Jane & Paul: A
On her return, Jane said, "Paul had changed so much. He was on LSD, which I knew nothing about. The house had changed and it was full of stuff I didn't know about."
The two decided to get married and during an interview in the Daily Express in 1967, she said, "I want to get married, probably this year, and have lots and lots of babies. I certainly would be surprised indeed if I married anyone but Paul."
On New Year's Day 1968 he proposed, gave her a diamond and emerald ring and they travelled up north to 'Rembrandt' (his Liverpool home) to tell Paul's father.
But the five-year romance came to an abrupt end, despite the fact that they obviously loved each other. Jane had been a virgin when they met and fidelity to a partner obviously meant a great deal to her. On the other hand, Paul had always been a
womanizer. During her absences when touring, he had been dating other girls and began an affair with an American, Francie Schwartz.
Jane arrived home unexpectedly when Paul was in bed with Schwartz. She walked out on him and sent her mother to Cavendish Avenue to collect her belongings.
On the 20 July edition of the BBC Television show 'Dee Time', she announced officially that their engagement was off. She was to say, "I know it sounds corny, but we still see each other and love each other, but it hasn't worked out. Perhaps we'll be childhood sweethearts and meet again and get married when we're about 70." The couple did meet once or twice after the Schwartz incident, but the split was final.
Jane met political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe at the tenth anniversary party of the satirical publication Private Eye. The two fell in love and their first child Katie was born on 17 April 1974. Two more children were born, both sons: Alexander in December 1981 and Rory in 1984. Jane and Gerald were eventually married in 1981 and settled in Chelsea.
Jane appeared in further acting parts, including a TV production of 'Romeo and Juliet. After the birth of Katie she curtailed her acting career for a while, but appeared in the stage version of 'Whose Life Is It Anyway?'
She returned to acting in the 1980s with many television appearances. they included the part of Celia Rider opposite Jeremy Irons in 'Brideshead Revisited', with James Fox in 'Love Is Old, Love Is New', a drama about a couple obsessed with the 1960s which featured a lot of Beatles music, and with Laurence Olivier in John Mortimer's 'A Voyage Round My Father.'
Other TV appearances included the costume drama 'Hawkmoor' and an episode of 'Tales of the Unexpected.' She teamed up with James Fox again for the film 'Runners' and in 1985 appeared with Ian Holm and Coral Browne in 'Dreamchild.'
Jane has written books on entertaining, fancy dress and ornate cake decoration and in 1995 launched her own national publication Jane Asher's Magazine, at a time when she regularly featured on television commercials.
The 1990s was the most successful decade of her career. She continued with acting, appearing in the TV movies 'Closing Numbers (1994) and 'The Choir' (1995), in the stage play 'The Things We Do For Love', the cult TV series 'Absolutely Fabulous' and in 2000 appeared in two plays at the National Theatre: 'House' and 'Garden.'
She has had her various cake products sold in the supermarkets, her kitchen items in the do-it-yourself stores, a regular TV show of her own, and her own weekly column in a national newspaper, plus the publication of 14 lifestyle books. In 1998 she had her first novel 'The Longing' published, followed by others including 'The Question' and 'Trying To Get Out.'
Tragically, her father died of an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol. His body was discovered on 26 April 1969.
Jane met Paul again in 1994 for the first time in more than 20 years. Her brother Peter went on to become Vice President of Sony USA and Claire, who'd appeared in the radio soap 'Mrs Dale's Diary' and the TV series 'The Mistress' (with Jane), gave up acting to become a school teacher.
Editor's note: If Paul could be regarded as a renaissance man due to his talents as a musician, songwriter, poet and painter, then Jane is truly a renaissance woman.
In 1997, at the age of 51, the slim Jane posed for a McVitie's biscuit advert, seemingly clothed in a dress made of chocolate. It was actually a real dress with a special coating. McVitie's had been using Jane as their main star in the McVitie's television commercials since 1994 and she helped to raise the sales, resulting in their plain and milk chocolate digestives becoming Britain's best selling biscuit.