70 reasons why Joanna Lumley is absolutely fabulous

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Without a doubt, Joanna Lumley is a national treasure.

    The 70-year-old actress will reprise her role as the wine drinking, chain smoking, fashion icon Patsy Stone in the new Ab Fab movie and we are very excited. But there’s far more to the actress that her most famous character – and you might not even know about some of them!

    So in her honour, here are 70 reasons why we think Ms Lumley is absolutely fabulous. By the time you get to the end, we’re sure you’ll agree…

    1. She’s awfully posh

    2. She was a model in the 60s

    3. She’s the only woman to EVER play Dr Who. (She appeared as the thirteenth Doctor in a Comic Relief spin-off)

    4. She played the outrageous character, Patsy Stone, in the much loved Absolutely Fabulous

    5. …and what a character it was!

    6. She’s jolly stylish

    7. She has one of the most distinctive voices of our time

    8. Her M&S ‘shwopping’ campaign encouraging people to swap clothes in the name of charity.

    9. She did a brilliant job of carrying the Olympic Torch

    10. She has so many legendary Ab-Fab moments, including this one when Eddie points out Patsy’s panty line… but she isn’t wearing any pants

    11. The fact that she’s in her seventies and still looks AH-MA-ZING

    12. Her Ab-Fab knack of turning up to even the most low-key events, totally overdressed

    13. When she met Will.i.am and just wasn’t phased at all

    14. The fact that she starred in one of our fave soaps, Corrie

    15. And also played the hideously-dreadful auntie in the film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach

    16. The classic moment when Patsy smoked a whole packet of cigarettes in one go and used a stove lighter to light them

    17. She was a BOND GIRL in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

    18. Remember the little voice on AOL which politely told you, ‘You’ve got e-mail’? That was her!

    19. We loved her adverts for Sky Go where she impersonates characters from popular Sky programmes, particularly this one for Game of Thrones

    20. The way her and Eddie used to try and match their outfits and voices to each social occasion in the most ridiculous of ways (remember the chavs?)

    21. Patsy’s peroxide blonde beehive

    22. Her absolute love of travelling

    23. When she visited Greece, she went and met a village of people who speak in whistles (you’ve got to see it to believe it!)

    24. The fact that she had a cheeky kiss with none other than Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street!

    25. Because she’s now starring in the Ab Fab film!

    26. She once shared a smooch with a camel

    27. And starred as a detective in Sapphire and Steel

    28. Being brave enough to speak out about being an unmarried mother during the 60s, which was still quite a taboo at the time

    29. The time when Patsy and Eddie discovered Patsy didn’t have an identity

    30. She worked to help retired Gurkhas settle in the UK

    31. She danced alongside comic legends, Morecambe and Wise

    32. Her red lipstick is always immaculate

    33. She starred in one of our favourite Saturday night mysteries, Jonathan Creek

    34. She’s outspoken about sexual assault not being taken seriously

    35. Her attitude towards feminism. She wants ‘equal pay for equal work’ but acknowledges there are differences between us: 

    ‘I just feel that we think differently, achieve things by different methods. I think women like chitter-chattering together and I don’t think men do. I think men like board meetings, and I am not sure women love them quite so much. I think women tend to use fewer utensils when cooking than men. I think women like buying new things rather too often while it is hard to get men to part with an old friendly garment.’

    36. For this Patsy moment, when she describes her passport photo as ‘very recent’

    37. Her brilliant book, named Absolutely: A Memoir

    38. Because when she met her husband Stephen she knew instantly that they would be together

    39. She has an OBE

    40. When she was growing up, she wanted to work in a bar

    41. She set the trend for double denim

    42. The way she gave all the credit for Ab Fab’s success to her co-star Jennifer Saunders for writing such ‘fantastic scripts’

    43. Everyday, she rearranges all the pictures in her house because the Tube thunders underneath her London home and shakes them all up

    44. Her favourite movie is Breakfast at Tiffany’s – how apt!

    46. She plays the Queen in the film adaptation of David Walliams’ book, Gangsta Granny

    47. For this moment when Patsy and Eddie join a book club

    48. Because she has the same favourite Christmas song as us, Wham!’s Last Christmas

    49. She’s involved with over 70 charities!

    50. She’s prudish:

    51. ‘I don’t even like watching kissing on screen!’

    52. She almost, just almost, didn’t do Ab Fab because she didn’t think she was right for the role. But she ended up doing it after her agent convinced her as it was only a pilot

    53. And because we can’t imagine a life without it…

    54. When Patsy ‘nodded off’ and set the kitchen on fire

    55. Because she spent a whole 9 days on a desert island in 1994

    56. …and said the thing she’d missed the most was lettuce

    57. If she reads a bad review about herself she rips it up:

    ‘If I rip it up it doesn’t exist’

    58. She was rejected by drama school RADA but was still determined to become an actress

    59. The students at New College, Oxford named their Junior Common Room after her

    60. She once cuddled a piglet outside parliament to protest against the horror of live animal transport, veal crates and battery hens

    61. She gave us this TV gold, when Patsy breaks her arm and has an array of painkillers at the ready

    62. She’s always had the perfect hairstyle for her age

    63. She guest starred in US comedy Roseanne, which is another one of our favourite shows

    64. She was born in India

    65. She’s a loving mum:

    ‘To have your own baby is to know that you have something so wonderful and inexplicably brilliant to work for’

    66. She spoke out against binge drinking in young women

    67. She based Patsy’s laugh on Elvis Presley’s voice!

    68. She was educated in Hong Kong

    69. She is also a recognised stage actress, appearing in many plays from Desdemona in ‘Othello’ in 1975 to Ranevskaya in ‘The Cherry Orchard’ in 2007

    70. Because she simply is, immeasurably, undoubtedly, and unbelievably absolutely fabulous. Fact!