Laurence Sterne was an Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He wrote the novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, published many sermons, wrote memoirs, was involved in local politics. Sterne died in London after years of fighting tuberculosis. Sterne was born in County Tipperary, his father, Roger Sterne, was an ensign in a British regiment returned from Dunkirk, disbanded on the day of Sterne's birth. Within six months the family had returned to Yorkshire, in July 1715 they moved back to Ireland, having "decamped with Bag & Baggage for Dublin", in Sterne's words; the first decade of Sterne's life was spent moving from place to place as his father was reassigned throughout Ireland. During this period Sterne never lived in one place for more than a year. In addition to Clonmel and Dublin, his family lived in, among other places, Wicklow Town, Drogheda and Carrickfergus. In 1724, his father took Sterne to Roger's wealthy brother, Richard, so that Sterne could attend Hipperholme Grammar School near Halifax.
Sterne was admitted to a sizarship at Jesus College, Cambridge, in July 1733 at the age of 20. His great-grandfather Richard Sterne had been the Master of the college as well as the Archbishop of York. Sterne graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in January 1737. Sterne was ordained as a deacon in March 1737 and as a priest in August 1738, his religion is said to have been the "centrist Anglicanism of his time", known as'latitudinarianism." Shortly thereafter Sterne was awarded the vicarship living of Sutton-on-the-Forest in Yorkshire. Sterne married Elizabeth Lumley in 1741. Both were ill with consumption. In 1743, he was presented to the neighbouring living of Stillington by Rev. Richard Levett, Prebendary of Stillington, patron of the living. Subsequently Sterne did duty both there and at Sutton, he was a prebendary of York Minster. Sterne's life at this time was tied with his uncle, Dr Jaques Sterne, the Archdeacon of Cleveland and Precentor of York Minster. Sterne's uncle was an ardent Whig, urged Sterne to begin a career of political journalism which resulted in some scandal for Sterne and a terminal falling-out between the two men.
Jaques Sterne was a powerful clergyman but a rabid politician. In 1741–42 Sterne wrote political articles supporting the administration of Sir Robert Walpole for a newspaper founded by his uncle but soon withdrew from politics in disgust, his uncle became his arch-enemy. Sterne lived in Sutton for twenty years, during which time he kept up an intimacy which had begun at Cambridge with John Hall-Stevenson, a witty and accomplished bon vivant, owner of Skelton Hall in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire. In 1759, to support his dean in a church squabble, Sterne wrote A Political Romance, a Swiftian satire of dignitaries of the spiritual courts. At the demands of embarrassed churchmen, the book was burnt. Thus, Sterne discovered his real talents. Having discovered his talent, at the age of 46, he turned over his parishes to a curate, dedicated himself to writing for the rest of his life, it was while living in the countryside, having failed in his attempts to supplement his income as a farmer and struggling with tuberculosis, that Sterne began work on his best known novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, the first volumes of which were published in 1759.
Sterne was at work on his celebrated comic novel during the year that his mother died, his wife was ill, his daughter was taken ill with a fever. He wrote as fast as he could, composing the first 18 chapters between January and March 1759. An initial satiric version was rejected by Robert Dodsley, the London printer, just when Sterne's personal life was upset, his mother and uncle both died. His wife had threatened suicide. Sterne continued his comic novel, but every sentence, he said, was "written under the greatest heaviness of heart". In this mood, he softened the satire and recounted details of Tristram's opinions, eccentric family and ill-fated childhood with a sympathetic humour, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sweetly melancholic—a comedy skirting tragedy; the publication of Tristram Shandy made Sterne famous on the continent. He was delighted by the attention, famously saying "I wrote not be fed but to be famous." He spent part of each year in London. After the publication of volumes three and four of Tristram Shandy, his love of attention remained undiminished.
