Ab Fab's Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley pay tribute to June Whitfield at star-studded funeral

Dame June Whitfield’s Absolutely Fabulous co-stars have paid tribute to the late actress at her funeral.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley were in attendance at the hour-long service at All Hallows Church in Tillington, Chichester.

The much-loved actress, who was best known for her roles in comedies like Ab Fab and Terry and June, died at the age of 93 on December 28 2018.

The service featured a selection of Whitfield’s favourite music, including the classic hymn Jerusalem and Judy Garland’s Get Happy.

The star’s granddaughter reportedly read David Harkin’s poem She Is Gone, before her actress daughter Susie Aitchison and her husband Terence Quinn delivered a eulogy.

Former Coronation Street star Roy Hudd also made a speech at the service, which was attended by writer Gyles Brandreth and actress Nerys Hughes.

Honour: Whitfield was made a Dame in November last year (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Honour: Whitfield was made a Dame in November last year (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Tributes flooded in for the actress after news broke of her death last month.

“It’s so tremendously sad to lose June,” Saunders said. “I will always be grateful that she agreed to be in Ab Fab and even more grateful that she became a dear friend.

“She lived and worked with an extraordinary grace. Everything June did was perfectly measured. She was so loved and I will miss her hugely.”

Lumley said that she was “heartbroken to lose such a darling friend,” adding that she would “never forget her sensational talent, humour and her generosity to us all who had the joy of working with her on Ab Fab.”

Comedian Rory Bremner described Whitfield as the “go-to comedy actress for three generations.”

“Always graceful and elegant with a real comic glint in her eye and (absolutely) fabulous timing,” he said.

Whitfield’s on-screen granddaughter Julia Sawalha thanked her “for teaching me my craft with such grace and dignity.”