Jane Leeves: 'I'm so homesick for England'

Jane Leeves: 'I'm so homesick for England'
Jane Leeves: 'I'm so homesick for England' (Image credit: Kristian Dowling/PictureGroup)

Former Frasier star Jane Leeves lands herself another plum US comedy role. Another new US comedy wings its way across the pond next week in the shape of Hot in Cleveland (Sky Living, Tuesday, Feb 15), a breezy sitcom about three unmarried women from Los Angeles who end up in the Midwestern city of Cleveland, Ohio, and decide to stay there when they realise the town’s men consider them hot property. The trio is played by former Fraiser actress Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Valerie Bertinelli, while their new home’s cantankerous caretaker is played by ex-Golden Girls actress Betty White. TV&Satellite Week magazine caught up with Essex-born Jane Leeves to find out more... My character, Joy Scroggs, is a completely different person to me... She has never had a successful relationship in her life. She is childless, husbandless and clueless. She is so wrapped up in herself. I spent 11 years on Frasier and I wasn't looking for another TV show... But I hoped that one day something like this would come along. I would get scripts for dramas and my husband would say, ‘No, we’d never see you’. I’ve done bits and pieces, but I don’t think I was ready to go back until now. I took time off to be a mum... I have two children and I took the decision I was just going to be mum and set their lives up. I get to drop them off at school and pick them up, and my husband is very hands-on. My kids don’t care about my career... They have never been to the studio or seen the show. If I ever put on re-runs of Frasier, they are like, ‘Mum, we’re trying to watch something’. People still recognise me from Frasier... I’m not surprised at all that people are still talking about it. I think it may be appreciated even more as the years go by. It was a beautifully written show, and the actors I worked with were great. I don’t live a Hollywood life... I’m never stalked by the paparazzi and I’m not a party animal. I spend most of my time at the beach. I’m turning 50 this year... I'm feeling fantastic about it. I work with Betty White, who is 89, and she is sharp and funny, and looks fabulous. I'm more homesick for England now than I've ever been... I go to England for a month once a year and I absolutely love it. I think I appreciate it more now that I see it through my children's eyes, but we live in Malibu and my husband is a surfer and is so desperately unhappy when he isn't by the water.

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.