Joanne Lumley has revealed to the PA that she nearly backed out of taking on the role of Patsy Stone in hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous, as she feared she wouldn’t be the right person for the part.
While discussing her first reading for the part of Patsy, Joanna said, “I couldn’t seem to make my character Patsy sound like the person Jennifer was hoping for.
“Jennifer wasn’t very communicative and I thought she didn’t like me.
“To save embarrassment I thought I’d better see if I could back out of it so they weren’t stuck with someone they’d hate.
“I’ve quite a low opinion of myself in that sense. But that wasn’t the case.”
“Jennifer was shy, which is strange when you see people who can be so desperately funny.”
Fortunately, Joanna’s agent persuaded the actress to stick with the role.
She added, “All I can remember is inventing a person, largely based on a cartoon version of me, who had her own life and history, and a way of walking with a hunched back and a sneery voice, and trying it out in scenes with Jennifer.
“Rehearsing for those shows was easily one of the happiest times of my life because we just laughed till we cried, day after day.”
However, it seems Patsy is nothing like the real life Joanna.
She said, “I’m not a party pooper but I can’t bear drunkenness or people being drunk.
“It’s great to make fun of it through the ghastly way they behave, falling around with their pants coming down.”
Joanna’s book, Absolutely, is available to buy now priced £20.