Kenny Doughty wife

Vera’s Kenny Doughty made his name half-naked in raunchy film with Hollywood actress Andie MacDowell

Well, he's not shy!

Kenny Doughty was catapulted to fame after starring in a sex-filled film opposite Andie MacDowell, a role which was a far cry from reliable DS Aiden Healy in Vera, and life with his new wife…

The actor is having a pretty momentous 2023 – leaving his famous role in ITV detective drama Vera, as well as getting married for the second time.

So what’s next for Kenny, and when did he marry his famous wife? Here’s everything you need to know about the departing Vera star…

Kenny Doughty and Brenda Blethyn in the cast of Vera
Kenny Doughty and Brenda Blethyn in the cast of the Vera Christmas Special (Credit: Stuart Wood/ITV)

Who is Kenny Doughty?

Kenny is an actor who is probably most famous for playing DS Aiden Healy in ITV‘s long-running series Vera. He’s also known for playing Sean in Stella.

He’s been on our screens ever since 1998, when he was 23 years old. His first ever role was playing Smokey’s Friend in the film I Want You. Since then, he’s appeared in dozens of films and TV series, including Coronation Street, Servants, Funland, and Goldplated.

Kenny turned to directing in 2008, when he directed the film You Me and Captain Longbridge. The movie captured a journey into the soul of 11-year-old Luke Stanton, who was struggling to come to terms with the hurt after the abrupt death of his father. Joseph Fiennes starred in the film, which only had a cast of four.

What is Kenny Doughty famous for? What’s he been in?

Kenny Doughty’s career began with small parts in films including I Want You, and Elizabeth, where he played Sir Thomas Elyot.

In 1998, he popped up in episodes of Victoria Wood comedy Dinnerladies, Heartbeat, and Love in the 21st Century. Kenny went on to play Young Scrooge in the TV movie A Christmas Carol, and Quintus in Titus.

But it was perhaps his role in the 2001 raunchy film Crush that got him really noticed (see below).

In 2003, Kenny won the role of William Forrest in Servants, and later played Liam Woolf in Funland. In 2009, he appeared in nine episodes of Coronation Street as Jake Harman.

Although his appearance on the cobbles was brief, he made quite the entrance – he interrupted Michelle Connor‘s bath, after climbing through her window…

The roofer, who arrived on the street to do some work for Dev, subsequently flirted his way to a date with Michelle, before planting a smacker on the barmaid.

From 2012 to 2013, Kenny Doughty portrayed Sean McGaskill in the Ruth Jones comedy drama series Stella. In 2015, he won the role of DS Aiden Healy alongside Brenda Blethyn in ITV’s Vera.

He’s also done lots of theatre, and toured the UK with the stage version of The Full Monty.

Kenny Doughty and Andie MacDowell in the cast of Crush
Kenny Doughty and Andie MacDowell in the cast of Crush (Credit: Simon Mein/Pipedream/Industry/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Why is he leaving Vera?

The Christmas special of Vera is the first ever festive episode of the detective drama, and it will be monumental for another reason, too – the departure of Kenny Doughty.

The episode, entitled The Rising Tide, marks the end of Kenny’s stint playing DS Aiden Healy in the show. Explaining his reasons to leave, he says: “I made the decision [to leave] before we started filming series 12. That was initially going to be the four films screened at the start of 2023. But then, halfway through filming, they said, ‘Can we do a Christmas special as well?’ So it was a long goodbye. With The Rising Tide being my last episode filmed in November and December 2022.”

Actor Kenny admits that there are several reasons he decided to quit the ITV series. He told ED!: “There were lots of personal and professional reasons why I wanted to move on. I have loved doing Vera 100 per cent. It has been a life-changing job for so many reasons. Including working with Brenda Blethyn and in the North East. I feel like an honorary Geordie. There is also a real family connection to the crew who I’m still in touch with.”

