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Star Spotting: Where We’ve Seen Agatha Raisin’s Ashley Jensen



Ashley Jensen | Agatha RaisinIn November, VisionTV will proudly introduce you to Agatha Raisin, a successful public relations professional who gives up that strenuous gig to start a quieter life in the Cotswolds. However, due to many unsuspected, yet hilarious, twists and turns, that plan doesn’t come to fruition. Instead, Raisin soon finds herself in the role of a private investigator.

Raisin’s adventures begin on Tuesday, November 1 (10pm ET/7pm PT) with the “Agatha Raisin: The Quiche of Death” movie, followed by the “Agatha Raisin” eight-part series, which premieres Tuesday, November 8 (8pm ET/5pm PT).

Agatha Raisin - Season 1

Agatha Raisin's Ashley Jensen and America Ferrera on the set of "Ugly Betty", July 2008
Ashley Jensen and America Ferrera on the set of “Ugly Betty”, July 2008 | Photo: (c) Press

Playing Agatha is Ashley Jensen, a veteran Scottish actress and narrator who got her start in a 1990 episode of “City Lights,” before moving onto longer-running TV series like “May to December,” “Roughnecks,” “City Central” and the ever-popular “EastEnders.”

However, Jensen is best recognized for her hilarious work on the popular Ricky Gervais series “Extras,” where in 2008 she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Meanwhile, Jensen’s longest standing role (66 episodes) came as fashion seamstress Christina McKinney on the hit American comedy series, “Ugly Betty.”

“I always felt a wee bit like the dirty cousin,” said Jensen in an interview with The Guardian when discussing the years she spent acting in the U.S. “But I liked being a wee bit outside of it. L.A. felt like ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ with all these strange characters. I remember going for a walk with the dog in Runyon Canyon and this woman holding a chameleon up…while it had a pee. And then you’d look to the right and there were people walking backwards up the canyon to work different muscles.”

“Maybe it was because I was too old, or I was in comedy,” added Jensen when explaining why she felt no one stateside tried to change her.  “[They probably said] ‘Ah, just leave her, she’s beyond it.’ I think it’s because I was a little older, an outsider, and I was always up for the best friend [part], so I never felt a pressure. I still don’t feel a pressure to change what I look like, and I hope I have the dignity to maintain that.”

Agatha Raisin - Season 1

Agatha Raisin's Ashley Jensen at the 2016 Royal Television Society Awards, London, UK, March 2016
Ashley Jensen at the 2016 Royal Television Society Awards, London, UK, March 2016 | Photo: (c) Press

With “Agatha Raisin,” the 47-year-old Jensen serves as the series’ lead actress after a career filled with supporting roles. While this may appear to those on the outside looking in as a real pressure-packed situation, Jensen has approached it with the proper mindset.

“I’d guested and supported enough stuff that I felt ready to hold a show,” offered Jensen in a separate interview with the Telegraph. “I think it is the responsibility of the lead character to be the ‘mum.’ I came from a place as a supporting actress where I would be on set a day here and there, and that is really scary.

“You are not going to do your best work because you are too frightened to make eye contact and it doesn’t become a team thing,” she continued. “So on ‘Agatha Raisin,’ I made sure everyone had a good time. It was a nice family atmosphere, with everyone looking out for each other.”

-Adam Grant


To get an even better feel of Ashley Jensen as Agatha Raisin, here she is in action:


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