In one letter, he wrote "One half of the town abuse my book as bitterly, as the other half cry it up to the skies—the best is, they abuse it and buy it, at such a rate, that we are going on with a second edition, as fast as possible." Indeed, Baron Fauconberg rewarded Sterne by appointing him as the perpetual curate of Coxwold, North Yorkshire. Sterne continued to struggle with his illness, departed England for France in 1762 in an effort to find a climate that would alleviate his suffering. Sterne was lucky to attach himself to a diplomatic party bound for Turin, as England and
8 1⁄2 is a 1963 Italian surrealist comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Co-scripted by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi, it stars Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a famous Italian film director who suffers from stifled creativity as he attempts to direct an epic science fiction film. Shot in black-and-white by cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo, the film features a soundtrack by Nino Rota with costume and set designs by Piero Gherardi, its title refers to its being Fellini's eighth and a half film as a director. His previous directorial work consisted of six features, two short segments, a collaboration with another director, Alberto Lattuada. Acknowledged as an avant-garde film and a influential classic, it was among the top 10 on BFI The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time, ranked third in a 2002 poll of film directors conducted by the British Film Institute and is listed on the Vatican's compilation of the 45 best films made before 1995, the 100th anniversary of cinema.
It is now considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Guido Anselmi, a famous Italian film director, is suffering from "director's block". Stalled on his new science fiction film that includes thinly veiled autobiographical references, he has lost interest amidst artistic and marital difficulties. While attempting to recover from his anxieties at a luxurious spa, Guido hires a well-known critic to review his ideas for his film, but the critic blasts them as weak, intellectually spineless, confusing. Meanwhile, Guido has recurring visions of an Ideal Woman, his vivacious mistress Carla comes from Rome to visit him, but Guido puts her in a separate hotel and ignores her. The film production crew relocates to Guido's hotel in an attempt to get him to work on the movie, but he evades his staff, ignores journalists, refuses to make decisions, not telling actors their roles; as the pressure mounts to begin filming, Guido retreats into childhood memories: spending the night at his grandmother's villa, dancing with a prostitute on the beach as a schoolboy, being punished by his strict Catholic school as a result.
The film critic claims that these memories are too sentimental and ambiguous to be used in Guido's movie. Granted the rare opportunity to have a personal audience with a Cardinal in a steam bath, Guido admits that he isn't happy; the Cardinal offers little insight into his condition. Guido invites her friends to join him, they dance, suggesting that the couple still has a chance to reconcile, but Guido abandons her for his production crew. The crew tours the steel infrastructure of a life-sized rocket ship set built on the beach, Guido confesses to his wife's best friend Rosella that he wanted to make a movie, pure and honest, but he is struggling with something honest to say. Carla surprises Guido and Rosella outside the hotel, Guido claims that he and Carla ended their affair years ago. Luisa and Rosella call him on the lie, Guido slips into a fantasy world where he lords over a harem of women from his life, they bathe him and spray him with powder. The fantasy women attack Guido with harsh truths about himself and his sex life, Guido whips them back into shape.
Fed up with delays, the producer forces Guido to review his many screen tests, but Guido still won't make any decisions. The screen tests are for roles portrayed earlier in 8 1⁄2, such as Carla, the prostitute, the Cardinal, etc; when Luisa sees how bitterly Guido chooses to represent her in the movie, she flees the theater, declaring that their marriage is over since Guido is unable to deal with the truth. But Guido's Ideal Woman arrives in the form of an actress named Claudia. Guido takes her to visit a proposed set, explaining that his movie is about a burned-out man who finds salvation in this Ideal Woman. Claudia listens intently, but concludes that the protagonist is unsympathetic because he is incapable of love. Broken, Guido calls off the film, but the producer and the film's staff announce a massive press conference at the rocket ship set. Guido attempts to escape from the frenzied journalists, when pressed for a statement, he instead crawls under a table and shoots himself in the head.
