Absolutely Fabulous returns to TV - Joanna Lumley spills about Patsy!

11 November 2011 by

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous

To celebrate the triumphant return of absolutely amazeballs sitcom Absolutely Fabulous to our screens, Actress Joanna Lumley, who plays Patsy and writer and comedian Ruby Wax, who script edits the show have filled in the London Evening Standard on what the characters have been up to in the interregnum, what fashion they are into now, and a few handy beauty tips of such ageing style icons as Patsy and Eddie . . .

Joanna Lumley, Patsy, says ‘to get back into the role I had to get the hair right. I'd grown it to just past my shoulders and dyed it a yellowish colour as though poor old Pats had had a go at it. Everyone's got a bit older, apart from June Whitfield who just gets younger. . . The house is the same but it's been redecorated. Edina's bedroom is all done up and still filled with hopeless designer clothes.

Jennifer Saunders, Julia Swahala Joanna Lumley Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders, Julia Sawalha and Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous

So what have Eddy and Patsy been up to over the past six years? The recession has caught up with them. Patsy never had any money anyway, she lived off Eddy, but I think Eddy, with her way of spending like a kicking horse, must have reached the bottom of the barrel pretty much and done a lot on credit and a lot on blagging her way through things at a pinch. But they always find a way to keep the party going.

Patsy's favourite shop in London has always been Harvey Nicks, but she and Eds are like butterflies, always flitting off to the latest place. They have a very, very good shopping spree in South Molton Street in episode one - they really shop that place rigid - and they are now very keen on Stella McCartney’

How brilliant!

Jennifer Saunders and Ruby Wax this month

Jennifer Saunders and Ruby Wax this month

Ruby Wax, the script editor explains how Ab Fab was invented, all those years ago; ‘On my Channel 4 chat show Don't Miss Wax in the late 1980s, I created a sketch in which Joanna Lumley played herself as a once-great actress who had lost it and now had no employment. My character broke into her house with a camera crew and found her snorting Ajax, living with cats and re-enacting Purdey in the toilet. People wrote in to say how shocked they were at how Joanna Lumley lived. They didn't understand it was a joke. An even more exaggerated version of that character eventually became Patsy.

Absolutely Fabulous was Jennifer Saunders' original idea but we both knew who it was based on - a fashion PR called Lynne Franks. We knew that world very well. Patsy was my favourite character and right from the start I would add twists to her life - Jennifer will say I made her funnier, but honestly, I didn't have to. I know where Jennifer's going with a joke, so I can twist it up a little and if she laughs, I know I'm on to something.’

We. Honestly. Can. Not. Wait !! !


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