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Ashley Jensen: 'LA is strange and fake'

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Ashley Jensen

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Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen has admitted that she was desperate to return to the UK after first moving to Los Angeles.

The 41-year-old, who grew up in the Scottish town of Annan before finding fame in BBC sitcom Extras, admitted to feeling "homesick" when she arrived in LA and revealed that she still struggles to cope without certain quintessentially British comforts.

Jensen, who now lives in the Hollywood Hills with husband Terry Beesley and their 18-month-son Frankie, told the Daily Mail: "When I'm at home in LA it's great... but it's all the intangibles I miss. Waking up to blue skies every day is brilliant, but I miss the smells from back home - freshly mown grass, the streets after it's rained and real snow.

"In Los Angeles it's fake stuff, produced by chemical machines and blown into the shopping malls in the run-up to Christmas. Then there's the tastes of Marmite, Irn-Bru and veggie Cornish pasties. I crave them - and binge on them like an addict when I'm back in the UK.

"It was the little things like that which made me so homesick at first. Remember, I'm just a wee lass from a wee Scottish town, and it's all so big and brash in America."

She added: "When I first came here, I was all for getting the next plane home. But Terry, who was then just my boyfriend, persuaded me to give it a go, and I'm glad I did because life's pretty good - but still a bit strange, as if I'm living in a dream."

Despite having only recently settled into LA life, Jensen teased that a permanent return to the UK could be on the cards for when Frankie grows older.

She said: "The big moment will come in a few years when we have to decide whether we'll stay in the US for Frankie's education, or return to Britain, and I'm not looking forward to it.

"At the moment we can be flexible about where we live because Frankie's still fairly portable. But that won't last forever."

Jensen will next appear on UK TV screens in two-part ITV drama The Reckoning, on April 20 and 21.

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