The crew begins to disassemble the rocket ship. The critic praises Guido for making a wise decision, Guido has a revelation— he was attempting to solve his personal confusion by creating a film to help others, when instead he needs to accept his life for what it is, he asks Luisa for her assistance in doing so, she says she'll try. A group of musical clowns, led by a young Guido, transform the rocket ship set into a circus, leading the men and women of Guido's life down the steps of the set. Shouting through a megaphone, Guido directs them into a circus ring, Carla tells him that she figured out what he was trying to say— that Guido can't do without the people in his life; the men and women hold hands and run around the circle and Luisa joining them last. Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a film director Anouk Aimée as Luisa Anselmi, Guido's wife Rossella Falk as Rossella, Luisa's best friend and Guido's confidante Sandra Milo as Carla, Guido's mistress Claudia Cardinale as Claudia, a mov
Mark Williams (actor)
Mark Williams is an English actor and presenter. He is best known as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films, as one of the stars of the popular BBC sketch show The Fast Show, he played Brian Williams in the BBC series Doctor Who, Olaf Petersen in Red Dwarf. “ More he has appeared as the title character in the BBC series Father Brown. Williams was educated at Oxford, he performed with Oxford University Dramatic Society. Having made a career as a theatre actor and working for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre along the way, he came to wider public attention through his appearances on the BBC television sketch programmes Alexei Sayle's Stuff and The Fast Show. Williams has described the huge popularity of the latter show as a "double-edged sword" as it has led to his being seen by the public as a comedian rather than as an actor. Williams made his film début alongside fellow débutants Hugh Grant and Imogen Stubbs in the Oxford University Film Foundation production Privileged in 1982.
His most famous cinema role is as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter film series, which began in 2002. Other high-profile appearances include the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro and Claire Danes in 2007 and a 2012 role in Doctor Who as Brian Williams, father of the Doctor's companion, Rory. Since 2013, he has appeared as the lead role in the BBC costume drama Father Brown. Williams featured in the first series of Blandings, the BBC TV adaptation of the P. G. Wodehouse Blandings Castle stories, broadcast in 2013, in which he played Beach, the Emsworth's tipsy butler. In 2014 and 2015, he presented; the show ran for two series. Aside from his acting work, Williams has presented several documentary programmes: Mark Williams' Big Bangs on the history of explosives, a follow-up to previous series Mark Williams on the Rails, Industrial Revelations and More Industrial Revelations, he is a supporter of Aston Villa F. C. although, living in Lewes, he supports Brighton & Hove Albion.
Interviewed in 2014 by the Lancashire Evening Post, when asked if some people still saw him as a comedy actor, Williams replied, "Well, it’s only a few people in the BBC. In America, they see me as a major British character actor, but the BBC is pretty parochial and people are institutionalised here." Williams is married to Dianne and the couple has one child. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive - Big Mouth Monster Merlin - The Goblin Power Rangers Samurai - Eyescar Lego Dimensions - Arthur Weasley We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Dad Early Man - Barry Mark Williams on IMDb
Stephen John Fry is an English comedian and writer. He and Hugh Laurie are the comic double act Fry and Laurie, who starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. Fry's acting roles include a Golden Globe Award–nominated lead performance in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, the title character in the television series Kingdom, a recurring guest role as Dr Gordon Wyatt on the crime series Bones, as Gordon Deitrich in the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta, he has written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award–winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which saw him explore his bipolar disorder, the travel series Stephen Fry in America. He was the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI, with his tenure lasting from 2003 to 2016. Besides working in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines and written four novels and three volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, The Fry Chronicles, More Fool Me.
He appears on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, acting as chairman during one series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, where he was one of a trio of possible hosts who were tried out to succeed the late Humphrey Lyttelton, Jack Dee getting the post permanently. Fry is known for his voice-overs, reading all seven of the Harry Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings, narrating the LittleBigPlanet and Birds of Steel series of video games, as well as an animated series of explanations of the laws of cricket, a series of animations about Humanism for Humanists UK, he has filmed commercials, including an advertisement where he explains the essence of British culture to foreigners arriving at London's Heathrow Airport. Fry was born in Hampstead, London on 24 August 1957 to Marianne Eve Fry and Alan John Fry, a British physicist and inventor. Fry's father is English, his paternal grandmother had roots in Kent and Cheshire.
