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Tony Parsons's column: JANE'S A REAL LADY.

Byline: Tony Parsons

TO READ the Sunday papers is to feel like Alicia Douvall's gynaecologist.

Yesterday I learned about the miscarriage she had carrying P Diddy's child ("agony"), the speed of Mick Hucknall's lovemaking ("we did it during the Coronation Street ad break") and the enthusiasm of her latest flame, "TV star" Toby Anstis ("Tony was itchier for sex than the itchiest man in Itchyland on National Itchy Day".)

I have no idea who "TV star" Toby Anstis is but I feel I have more information than I need about the queen of kiss-and-tell.

Now Alicia is launching a singing career. She's a beautiful girl, can carry a tune, and she's young - so why is it all going to end in tears? Because there is no mystery about her, and no dignity. Alicia has sold herself too cheaply. The world of kiss-and-tell is a world of diminishing returns.

If any young actress or singer wants a lifelong career, then they could do no better than copy Jane Asher. Jane never talks about her past.

We all know that she was Paul McCartney's girlfriend at the height of Beatlemania. But Jane has been married to cartoonist Gerald Scarfe for 30 years and rightly believes that she does not need to sell her past to promote her present.

Jane is a beautiful, strong, sexy woman who'd rather stick her head on a baking tray than kiss and tell. She's appearing in Crossroads but one day somebody will write a part for her that will let her truly shine.

Jane Asher is on her way to becoming a national treasure with no kissing and no telling - even though her boyfriend of half a lifetime ago was more famous than a million P Diddys, Mick Hucknalls and Toby whos?

I was on Radio 5 Live recently with Jane. Interviewer Nicky Campbell left it until the very end of the show to broach the subject of the Beatles. He wanted a scoop and ended up with dead air and egg on his face.

Jane does it her way. Every young actress and singer should follow her example. Keep your dignity. Maintain your privacy. Treat yourself and those you love with respect and the world will do the same.

Carry yourself like Alicia Douvall and one day the world will get bored and toss you away like an empty crisp packet.

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DISCREET: Jane
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 27, 2003
Words:399
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