Joanna Lumley: Ab Fab reunion is unlikely but ‘wait and see’

An Absolutely Fabulous reunion is unlikely as long as Jennifer Saunders remains unwilling to be involved, Joanna Lumley has said.

The TV and film actress, 74, said the decision over whether to reboot the BBC comedy series was up to her co-star, but urged fans to “wait and see”.

She also said the death of Dame June Whitfield, who played the sarcastic mother, further reduced the chances.

Graham Norton Show – London
Lumley said her Ab Fab co-star Jennifer Saunders is unlikely to do a reunion (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, she said: “I don’t think so. I think Jennifer’s decided not to do it. And also we’ve lost June Whitfield. We’re now all older. We’ll wait and see. But it’s up to Jennifer, it’s not up to any of us.”

Absolutely Fabulous originally ran between 1992 and 1996 but was revived from 2001 to 2004.

The cast celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of specials before reuniting for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in 2016.

She also addressed how Patsy Stone, her character in the comedy series, would have coped during lockdown. She said: “As long as she had half a room filled with cigarettes, the other filled with bolly and vodka, I don’t think she would have noticed. The odd man sent through. She’s got no interest in the outside world at all.”

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Dame June Whitfield, who also starred in the comedy series, died in 2018 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Lumley had to cancel a documentary about the spice route due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead travelled around Britain.

She said: “This year we were due to do the spice route from sort of New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Jordan, Egypt… cancelled.

“We didn’t give up. What we did was equally thrilling. We’ve called it Travels In My Own Land: Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home.

“Off we set – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

“We were going to do the Republic of Ireland but, unfortunately, at the time they had the lockdown. We couldn’t get in without a fortnight of quarantine so we had to leave it for the moment.

“We’ve seen such fantastic things. Such beauty, things like the Lake District. It was like a film, like an advertisement with the blazing sun we had this summer.”

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday November 14 at 10.30pm on ITV.