The Fry family originates at Shillingstone and Blandford. Fry's mother is Jewish, his maternal grandparents and Rosa Neumann, were Hungarian Jews, who emigrated from Šurany to Britain in 1927. Rosa Neumann's parents, who lived in Vienna, were sent to a concentration camp in Riga, where they were murdered by the Nazis, his mother's aunt and cousins were sent to Stutthof and never seen again. Fry grew up in the village of Booton near Reepham, having moved from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, at an early age, he has an elder brother, a younger sister, Joanna. Fry attended Cawston Primary School in Cawston, before going on to Stouts Hill Preparatory School in Uley, Gloucestershire, at the age of seven, to Uppingham School, where he joined Fircroft house, was described as a "near-asthmatic genius", he took and passed his O-Levels in the summer of 1972 at the age of 14 except Physics but expelled from Uppingham half a term into the sixth form, dismissed from Paston School, a grant-maintained grammar school who refused to let him progress to study A-Levels.
Fry moved to Norfolk College of Arts and Technology where, after 2 years in the sixth form studying English and History of Art failed his A-Levels, not turning up for his English and French papers. Over the summer, Fry absconded with a credit card stolen from a family friend, he had taken a coat when leaving a pub, planning to spend the night sleeping rough, but had discovered the card in a pocket. He, as a result, spent three months in Pucklechurch Prison on remand. While Fry was in Pucklechurch, his mother had cut out the crossword from every copy of The Times since he had been away, something which Fry said was "a wonderful act of kindness". Fry stated that these crosswords were the only thing that got him through the ordeal. Following his release, he resumed his education at City College Norwich, promising administrators that he would study rigorously and sit the Cambridge entrance exams. In the summer of 1977, he passed 2 A-Levels in English and French with grades of A and B, he received a grade A in an alternative O-Level in the Study of Art and scored a distinction in a S-Level paper in English.
Having passed the entrance exams in autumn 1977, Fry was offered a scholarship to Queens' College, Cambridge for matriculation in the autumn of 1978 teaching at Cundall Manor, a North Yorkshire preparatory school before taking his place. At Cambridge, Fry joined the Footlights, appeared on University Challenge, read for a degree in English graduating with upper second-class honours. Fry met his future comedy collaborator Hugh Laurie at Cambridge and starred alongside him in the Footlights. Fry's career in television began with the 1982 broadcasting of The Cellar Tapes, the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue, written by Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery; the revue caught the attention of Granada Television, keen to replicate the success of the BBC's Not the Nine O'Clock News, hired Fry and Thompson to star alongside Ben Elton in There's Nothing to Worry About!. A second series, retitled Alfresco, was broadcast in 1983, a third in 1984. In 1983, the BBC offered Fry and Thompson their own show, which became The Crystal Cube, a mixture of science fiction and mockumentary, canc
The Draughtsman's Contract
The Draughtsman's Contract is a 1982 British film written and directed by Peter Greenaway – his first conventional feature film. Produced for Channel 4 the film is a form of murder mystery, set in rural Wiltshire, England in 1694; the period setting is reflected in Michael Nyman's score, which borrows from Henry Purcell and in the extensive and elaborate costume designs. The action was shot on formal gardens of Groombridge Place; the film received the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association. Mr. Neville, a young, arrogant artist and something of a Byronic hero, is contracted by Mrs. Virginia Herbert to produce a series of twelve landscape drawings of her country house, its outbuildings and gardens, for her absent and estranged husband. Part of the contract is that Mrs. Herbert agrees "to meet Mr. Neville in private and to comply with his requests concerning his pleasure with me". Several sexual encounters between them follow, each indicating reluctance or distress on the part of Mrs Herbert and sexual aggression or insensitivity on the part of Mr Neville.
