When first asked why she chose to film a documentary about Greece, Joanna said, “Well, there are so many things you think you know about Greece but then realise you don’t.
“As we started looking into it, it seemed that a whole new world was opening up, both ancient and modern and historical and geographical, and it is all right on our doorstep.
“Greece is also in the doldrums and everybody is throwing stones at it so it seemed a good time to go and look at the real Greece that still exists no matter what the administrations do.”
As to whether she’d been to Greece before filming for the show, Joanna said, “I had been on holiday there with three friends when I was 19 and adored it, and I have been back a couple of times, and even filmed there, but it has only been in fits and starts.”
We’ll see Joanna visiting the Parthenon, and of that experience, she said, “I can’t stand on a chair and look up without falling over so I nearly blacked out with terror going up to the top to see the restoration work.
“There were only two little planks and the Parthenon itself is on top of the Acropolis, which is on top of the city, so you were doubly high up.
“It was worth it, though. It was extraordinary to watch them working with dentist’s tools to restore it.”
When asked where she’d like to go next, Joanna said, “The countries all round the Middle East are all in terrible trouble now, but that boiling pot where the great rivers are, the Euphrates and the Tigris, has always drawn me like a magnet, because so much of the civilisation of the western world came from there. I would like to study them further.”
And finally, the magazine asked, “Ab Fab is back at Christmas, what has it been like to do more of that?”
Joanna replied, “It was absolutely fabulous! I couldn’t have loved it more. I am not allowed to tell you a single thing, but everyone was on cracking form.
“We are all of us back – the five Js, Julia, June, Jane, Jennifer and me – and we just had a ball. It was horrifyingly easy to get back into Patsy mode!”
Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey starts on Thursday 13 October at 9pm on ITV1.