Here’s Jane Asher, twenty years old, photographed on 14 October 1966 by John d Green for Birds of Britain.
John remembered the spontaneous nature of the session: “Two hours before Jane Asher, the actress friend of Paul McCartney, came to the studio, we hadn’t the faintest idea what we were going to do. “What about this for an idea”, said David Tree, art director on the project. “Put Jane in an old high-back chair, take it into the park and surround it with grass.” “No–let’s put it in a lake.” “ Yeah–with an umbrella.” “Yeah”.
“Poor Jane. She had hardly put her foot inside the studio door when we whipped her into the car, strapped the chair on the roof, and set of for Wimbledon Common. We did not tell Jane anything about it. I parked the car and waded into the middle of a pond while David followed behind me with Jane in his arms. As I went back for the brolly she just sat there serenely as if that was the way she had posed for pictures all her life.”
Jane Asher made her name as a child actress and appeared in the 1952 film Mandy and the 1955 science fiction film The Quatermass Xperiment. She starred opposite Michael Caine in Alfie and made numerous television appearances. In 1963, the 17 year old Asher interviewed the Beatles at the Royal Albert Hall and began a five year relationship with Paul McCartney. On Christmas Day 1967 McCartney and Asher announced their engagement but when in 1968 Asher caught Paul McCartney in bed with another woman she publicly announced their engagement had been called off. This shocked many, including McCartney himself. In 1971 she married the cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe. She has authored best-selling novels and dozens of books on cake decorating, and runs a company making celebration cakes and sugar crafts.