During his stay, Mr. Neville becomes disliked by several of its visitors and inhabitants by Mrs. Herbert's son-in-law, Mr. Talmann. Mrs. Herbert, wearied of meeting Mr. Neville for his pleasure, tries to terminate the contract before the drawings are completed. Neville continues as before. Mrs. Herbert's married but childless daughter, Mrs. Talmann, blackmails him into a second contract in which he agrees to comply with her pleasure, rather than his — a reversal of the position in regard to her mother, by suggesting that, as a number of incongruous objects in the drawings point to the murder of Mr. Herbert, the drawings suggest that Mr. Neville is an accomplice. Mr Herbert's body is discovered in the moat. Mr. Neville returns to make an unlucky thirteenth drawing. In the evening, while Mr. Neville is finishing the final sketch, he is approached by a masked man Mr. Talmann in disguise, joined by the estate manager and Mrs Herbert's ex fiancé, Mr. Noyes, neighbour Mr. Seymore and the Poulencs, eccentric local landowner twins.
The party accuses Mr. Neville of the murder of Mr. Herbert, for the drawings can be interpreted to suggest more than one illegal act and to implicate more than one person; when he denies the accusation, the group ask Mr. Neville to remove his hat, he agrees mockingly, at which point they hit him on the head, burn out his eyes, club him to death and throw him into the moat at the place where Mr. Herbert's body was found. Although there is a murder mystery, its resolution is not explicit. Mrs Herbert and Mrs Talmann were aided by Mr Clarke, the gardener, his assistant. In order to keep the estate in their hands, they needed an heir; because Mr Talmann was impotent, they used Mr Neville as a stud. Mr Herbert was murdered at the site; the film was inspired when Greenaway, who trained as an artist before becoming a filmmaker, spent three weeks drawing a house near Hay-on-Wye while holidaying with his family. Much like Mr. Neville in the final film, every day he would work on a particular view at a set time, to preserve the lighting effects while sketching from day to day.
The hands shown drawing in the film are Greenaway's own. The original cut of the film was about three hours long; the opening scene was about 30 minutes long and showed each character talking, at least once, with every other character. To make the film easier to watch, Greenaway edited it to 103 minutes; the opening scene is now about 10 minutes long and no longer shows all the interactions among all of the characters. Some anomalies in the longer version film are deliberate anachronisms: the depiction of the use of a cordless phone in the 17th century and the inclusion on the walls of the house of paintings by Greenaway in emulation of Roy Lichtenstein which are visible in the released version of the film; the released final version provides fewer explanations to the plot's numerous oddities and mysteries. The main murder mystery is never solved; the reasons for the'living statue' in the garden and why Mr. Neville attached so many conditions to his contract were more developed in the first version.
Groombridge Place was the main location in this tale of murder. Michael Nyman's score is derived from grounds by Henry Purcell overlain by new melodies; the original plan was to use one ground for every two of the twelve drawings but Nyman states in the liner notes that this was unworkable. The ground for one of the most popular pieces, "An Eye for Optical Theory", is considered to be composed by William Croft, a contemporary of Purcell; the goal was to create a generalized memory of Purcell, rather than specific memories, so a piece as recognized as "Dido's Lament" was not considered an acceptable source of a ground. Purcell is credited as a "music consultant"; the album was the fourth album release by Michael Nyman and the third to feature the Michael Nyman Band. "It's like harpsichord and a lot of strings, woodwind and a bit of brass," remarked Neil Hannon, frontman of The Divine Comedy. "Somehow they just manage to
Amarcord is a 1973 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini, a semi-autobiographical tale about Titta, an adolescent boy growing up among an eccentric cast of characters in the village of Borgo San Giuliano in 1930s Fascist Italy. The film's title is a univerbation of the Romagnolo phrase "a m'arcord"; the title became a neologism of the Italian language, with the meaning of'nostalgic revocation'. Titta's sentimental education is emblematic of Italy's "lapse of conscience." Fellini skewers Mussolini's ludicrous posturings and those of a Catholic Church that "imprisoned Italians in a perpetual adolescence" by mocking himself and his fellow villagers in comic scenes that underline their incapacity to adopt genuine moral responsibility or outgrow foolish sexual fantasies. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, was nominated for two more Academy Awards: Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. A young woman hanging clothes on a line points out the arrival of "manine" or fluffy poplar seeds floating on the wind.
