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Absolutely Fabulous

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Absolutely Fabulous, also known as Ab Fab, is a British sitcom created by Jennifer Saunders, based on an original idea by her and Dawn French, and written by Saunders, who plays the leading character.

It also stars Joanna Lumley and Julia Sawalha, along with June Whitfield and Jane Horrocks. The series features Saunders as Edina Monsoon, a heavy-drinking, drug-abusing PR agent who spends her time chasing bizarre fads in a desperate attempt to stay young and "hip". Edina is joined in her quest by magazine editor Patsy Stone, her best friend and enabler, whose drug abuse, alcohol consumption, and promiscuity far eclipse Edina's comparatively mild self-destructive behaviour.

Despite being a middle-aged, twice-divorced career woman, Edina is reliant upon the support of her daughter, Saffron, a secondary school pupil (and later university student) whose constant care for her mother has left her a bitter cynic.

The series returned for three special episodes which were originally broadcast on 25 December 2011, 1 January 2012 and 23 July 2012 to mark the show's 20th anniversary. The 23 July 2012 episode featured the 2012 Summer Olympics which were being held in London that week.



ProductionEdit

The show has had an extended and sporadic run. The first three series were broadcast on the BBC from 1992 to 1995, followed by a series finale in the form of a two-part television filmentitled The Last Shout in 1996. Creator Jennifer Saunders revived the show for a fourth series in 2001, after having written and submitted a pilot entitled Mirrorball, which recruited nearly all of the original cast in new roles. The pilot was intended to be turned into a series of episodes. However, Saunders felt the characters were far too rich and interesting to put aside, and were far better suited for her new story ideas. Instead of Mirrorball, a new series of Absolutely Fabulous was proposed to the BBC, which later commissioned the fourth series in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, two full series were produced, along with three one-off hour-long specials; Gay (retitled and issued as Absolutely Fabulous in New York for the United States) in 2002, Cold Turkey, a Christmas special in 2003, and White Box (which included the tying-up of loose-ends and past semi-regular characters appearing in cameos in what seemed an ironic finale for Saffy, Patsy, and Edina), which aired in 2004. A Comic Relief sketch was broadcast in 2005.

In August 2011, Lumley confirmed the planned filming of three new episodes.In 2011, plans for a 20th anniversary revival were welcomed in the Guardian, which applauded the show as "prophetic". The first new special was broadcast on 25 December with the second episode being shown on 1 January 2012. The third, and final special coincided with the 2012 Summer Olympics, with Stella McCartney appearing in a cameo role. A film version of the series is planned. In the United States, the first of the three new 20th anniversary specials aired in January 2012 for broadcast by both BBC America and Logo Channel. Both channels also co-produced the 20th Anniversary episodes, although Logo has removed some scenes for its airings. BBC America broadcast it in full. Both channels aired the episode in a 40-minute block to allow for commercial interruptions.

Absolutely Fabulous is ranked as the 17th greatest British TV show of all time by the British Film Institute. A scene from the show was included in the 100 Greatest TV Moments programme broadcast by Channel 4. In 1997, the pilot episode, "Fashion", was ranked number 47 on TV Guide's "100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time" list. In 2004 and 2007, the series was ranked number 24 and number 29 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever list.


Cast and charactersEdit

MainEdit

Actor Character Duration
Jennifer Saunders Edina Monsoon 1992–2005, 2011-12
Joanna Lumley Patsy Stone 1992–2005, 2011-12
Julia Sawalha Saffron Monsoon 1992–2005, 2011-12
June Whitfield Mother 1992–2005, 2011-12
Jane Horrocks Bubble / Katy Grin / Lola / Radio voice 1992–2005, 2011-12

[edit]RecurringEdit

Actor Character Duration
Christopher Ryan Marshall Turtle 1992–2005, 2012
Mo Gaffney Bo Turtle (née Crysalis) 1992–2005, 2012
Naoko Mori Sarah 1992–2003, 2011
Christopher Malcolm Justin 1992–2003, 2011
Helen Lederer Catriona 1992–2003, 2012
Harriet Thorpe Fleur 1992–2003, 2012
Gary Beadle Oliver 1992–1996
Kathy Burke Magda 1992–1996
Celia Imrie Claudia Bing 1995–2001
Eleanor Bron Patsy's Mother 1992–2003
Kate O'Mara Jackie Stone 1995–2003

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