Sunday 25 June 2017

Jennifer Saunders: People too politically correct for Absolutely Fabulous now

Absolutely Fabulous creator Jennifer Saunders spoke at the BBC Worldwide Showcase to celebrate 25 years of the series
Absolutely Fabulous creator Jennifer Saunders spoke at the BBC Worldwide Showcase to celebrate 25 years of the series

Jennifer Saunders has said Absolutely Fabulous would not work today because "people are so politically correct now".

The actress, 58, who played fashion PR Edina Monsoon in the sitcom and also wrote it, was speaking at the BBC Worldwide Showcase to celebrate 25 years of the series.

Saunders and her co-star Joanna Lumley, 70, known for playing Edina's sidekick Patsy Stone, also ruled out the show returning to screens again.

The champagne-sipping, chain-smoking duo delighted fans last year on the big screen for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, but Saunders said that was their swansong.

She told the Press Association: "I think it's a very happy resolve."

New Avengers star Lumley said it was best to "leave it where it is", adding: "Also the world's a bit funny now, it's gone a bit strange, it's a bit harder to parody.

"Because so much of the world right now is so grim, and hard and fearful, and people so take affront at everything."

Saunders added: "People are so politically correct now, we couldn't get away with anything, you can't even get away to be a politically incorrect character, because that is seen as being politically incorrect.

"Everyone's down on everyone for everything."

For Saunders, going back to watch old episodes is a "joy" due to having forgotten so much of the characters' on-screen antics.

"There's so much I've forgotten, some of them come as a complete surprise," she said.

Saunders said she thinks the appeal of Ab Fab has lasted because it is not stuck in time, and also partly because Edina and Patsy are great hen party fancy dress options, giving people a chance to free themselves.

She said: "If you pretend to be Eddie and Patsy, they give you an excuse to have a hen party every night of the week.

"People enjoy the fact that they don't care and it gives them a chance to not care."

Lumley said: "Because they're pretty extreme it means gay people can dress up as them and it's funny and lovely.

"The thing is, it's high satire, and it's just very funny and I think one thing I love the human race for is its sense of humour."

She added: "And it is a bit extreme, I think some of the best things are Edina's costumes.

"If I ever feel blue I just think of some of the things Eddie has worn."

Press Association

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