the top of the open book by cutting a V-shaped groove in the centre. Brush the cake with hot apricot jam.
  3. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to 3mm/ 1/8 in thickness. Lay the marzipan over the cake and smooth over with the palm of your hand. Trim off any excess.
  4. Dust the work surface with icing sugar, then knead a roll 1,4kg/3lb of roll-out icing to 3mm/ 1/8in thickness. Brush the marzipan with a little water and drape the icing over the top. Smooth with the palm of your hand and trim off any excess. Using the back of a knife, score the book's pages in the icing along the vertical sides of the cake.
  5. For the book cover, knead 175g/6oz of roll-out icing with brown food colour. Dust the work surface with icing sugar, then roll out a long strip of icing to 2mm/ 1/16in thickness. From this large strip, cut four 2.5cm/1 in-wide strips. Brush the cake board next to the edges of the cake with water and pñace the strips around the cake to form the covers of the book, neatly mitring the corners.
  6. For the bookmark, knead green food colour into 50g/1 in-wide strip, trim the ends and score one end with the back of a knife to make the bookmark fringing. Strick to the centre of the book with a little water, forming the bookmark. roll out the remaining supgar paste and use to cover the cake board, sticking with a little water.
  7. Using non-toxic gold food colour – not to be eaten – and a fine paintbrush, paint the edging and the treble clef on the bookmark. With food colours of your choice, paint the picture, musical notes and wording. If you don't have confidence in your artistic skills, use a real picture or photo and attach to the cake with a little royal icing.

🎁🎄🎁 Merry Christmas everyone! 🎁🎄🎁

Friday, 16 December 2016

'Housemaster', 1959

Jane Asher's stage debut aged 13 in 1959 for the 1959 Season Frinton Summer Theatre & Peter Hoar presented Housemaster by Ian Hay with Jane Asher as "Button" Faringdon. 

Housemaster is a comedy by the English playwright Ian Hay, first produced at the Apollo Theatre, London, on 12 November 1936, running for 662 performances. A film was made of the play in 1938.

The play depicts the conflict between a wise housemaster and a puritanical younger headmaster at an English public school, with the action complicated by the unexpected incursion of two women and two girls who have to be accommodated in the otherwise all-male establishment.

Ian Hay had written several plays that were stage adaptions of novels. Hay published Housemaster as a novel earlier in 1936, before it was brought to the stage. In his early years Hay had been a schoolmaster at Durham School and Fettes College. His biographer Patrick Murray suggests that the former, which had a strong rowing tradition, is the model for Hay's Marbledown School in Housemaster.

Charles Donkin is a long-established housemaster at Marbledown, an English public school. His closest confidant is Frank Hastings, the sceptical and sarcastic maths master. Hastings and the rest of the teaching staff, and their pupils, are discontented at the puritanical innovations imposed by Ovington, the recently appointed headmaster. Donkin, though privately sharing the discontent, strives loyally to keep the peace. Into this all-male establishment comes Barbara Fane, with her three nieces, the daughters of the late Angela Faringdon. Donkin was, it is implied, in love with Angela in his younger days, but she married Aubrey Faringdon, who has brought up his and Angela's three daughters with the aid of their aunt. With the girls now aged 20, 18 and 14, Barbara has decided they need a more stable home than Aubrey can provide, and with his agreement she has come to ask Donkin to fulfil his promise to the dying Angela to look after her daughters if needed. Room is found for them in Donkin's house on the strict understanding that the girls are not to mingle with and distract the 55 boys who board there. This condition is doomed from the outset. The glamorous elder girls cannot help distracting Donkin's older boys and his younger staff; the tomboy Button encourages the younger boys to defy Ovington's petty restrictions.

Rosemary, the eldest daughter, has two of Donkin's junior staff falling for her. She spurns the sporty "Beef" Beamish in favour of the gentle, artistic Philip de Pourville. The younger daughters, Chris and Button, encourage the boys of Donkin's house to defy the headmaster's latest and furiously-resented diktat: heedless of Marbledown's long tradition of rowing, Ovington has cancelled the school's participation in the local regatta, and placed the town and the river out of bounds for the duration of the regatta. The boys of Donkin's house openly defy Ovington and go into town en masse. Faced with this comprehensive defiance of the headmaster, Donkin feels obliged to offer his resignation, which Ovington instantly accepts.

Sir Berkeley Nightingale, uncle of one of Donkin's senior boys, uses his influence to have Ovington offered a suffragan bishopric. Ovington accepts, and Donkin is appointed headmaster in his place. News comes that Aubrey Faringdon is about to remarry; his fiancée is a sensible widow, whom Barbara considers a suitable stepmother for the girls. Rosemary will stay in England, and Chris and Button will live in Paris with their father and stepmother. Barbara is now free of her responsibilities; the younger girls convince Donkin that she will need looking after, and that it is his duty to marry her. Donkin, with many misgivings, steels himself to propose, but his colleague Frank Hastings anticipates him: Barbara and Hastings have had a private understanding for many years, and now that she is a free agent they are to be married. Rosemary and de Pourville also become engaged; Chris and Nightingale's 18-year-old nephew seem headed in the same direction. Donkin is happier than he has ever been – about to take over as headmaster of the school he loves, and left in peace as a contented old bachelor.

From https://twitter.com/FFrintonTheatre

Monday, 12 December 2016

Early 1960s colour portraits

Early 1960s (1962 or 1963) colour portraits of lovely Jane.

Photo 1) Supplied by Globe Photos, Inc./Spokeo.com 
Photo 2) Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Movie pix via Getty Images.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Jane portrayed by John Timbers, 1986

1986 - Jane Asher portrayed by John Timbers. Unknown futher details.

Photo 1) Ebay auction lisrting.
Photo 2) From the net. Drop me a line if it's yours and I'll give you full credit.
Photo 3) Scopefeatures.

Monday, 5 December 2016

South Bank Awards, 2001

January 25th, 2001 - Cartoonist and artist Gerald Scarfe and actress and cook Jane Asher arriving for the South Bank Awards, at the Savoy Hotel in London. The awards recognise achievements in all fields of the arts ranging from opera and dance to cinema and TV drama.

Photos 1 & 2) Paimages.co.uk
Photo 3) From the net. If it's yours, drop me a line and I'll give you full credit.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Actress Jane Asher visits the Swindon branch of Parkinson’s UK, 2016

Actress Jane Asher visits the Swindon branch of Parkinson’s UK.

By Mike Barham -19/11/2016

The Swindon and District Branch of Parkinson’s UK was thrilled to receive a visit from charity President Jane Asher on Thursday 17 November.

The actress joined members at their weekly Tai Chi class at the Swindon Therapy Centre for MS in West Swindon, which the local Parkinson’s UK group work in partnership with. Jane was able to see the benefits of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s, and she also took the time to speak to branch members, thanking them for their efforts in 2017.

Jane, who was inspired to help after her brother-in-law, Gordon Scarfe, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2004, said: “Local groups are a vital source of support for people affected by Parkinson’s, but they also host many activities that can help with daily life, from exercise to dance. These sessions are invaluable and wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic efforts of our volunteers.

“On behalf of Parkinson’s UK, I would like to thank everyone in the Swindon Branch for their hard work this year and for making me feel so welcome today.”

The Swindon and District branch offers information, friendship and support to local people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers. They also organise regular events and social activities.

They hold monthly meetings at Grange Leisure Centre, Swindon, SN3 4JYon the last Friday of every month, but also have a packed itinerary between meetings. Everyone is welcome.

For more information on upcoming branch activities, contact Branch Chair Dave Logan on 01793 486 407 or see www.parkinsons.org.uk