Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Ashley in a flap over chicken shoot

Ashley Jensen tells of how she got on with chickens while filming Accidental Farmer
Ashley Jensen tells of how she got on with chickens while filming Accidental Farmer

Extras star Ashley Jensen has admitted she was in a flap as she filmed a new farm-set comedy - due to a phobia of chickens.

Jensen plays a media luvvie who swaps high heels for wellington boots in BBC comedy Accidental Farmer.

She said she was "excited" about working with animals for the first time but when she got down to filming the chickens really ruffled her feathers.

She said: "There was a hairy moment for me when I had to go into a chicken coop. I was fine with 12 bullocks and a 13ft pile of manure, that was a doddle - I did my milkmaids badge in the Guides - but the bit for me was the blimming chickens in the chicken coop."

The programme's producers offered to use a body double for a scene when Jensen's character has to collect eggs from a chicken coop, but the actress decided to wing it.

She said: "My heart was pounding out of my chest, I swear you could see my heart, and the director said, 'You really don't have to do it if you don't want to, we can get someone else', but I said, 'I'm going to do it, I'm going to go into the chicken coop!'. Then I came out and I went 'yeeahhh!'."

The actress is hoping the one-off comedy will be commissioned for a full run, but joked: "If this show went to series I'd probably have to pick up a chicken at some point which is a wee bit of a worry for me - I didn't get my chicken badge in the Guides."

Jensen, who was nominated for a Bafta and an Emmy for her role in Extras, added that she would love to film more of the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant comedy, but she thought they had probably "moved on".

She said: "They're on to new ventures and things. People ask me all the time and I would do it like that, I totally would. There was talk in the beginning but people have moved on. I think, to be honest, when we were sitting at the Golden Globes there were people like Drew Barrymore and Justin Long going, 'Oh Ricky, Ricky, Ricky'. I think they could probably get anyone they wanted now."

Accidental Farmer is on BBC1 on December 21.

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