He added: “It has been nine years since I filmed my first episode in 2014, which was screened in 2015. I just wanted to leave while I was still happy with everything. It was a really difficult decision to leave. Because I loved doing that job and I loved working with everybody on the Vera team. But a little part of me, for whatever reason, the little inner self, said to me, ‘You should probably call it a day while you’re still enjoying it’. To step away and seek new acting challenges.”

Who did he play in the film Crush?

Kenny made his mark in the 2001 film Crush, opposite Hollywood actress Andie MacDowell, and British co-stars Imelda Staunton, and Anna Chancellor (duck face).

At the time, Andie MacDowell was a HUGELY bankable film star, after the success of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994, in which she played Carrie.

In the film Crush, three 40-something sex-starved women in a small English town met weekly for a ritual of gin, cigarettes, and sweets – and swapped stories about which of them had the most pathetic love life. That is until Kate – the headmistress at the local school – began a passionate fling with a handsome younger man…

Step forward Kenny Doughty, who portrayed a former pupil, and spent much of the film half naked, and getting frisky with Andie. Such scenes included Kate and 25-year-old Jed (Doughty) enjoying a quickie in the long grass in front of a church. Not a bad job.

Kenny Doughty with Kym Marsh in Coronation Street
Kenny Doughty as Jake, with Kym Marsh in Coronation Street (Credit:

How old is Kenny Doughty?

Kenny Doughty was born on March 27, 1975.

That makes him currently 48 years of age.

Kenny Doughty wife: Where is he from?

The actor is from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, where he was born.

He attended Charter School, which became the Kingstone School on Broadway Barnsley, where he performed a leading role in Grease. He went on to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Kenny Doughty and his wife Ashley Jensen
Kenny Doughty and his new wife Ashley Jensen attended An Audience With Kylie at the Royal Albert Hall in 2023 (Credit: Steve Vas/Future Image/Cover Images)

Who is the wife of Kenny Doughty?

Kenny Doughty married Shetland actress Ashley Jensen in late 2023, after several years of dating. Although the pair had not previously confirmed their relationship publicly, eagle-eyed nosy-parkers (staff at ED!) noticed that they kept on being photographed together. The pair were first spotted looking cosy in 2021.

Of course, TV fans will know that the actors co-starred together in the BBC One drama, Love, Lies and Records, which first aired in 2017.

The pair decided to go public earlier this year when they attended a red carpet event together. The duo arrived at the Radio Times Covers Party in January, and were more than happy to be photographed beside each other.

Ashley subsequently appeared on The Graham Norton Show sporting what appeared to be a large diamond engagement ring. Just days later, she showed off the ring again as she attended the Scottish BAFTA Awards in Glasgow. She and Kenny held hands throughout and looked blissfully happy.

The Mail Online reported that the pair secretly tied the knot in a “super fun and emotional” ceremony in front of a close group of family and friends in Bath recently. The pair were joined by Ashley’s son Francis, 14, from her marriage to late husband Terence Beesley. Tragically, Terence died by suicide in 2017.

Who is the first wife of Kenny Doughty?

Kenny Doughty was previously married to actress and screenwriter Caroline Carver. They separated in 2017, the same year Kenny starred in Love, Lies and Records opposite Ashley.

Caroline is an English actress, screenwriter, and producer. She played the young adult Hattie in the film Tom’s Midnight Garden in 1999, and has appeared in the likes of Sharpe’s Peril, Spooks, Jonathan Creek and Rosemary & Thyme. She won a Royal Television Society Best Actress Award for her performance in The Scarlet Pimpernel series, opposite Richard E. Grant.

On stage, in 2013 she played the role of Mandy in The Full Monty on tour. She wrote and produced the award-winning short film You Me and Captain Longbridge, and has also written episodes of The Bay, and Silent Witness.

Read more: Vera confirmed for series 13 and Kenny Doughty replaced by very familiar face

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The Vera Christmas special The Rising Tide will air on Boxing Day 2023 on ITV at 8pm.

Are you sad to see Kenny Doughty leave Vera? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor