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Ashley Jensen's kettle bag

Ashley Jensen's kettle bag

Ashley Jensen used to use a kettle as a handbag.

The 'Agatha Raisin' actress cites Vivienne Westwood as one of her style icons because she can identify with her eccentric ways because of her own past desire to "dress shockingly".

She said: "[Westwood] is not a style icon for nothing. I really connect with her.

"I was one of those kids who went through a phase of wanting to dress shockingly. At one point I started using a kettle as a handbag.

"I love that she never apologises for the female form. In fact, she accentuates it."

The 46-year-old actress also cites Sara Blakely, who founded Spanx, as an inspiration, both because of her perseverance and because she is a fan of the control undergarments.

She said: "She was turned down time and time again by manufacturers, but she persevered because she believed she had a good product. And she did; I love my Spanx."

Ashley also admires the "integrity" of 'Chocolat' actress Juliette Binoche.

She explained: "She's a wonderful actress, with real integrity. She often turns down blockbusters to tell a more interesting story and never takes an obvious route to portray a character."

And 'The Lobster' actress is a big fan of Kate Bush, even though her music always makes her cry.

She told Britain's Glamour magazine: "Her music makes me cry. She's a phenomenal songwriter.

"I first started listening to her back in drama school. I admire that she keeps total creative control over everything that she does. I think that makes her a true artist."