‘Life’ s got in the way of re­la­tion­ships’

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Scot­tish ac­tress Ash­ley Jensen, 48, found fame in Ricky Ger­vais’s Ex­tras, be­fore mov­ing to Amer­ica to star in Ugly Betty. She is mar­ried to ac­tor and writer Ter­ence Beesley, and they live in Bath with their young son.

Tell us about your char­ac­ter in this new drama se­ries…

We see Kate in her kitchen with her fam­ily. She has a son from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship, a daugh­ter with Rob, her de­tec­tive sergeant part­ner, played by Adrian Bower, and a step­son, who is Rob’s son. Kate is do­ing what a lot of women do in this world now. She’s try­ing to jug­gle fam­ily life and be a good mum and a good part­ner as well as go­ing to work.

Is she se­ri­ous about her job?

She is very pas­sion­ate about it. She’s been given a pro­mo­tion – which is a val­i­da­tion of her be­ing damn good at it – and she’s ut­terly de­lighted about that.

And how are things for Kate on the home front?

Kate and Rob do, deep down, love each other, but they’re not find­ing a lot of time for each other at the mo­ment, with chil­dren pulling them in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions. Ba­si­cally, life has just got in the way of the re­la­tion­ship a bit.

Do you think peo­ple will re­late to the char­ac­ters?

Def­i­nitely, be­cause they are very hu­man. They have vul­ner­a­bil­ity, they have frailty and foibles, they get it wrong. There is no per­son you’ll point at and say, “They’re the baddie.”

Did you re­search the role?

We all went to Leeds Town Hall and met some won­der­ful

peo­ple who showed us what they did and the en­vi­ron­ment they worked in. You have to be a peo­ple per­son to work there, as you’re deal­ing with peo­ple at their most vul­ner­a­ble.

Is there one scene that es­pe­cially stands out for you?

The hos­pice wed­ding in the first episode. It was dif­fi­cult not to cry, be­cause it was so mov­ing.

Did you al­ways want to act?

I did, from an early age, al­though I briefly dab­bled with the idea of be­ing a vet un­til I re­alised you had to stick your hand up a cow’s back­side!

Love, Lies And Records is on BBC One, Thurs­day, 9pm

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