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Joanna Lumley up for Ab Fab podcast return suggested by Jennifer Saunders: 'You bet!'

Excl: "A podcast is two people, and it would be Patsy and Eddie - it could work" star tells Attitude at Student Pride 2021

2021-04-20

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Aaron Hargreaves/National Student Pride/BBC

Joanna Lumley says she is up for the Absolutely Fabulous podcast teased by series creator Jennifer Saunders last year.

The TV icon playing boozy fashion editor Patsy Stone on the BBC show - which ran from 1992-2012, and made it to the big screen in 2016 - with Saunders playing PR guru Edina Monsoon.

Jennifer told The Times last December: "They [Patsy and Eddie] will probably come back on a podcast, but not as a movie."

Speaking backstage at Student Pride 2021 in London today, TV icon Joanna told Attitude she was unaware of Jen's suggestion ("Oh did she? She forgot to tell me!") but that she was nevertheless open to the idea: "You bet!"

"She forgot to tell me!"

Reflecting on the iconic characters' potential return, the 74-year-old said: "Either you do it as a play [or a podcast] - but really, a podcast is two people, and it would be Patsy and Eddie. It could work. We'd have to structure it slightly so we'd know where we're going to riff on or what we were going to do. I think it's lovely, but I wouldn't hold your breath."

The star also reflected on the death of June Whitfield, who played Gran, in December 2019, adding that a full TV reunion might not feel right without her.

"I don't think another show, because once June left, we felt the integrity of the show... To have left her out, we'd have had to mention it, and be hateful about it, which we couldn't be because we loved her so much [in real life]. Anyway, she was essential. And I think things have a time."

"I've never been made to feel more welcome in my life"

Joanna, who will be making a special appearance during tomorrow's Student Pride broadcast for This Evening hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Aimee Phillips (8pm-9pm), said of potential straight, cisgender allies to LGBTQ people: "Anyone who's sitting on the outside thinking 'will I be treading over boundaries', I say get in there - get in there at once!"

She added of the LGBTQ community: "I've never been made more welcome in my life." 

Joanna at National Student Pride in London today (Picture: Aaron Hargreaves/National Student Pride)

Asked what LGBTQ issue is most on her mind, Joanna replied: "At this time of MeToo, Black Lives Matter, those sort of things, it's parity, equality. What most concerns me is it's still worthy of some remark, which makes you look different.

"The Samaritans were started by an extraordinary man who's left us now, Chad Varah. I met him 45 years ago. He was a priest. [...] He told me, 'from an extremely butch man to the most feminine petal of a girl, all this is in a spectrum, and all is absolutely valid. There's no division. We're all part of the human condition.' That stuck with me terribly."

The Attitude May issue is out now to download and to order globally.

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