Friday, 15 April 2016


…is an actress who has appeared in a number of film, TV and theatre productions. She is best known for performances in the TV adaptation of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman Of Substance, the film Local Hero and BBC drama Judge John Deed.

What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve just opened Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves. I don’t read reviews, but I’ve been told they’re all four and five stars, so we seem to be doing the right thing and making people laugh.

When are you at your happiest?
Simple happiness comes when I’m with Bill and Louie, my springer spaniel. My great moments of joy come with those I love.

What is your greatest fear?
I try not to be afraid. I have to say that stage fright is a fear – not knowing my lines and letting the cast down. It is a growing, monstrous fear.

What is your earliest memory?
We had a black bitch called Judy; I must have been about four, and I remember just walking around with her.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
I’m shockingly bad at remembering names – always have been. It’s not to do with age; I’m just so busy taking everything in when I meet someone, I forget to remember the most important bit. I’m also quite impatient, so when someone is halfway through a sentence, I’ll think I know what they’re going to say, and I try not to, but I often interrupt.

Who has been your greatest influence?
My Bill. He has such a big heart, such a generosity of spirit, such a great loyalty to those he loves, and he sort of taught me to be a bigger person, a better person. When you’re with somebody that big and exciting and good, it sort of pulls you up.

What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t like things; my memories are in my heart.

What trait do you most deplore in others?

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
It’s kind of hard getting older, but I don’t really look at myself and go, ‘I don’t like you.’ I kind of accept what I look like, because it serves me well.

What is your favourite book?
Jane Eyre.

What is your favourite film?
I might have to blow my own trumpet and say Local Hero. Not because I’m in it; because it’s the most beautiful film and it still works – it’s funny, it’s touching and it’s relevant.

first-imp-590-2Jenny’s favourite things include Jane Eyre, South Indian vegetarian food, Georgian-British songstress Katie Melua and the inimitable Buster Keaton

And your favourite music?

I think Katie Melua is fab.

What is your favourite meal?
South Indian vegetarian.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
Barack Obama, Joan of Arc, an American Indian shaman – I’m interested in the connection between animals and people and the sixth and seventh senses that we as human beings tend to have lost. And Buster Keaton and Orson Welles.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?
I don’t let nasty things affect me.

Do you believe in aliens?
I believe in the possibility of aliens.

What is your secret vice?
Butlers dark mint chocolate; it’s from Ireland.

Do you write thank-you notes?

Which phrase do you most overuse?
It used to be ‘sorry’, but I’m getting better at apologising.

What would improve the quality of your life?
For London air to be less toxic. I cycle and run in London, and now I have developed – I believe because of London air – a degree of asthma.

Tell us something people might not know about you.
I’m a reiki practitioner.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
‘She tried her best.’

How The Other Half Loves is on until 25 June at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London SW1: 020-7930 8800,

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