The old man pottering beside her replies, "When fluff-balls come, cold winter's done." In the village square, schoolboys jump around trying to pluck puffballs out of the air. Giudizio, the town idiot, looks into the camera and recites a poem to spring and the swirling, drifting "manine". At the hairdresser's, a Fascist has just had his head newly shaved when Fiorella arrives to accompany her sister Gradisca, the village beauty, to the traditional bonfire celebrating spring; as night falls, the inhabitants of Borgo make their way to the village square where Fellini presents his comic characters: the blind accordion player relentlessly tormented by schoolboys. Modest and reserved, Aurelio responds in frenzied anger to Titta's pranks while Miranda, his wife, always comes to her son's defence. Miranda's brother, lives with Titta's family, sponging off his brother-in-law. In tow are Titta's grandfather, a likeable old goat with an eye on the family's young maid, a street vendor, the town's inveterate liar.
Giudizio sits an effigy of the "Old Witch of Winter" in a chair on the stack and Gradisca is given the honour of setting it aflame. Lallo maliciously removes the ladder. "I'm burning!" he screams as the crowd dances gaily round the bonfire and schoolboys run amuck exploding firecrackers. From a window, the Fascist bigwig fires his pistol into the air. "I feel spring all over me already," says Gradisca in ecstasy. The local aristocrat and his decrepit wife raise a toast to the dying flames. Schoolboys drag Volpina near the cinders swing her back and forth in rhythm to the blind accordionist's tune. A motorcyclist roars through the glowing coals in a mindless display of exhibitionism. Black-clothed women scoop the scattered embers into pans as the town lawyer appears walking his bicycle. Like Giudizio, he addresses the camera to explain choice tidbits of the town's history. A florid suite of raspberries interrupts his charming pedantry and he departs in a huff. Zeus, the red-haired crusty schoolmaster, presides over an official class photograph.
After showing us a wall hung with the portraits of the king, the pope and Mussolini, Fellini serves up a sequence of classroom antics involving Titta, Gigliozzi and Ciccio, the class fat boy who has a crush on Aldina, a lovely brunette. If the schoolboys are stereotypical delinquents, their teachers are ridiculous. During her inane lessons on Giotto's perspective, the art teacher dips a breakfast biscuit in milk. Expanding her voluptuous chest, the feral-faced maths teacher demonstrates an algebraic formula. Clicking tongue and palate to pronounce a syllable, the Italian teacher is reduced to hysterics by Ovo's parody of him. Myopic religion instructor Don Balosa wipes his glasses and drones on while half the class sneaks out for a smoke in the toilets. "Fu Manchu!" Cries Volpina, prowling on a sunburnt beach. When workers at Aurelio's construction site invite her to join them, the foreman promptly sends her off. Mortar, an old brick-maker, is asked to recite his new poem entitled Bricks: My grandfather made bricks My father made bricks I make bricks, but where's my house?
