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28 October 2014

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Cast of Mirrorball

It started out as a pilot for a new series to follow in the stead of Absolutely Fabulous... it ended up as an extra on the season four Ab Fab DVD release.

However you look at it, Mirrorball didn't live up to expectations.

Joanna Lumley as Jackie Riviera

Created as a vehicle for the Ab Fab cast, it came along at point when Jennifer Saunders felt Edina and Patsy had reached the end of the line.

Saunders plays Vivienne Keill, a modestly talented actress in her time, but now well past her best. She's hoping to secure her first job in years, and prepares to audition for Angela's Ashes: The Musical.

She's supported in her efforts by friend and fading glamour puss Jackie Riviera - who offers hopeless advice from the wings ("Sparkle! Sparkle!") - and her sister, 'serious' actress Freda.

Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders

Incredibly, despite murdering 'Send in the Clowns', she gets the gig - but injures herself severely during the resultant drunken celebrations.

Meanwhile, Jackie is convinced to help run a café with her husband Bruce.  It soon becomes a hang out for the dregs of theatre society, including Icelandic waitress/actress Yitta Hilberstam and sozzled '50s starlet Dora Vermouth.

Directed by Saunders' husband Adrian Edmondson, the one-off pilot ultimately didn't impress, and served only to baffle viewers. A format that was supposed to represent a new direction for the Ab Fab cast, it felt all too similar.

Jennifer Saunders as Vivienne Keill

Why not just make another series of the original and be done with it?  In fact, that's exactly what happened.

"We had such a great time making Mirrorball," explained Saunders later, "that we all wanted to work together again, and it also felt like there was something missing.  When I sat down to write new characters, I felt Edina and Patsy vying for my attention."


June Whitfield
Dora Vermouth
Jennifer Saunders
Vivienne Keill
Julia Sawalha
Freda Keill
Joanna Lumley
Jackie Riviera
Jane Horrocks
Yitta Hilberstam
Harriet Thorpe
Cat Rogers
Tim Wylton
Brice Michaels
Bonnie Langford
Bonnie Langford


Jennifer Saunders
Ruby Wax
script editor
Adrian Edmondson
Jon Plowman

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