Ab Fab: A minute with June Whitfield and Joanna Lumley

Editor, BBC TV blog

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Twenty years after the first broadcast, Absolutely Fabulous is back on BBC One on Christmas Day - in the first of three 30-minute special episodes.

June Whitfield and Joanna Lumley had a brief moment to answer some questions about the new series, written by and starring Jennifer Saunders.

Bubble (Jane Horrocks), Saffy (Julia Sawalha), Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Mother (June Whitfield) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley)

What was your first thought when you were asked to make the 20th anniversary specials?
June: Hooray!
Joanna: I thought hurrah! Back with the old team again! Back to the delights of playing Patsy again!

How long did you think about it for before saying yes?
June: Two seconds.
Joanna: A nanosecond!

Twenty years on, how would you describe Edina and Mother's relationship now?
June: As ever, Eddy can't wait to be rid of Mother - but Mother is somehow always there.

What has changed and what has endured about Patsy?
Joanna: She is much the same as ever: hair, fab clothes, ghastly habits, keen on a tincture, best friends with Eddy.

Edina and Patsy go shopping

What was the funniest moment in making the specials - on or off camera?
June: Just watching Jennifer, Joanna, Jane and Julia and the studio audience reaction - tremendous.
Joanna: Watching the others inhabiting their characters. Julia is as bad at corpsing as ever.

Jennifer is said to be generous about including new script suggestions during shooting. Did you suggest any lines to be added to the script?
Joanna: We all suggest things; Jennifer selects what she wants or leaves things at the wayside.
June: I added only one small one: "Nothing for the car boot sale then."

Are you going to watch the show like the rest of us on Christmas evening?
June: Depending on what my family is doing - I have already seen it at a special screening for the cast and crew. I fell about laughing and I hope the viewers will feel the same.
Joanna: I am longing to see them all. I'm in a play at the moment so I missed the screening and will only get to watch the shows when they go out on television.

June Whitfield plays Mother and Joanna Lumley plays Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous.

Absolutely Fabulous returns on Sunday, 25 December at 10pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. The second episode is on Sunday, 1 January 2012 at 9.40pm.

The third special episode will be aired in summer 2012 - date to be announced next year.

Fiona Wickham is the editor of the BBC TV blog.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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