Aurelio replies with a homily on the virtues of hard work. During dinner with his family, Aurelio explodes when news arrives that Titta urinated on the neighbour's hat; the ensuing squabble builds into a delirious domestic fit. Titta and his gang follow Gradisca on her promenade under the arcades and, when that proves fruitless, flatten their noses against an irate merchant's shop window. Lallo and his fellow Don Juans spot a carriage-load of new prostitutes on their way to the local brothel; the news spreads like wildfire to the town's male population. The main concerns of Don Balosa, who doubles as the town priest, are floral arrangements and making sure his schoolboys avoid masturbation. At confession he warns Titta that "Saint Louis cries when you touch yourself." Given his fantasies involving the busty tobacconist, the sensual math teacher, the fat-bottomed peasant women on bicycles, Volpina the man-eater, Gradisca whom he tried to grope at the Cinema Fu
Ashley Jensen is a Scottish actress and narrator. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role on the television series Extras, in which she appeared from 2005–2007, she was a cast member of the ABC series Ugly Betty and the short-lived CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose. Jensen is the star of the comedy-drama detective television series Agatha Raisin. Jensen's first big television role was as Clare Donnelly, daughter of Glasgow criminal Jo-Jo Donnelly in the 1993 BBC drama Down Among the Big Boys. In 1994, she played eccentric secretary Rosie McConnichy in the final series of BBC comedy May to December, as a replacement for the character of secretary Hilary, Heather in Roughnecks, a BBC television series about workers on a North Sea Oil platform. Jensen had a small role in a Dangerfield episode "Contact" as the mother of a young girl with meningitis, she appeared as Fiona Morris in EastEnders. She appeared in the 2003 BBC drama Two Thousand Acres of Sky. Jensen co-starred alongside Ricky Gervais in the BBC Two/HBO television programme Extras as the inept Maggie Jacobs.
For her work on the first series, she received best television comedy actress and newcomer awards at the 2005 British Comedy Awards. In 2006, Jensen received a BAFTA nomination for her role in Extras, her role in the 2007 Christmas Special earned her an Emmy Award nomination. In January 2006 she starred in the short-lived drama series Eleventh Hour on ITV; that year she played Steve Coogan's agent in A Cock and Bull Story. In 2007, she provided the narration for the film Taking Liberties. In September 2006, Jensen's first major role on American television came when she took the role of regular character Christina McKinney on the ABC series Ugly Betty, her character was an American, but when she met with the show's producers they liked Jensen's accent and changed the nationality of the character, keeping McKinney Scottish. Production of Ugly Betty moved to New York from Los Angeles in mid-2008, causing a conflict for Jensen, unable to relocate from Los Angeles and left the show in 2009 near the end of the third season but made a return guest appearance in 2010 during the fourth season.
In January 2009, Jensen starred in No Holds Bard, a BBC Scotland one-off special comedy shown on Burns Night as part of a line-up of special programming to mark the 250th Birthday of Robert Burns. She is the narrator of Channel 4's Embarrassing Embarrassing Bodies, she narrated an advertising campaign for Bank of Scotland and Persil detergent adverts for both television and radio. From September 2009 to May 2010, she appeared in the sitcom Accidentally on Purpose as Olivia. Jensen starred in the 2009 BBC comedy Nativity as Jennifer Lore, a Hollywood producer's secretary and the love interest of Paul Maddens, played by Martin Freeman. On 21 December 2010, she starred in the one-off/pilot BBC comedy drama Accidental Farmer, playing a London executive who buys a derelict farm with her philandering boyfriend's credit card. In 2011, she voiced Nanette the frog in the animated production Juliet, she starred in the ITV drama The Reckoning in April of that year. In October 2012, she appeared as a guest on the BBC cookery programme Saturday Kitchen.
In 2014, she played the eponymous lead character in the television film adaptation of the M. C. Beaton novel Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death for Sky1, she starred in the eight-part series that first aired on Sky 1 on 7 June 2016. In 2015, Jensen acted in Catastrophe, a six-part comedy series for Channel 4, with Susan Calman in Calman's BBC Radio 4 comedy series Sisters. In 2017, she starred in a 6 part TV series for BBC TV - Love, Lies & Records, depicting the gritty life and entwined storylines working in Leeds Registry Office. In March 2019, Jensen reunited with Gervais in the Netflix black comedy series After Life. Jensen has one son, Francis Jonathan Beesley, from her marriage to actor Terence Beesley, whom she met in 1999 while working on a stage production of King Lear, her husband took his own life at the family home in Somerset in November 2017. Ashley Jensen on IMDb