Joanna Lumley

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actress Joanna Lumley. She first found fame as the high-kicking glamour-puss Purdey in the 1970s show The New Avengers, but the role that cemented her in the nation's psyche was Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous. A striking beauty with a cut-glass accent she had, until then, been cast as a certain sort of sexy toff. Yet in AbFab she stole the show as a shallow, free-loading, alcoholic has-been - famous for her towering chignon and withering one-liners.

Along with displaying a formidable comic talent, it was a role that toyed cleverly with her public persona, hinting at her own beginnings as a model at the precise moment in the 1960s when London really started to swing. As she contemplates being marooned, she abandons the make-up and glamour of her on-screen life and embraces island living - collecting firewood, eating from shells and preparing her evening fire before the moon rises and she chooses the eight tracks that she would like to hear during a single island day.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Symphony No 7 in A Major by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book: A huge atlas
Luxury: Video camera + film.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 18 May 2007 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestJoanna Lumley

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes


Desert island discs 75th anniversary 1920x1080

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs at 75 1920x1080

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?