BBC One celebrates 20th anniversary of Absolutely Fabulous with three specials

Its great that we are able to celebrate our 20th birthday with all the original castJennifer Saunders
Date: 29.08.2011     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.12
BBC One today confirmed the highly anticipated return of comedy phenomenon Absolutely Fabulous.

The award-winning series will return to TV screens later this year with the first of three specials to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The three 30-minute episodes will see Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprise their celebrated roles as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone, together with original cast members Julia Sawalha as Saffy, June Whitfield as Mother and Jane Horrocks as Bubble.

The original pilot for Absolutely Fabulous was made in 1991 and the series aired from 1992 to 2003, with a special that was aired in 2004. The series followed the lives of two best friends, Edina, an International PR guru by trade, but Sixties teenager at heart and Patsy, a sex-crazed magazine editor. The new collection of specials picks up in the present day.

Eddy worked in PR and was into every new fad and fashion imaginable, she was often to be found at the bottom of a champagne glass, actually more likely a bottle. Not much has changed. Her best friend Patsy worked in magazines and lived the high life. She still does. Eddy's daughter Saffy was hardworking and all but ignored by her mother and hated by Patsy. Saffy has definitely grown up. Eddy's mother was – and is, her mother. Unbelievably Eddy's PA, Bubble, is still employed and at one point displays a skill no-one knew she had, least of all her.

In the first episode, fans will rejoin the beloved ensemble in the midst of a life-changing experience for one - which affects them all. In the second show, Eddy sets her sights on changing the career of a very big fish indeed. And in the concluding episode, Eddy and Patsy play their own very special part in the London 2012 Olympics. They're back, 20 years on, a teeny bit older, none the wiser but definitely still Absolutely Fabulous.

Jennifer Saunders said: "Its great that we are able to celebrate our 20th birthday with all the original cast. Like a good bottle of champagne we hope that we have got better with time without losing any of our sparkle. Last week when we started filming in dear old West London, it was as if nothing had changed. It was raining. Nevertheless, we are so happy to be working for an audience that has grown just a tiny bit older like us, but is still willing to let us fall over on TV in the name of PR."

Jon Plowman, Executive Producer, BBC Comedy and original producer of the Absolutely Fabulous series, said: "Viewers have been fantastically loyal in their devotion to our show, so we're really thrilled to say that it's coming back for three new shows to celebrate our 20th anniversary. All of the originals who are back together again are still truly absolutely fabulous and the new adventures of Edina, Patsy, Saffy, Bubble and Mother, plus a few surprising guests, will be a real treat for viewers."

Absolutely Fabulous is a BBC Comedy production and has been written by Jennifer Saunders. Directed by Mandie Fletcher and produced by Justin Davies. Executive producer is Jon Plowman.

Notes to Editors

Absolutely Fabulous is co-produced by BBC America and Logo.

PA/JD