After a ‘blissful’ eighteen months of being a full time mum, Patsy Kensit is taking a break from cooking and baking to return to one of her earliest roles.
She is once again fronting a campaign for Birds Eye peas. Almost forty years after she famously featured in a TV ad for the company, Kensit has returned to celebrate the 65thbirthday of the first Birds Eye pea harvest, and the launch of the Grow Your Own campaign.
"I’d secretly been hoping for the last 20 odd years that I would be working with them again,” she says.
"It [working with Birds Eye] was such a part of my childhood and I felt that I was very much considered part of the Birds Eye family.”
Kensit is fronting the campaign that, along with the National Schools Partnership, aims to teach school children the journey of food from ‘field to fork'. The company has provided half a million schools with packs of pea seeds, and is offering free plant-your-own seeds with the purchase of their frozen peas.
"I’ve got two sons, I’m a mother, and I think encouraging them [children] to eat their veg is important,” says the actress.
Her two sons, James and Lennon, are the reason Kensit left her role as Faye Byrne in Holby City in 2010.
"I realised my eldest son had become a man in that time that I had gone into Emmerdale and Holby City” she explains.
"…Although I was always there as a mother, there were times when I couldn’t be at school concerts or I couldn’t get to a football match because I was filming. I just thought ‘I don’t want to lose this time with my youngest son’.”
So how has she been filling her days without the gruelling schedules of filming a TV programme? Aside from cooking and baking, she says, "I’ve caught up on so much sleep!”
Saying that she would not be able to afford to not work at all, Kensit featured in a pantomime earlier this year, having previously starred in Aladdin alongside Christopher Biggins and Simon Callow – (two men who are "a force to be reckoned with!”) This time, she played the Queen in Snow White.
"It was my youngest son’s Christmas with his Dad, so I was able to work,” Kensit explains. "Pantomime is great fun. Once the show is up and running it’s a massive laugh and it’s just about making the kids smile. It was quite a nice thing to do at Christmas.”
The 44-year-old actress says that she will return to a television role when she finds an opportunity that suits her.
"When the right job comes along that fits in with what I’m doing at home, I’ll take it… but it needs to be the right job, and the right role. I played two incredible characters. In Emmerdale, Sadie King was such a joy. She was just such a bitch!... And then as Faye in Holby City, who was quite a tortured girl with a lot of dark secrets in her past, I was given really fantastic story lines. So it is important that the next role is right.”
Though the new Birds Eye campaign acts as a reminder of how long Kensit has been on our screens, she hopes that she still has a lot more to come.
"I look at Joanna Lumley who is such an inspiration to me and I would love to have that kind of longevity,” she says.
"I love it [acting] and I’m not tired of it. I hope to continue, and to play roles that I can play as an old woman!”
Patsy Kensit and Birds Eye are encouraging the nation to grow their own with the Field Fresh free pea seeds campaign, 65 years after their first pea harvest. Visit www.facebook.com/birdseye to find out more.