Jane Asher portrait and interview for Radio Times magazine, the week of April 1st - 7th, 1995.
What's her recipe for success?
Take a bulk order of icing sugar, blend with a refined upbringing in London, add an early talent for acting and sprinkle with a pinch of 60s notoriety as Paul McCartney's girlfriend. Bake in a cool oven and voilà – you have an actress who is apparently made of sugar and spice and all things nice.
A piece of cake?
Absolutely – although the 48-year-old detests her effortlessly perfect image. "I certainly don't see myself as the second Julie Andrews. If I see something about my goody-goody image it's unpleasant and galling. I feel like saying I really do pull the wings of butterflies."
Come on, not really. She is a tireless worker for charities, ranging from the Child Accident Prevention Trust and Leukaemia Research Fund to the World Wide Fund for Nature. She loves butterflies.
A long-standing marriage to cartoonist Gerald Scarfe. A steady career playing cool, capable Englishwomen. Three lovely children and a house in "cheery" Chelsea, where "even the traffic wardens are friendlier". And she makes party cakes. Did we mention that?
Though launched in the recession, her shop is said to be doing famously, selling sugar-spun confections to politicians and royalty, some for over £1,000. The rest of us can purchase more modest creations from a leading supermarket . . .
No, Flower Power!
Well, we had to get round to the young Jane's Beatle fiancé eventually. Rumour has it that Radio Times was instrumental in their first meeting – she was sent on an assignment to cover a concert, Swinging Sound 63, at the Royal Albert Hall, where the Fab Four were playing. McCartney spotted her mini-skirted from the corridor as she was posing for our photographer. The rest, as they say, is history – where it remains, as she won't talk about it.
Has she put her career on ice?
No – Ms Asher began acting at the age of 5, playing a deaf girl without speech in Mandy, and by 15 had made eight films, acted in for plays and 100 broadcasts and had appeared on TV nine times. Acting, she insists, is still "the main prioruty" but she has been quoted as saying, "Sometimes I wonder how much the cake business has hurt the serious actress image. And then I think to myself, 'What do you mean, serious actress?' "
When can we get a taste?
On Sunday BBC1 – she plays headmaster's wife Felicity Troy in Joanna Trollope's The Choir.
Picture from the net, if it's yours, drop me a line and I'll give you full credit. Thanks.