Presidential role for Jane Asher

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The Independent Online
The actress Jane Asher, has accepted a new role as president of the National Autistic Society.

Ms Asher, who has been involved with the society for more than 10 years, already sits on the board of several charities as well as acting, writing and running her own cake shop.

Her first novel, The Longing, was well received and she is currently working on her second. She has already written several cookery and children's books and is a cake consultant for Sainsbury's, McVities, and British Airways.

But despite all this, and a successful marriage of 25 years to the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, she feels her nickname Superwoman is unfair.

"It's a total illusion really. My life is actually disorganised and I rush from one thing to another," she said a few months ago - just before the start of her 25-part afternoon television show.

Ms Asher said of her new appointment: "Autism is a complex condition and I am happy to do what I can to help highlight the problems that people with autism and their families face.

"I am proud to be part of the excellent work that the NAS is doing and have enjoyed my association immensely.

"I am looking forward to further developing my role within the society and to helping influence a greater understanding of autism."