'Absolutely Fabulous,' the cult hit series written and created by star Jennifer Saunders, debuted in 1992 in the UK before ending in 1996 and reviving itself in 2001 with two new seasons. Now Saunders and Joanna Lumley, who plays Edina's hard-partying sidekick, are back with three new 'Ab Fab' specials, including a much-anticipated three-part Christmas special.
The first preview for the 'Ab Fab' Christmas special was recently released, and in true Edina fashion, the public relations professional is seemingly up-to-date on all things web 2.0. She tweets, blogs about her favorite cheese and even vlogs. Her bumbling assistant Bubble even has an iPad to help Edina update all of her social media accounts.
BBC Worldwide is partnering with Logo and BBC America for the series of specials.
"We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our 20th birthday with all of the original cast," Saunders said in a statement. "We hope that, like a good bottle of champagne, we have grown better with age but lost none of our sparkle."
Saunders, who wrote and created the series, plays Edina, a public relations professional who is always up on the current trends and fashions. Lumley plays Patsy, a hard-partying magazine exec.
My first introduction to The Avengers, the classic cult 60s show with Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson, was actually the second version of the show in the 70s, The New Avengers. CBS used to run the show late at night, back in the day, when they showed crime and action shows after the local news.
"Back in the day?" I'm getting really old.
The new version also starred Macnee, but this time he was paired with Joanna Lumley (as Purdey), who later went on to fame in Absolutely Fabulous, and Gareth Hunt, who played Mike Gambit. Isn't that a great name for an action hero, Mike Gambit? I really liked this show (and the original series, which I started watching repeats of later). Supposedly it only lasted 26 episodes, though it seems like more.
Hunt died of pancreatic cancer this week in London. Besides The New Avengers, he appeared in Upstairs, Downstairs, EastEnders, Space: 1999, Doctor Who, The New Adventures of Robin Hood, and many other TV shows and movies. Lumley has a lot of nice things to say about her costar.
There are drinkers, and then there are drinkers. The ones that always seem to have a drink in their hand. It's a social thing, it's a private thing, but most of all, it's an everyday thing. Here are five TV characters who drank. A lot.
1. Larry Tate (Bewitched): Sure, it was the 60s and drinking was everyone and not frowned upon like it is in a lot of situations today, but mother of God Larry used to drink a lot. Every single time he came over to the Stephens' home he rushed over to their bar and made himself a drink, or Samantha gave him one. He seems like a prime candidate for alcoholism: a harried advertising guy, always on the go, and an ad exec who works for him that seems to vanish or have odd things happen to him all the time. That couldn't have been easy to deal with. This guy drinks a lot. In fact, if you play the Bewitched drinking game (take a drink every time Larry takes a drink), you probably won't make it past an episode.
The first show - Clatterford - is being compared to the Golden Girls with Lumley and Saunders playing women's club members in a small English town. Lumley is an eccentric stirring up trouble, and Saunders is the town busybody. Dawn French and Sue Johnston are also on board.
The Aussie half-hour is a faux reality show about suburban mom Kath and her self-involved, lay-about adult daughter Kim. The show's been called "Absolutely Fabulous without the fabulous." The Sundance Channel will be playing a 90-minute Kath & Kim made-for-TV movie on December 24th and plans to air the Aussie version's third season. The American take is set to debut in 2007. If The Office's translation is any indication, this could be good news for comedy fans. Anyone other there familiar with the show? Personally, I'm happy to get behind any series that smacks of Ab Fab.
The popular UK series focuses on the subject of genealogy. The potential U.S. version, much like the UK one, would follow a different celebrity guest each week as he or she uncovered his or her family history. (That's Julia Sawalha of Ab Fab and Press Gang pictured to the right during her WDYTYA episode.)
Who Do You Think You Are? has a spanky website that can help you get started on the hunt for your own ancestors.