Iconic British comedian, Jennifer Saunders, has put rumours to rest that there will be a remake of her hit comedy sketch show, French & Saunders, by saying that the BBC couldn’t afford a new series.
French & Saunders ran for 20 years from 1987 – 2007 and featured Saunders, who is married to fellow British comedian Ade Edmondson, and her comedy partner Dawn French.
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Last night saw the debut of the BBC’s new comedy Blandings, which stars former Auf Wiedersehen Pet actor Timothy Spall alongside Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams and Ab Fab’s Jennifer Saunders.
And in today’s TV Biz, Timothy has compared the show to ITV’s Downton Abbey, saying of Blandings, “This is like Downton Abbey on some kind of early cocaine.”
Timothy, who plays the role of Lord Clarence Emsworth, added, “[Blandings] is about an incredibly dysfunctional aristocratic family who live in this massive castle.
“They’re basically a bunch of lunatics who still behave the way they did when they were children…” Read more & comment »
It’s amazing how popular Absolutely Fabulous is on both sides of the Atlantic, and while the resurrection of other classic sitcoms hasn’t been as successful the characters of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone still seem relevant. We saw them twice over the Christmas period, but the third and final episode of this short run, which is also possibly the last episode ever, focuses on the run up to the Olympic Games however its main theme is how our two central characters aren’t as young as they used to be.
Obviously the running joke throughout Ab Fab is that PR executive Eddy isn’t nearly as well-connected as she used to be, and as the years progress, she’s becoming less relevant as is evidenced in this episode’s earlier scene in which she tries to get at appointment with Stella McCartney only to be snubbed which leads to a very obvious if still very funny A Streetcar Named Desire reference. Read more & comment »
Next Monday, which is July 23, the BBC will air the highly anticipated new episode of Absolutely Fabulous which of course has an Olympics theme.
Airing at 9.30pm on BBC1, the special promises an embarrassment of riches in terms of guest stars, including, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dame Kelly Holmes and Stella McCartney.
The special – which may be the last Ab Fab ever! – will focus on Eddy’s attempts to rent out her house during the Olympics.
Starring of course Jennifer Saunders as Eddy and Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone, the special also sees the return of June Whitfield as Gran, Julia Sawalha as Saffy, and Jane Horrocks as Bubble.
Also appearing will be Christopher Ryan as Marshall and Mo Gaffney as Bo.
Click ‘Read more’ to see all the spoilers pics as well as clip for the episode and Joanna Lumley talking about making the show… Read more & comment »
It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since we last saw comedy duo Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French performing together on screen, but as they last paired up to play a sketch for Comic Relief in 2009, it has indeed been that long.
The pair of course first shot to fame as a duo in their hit series French and Saunders, but both are equally well known for their participation in The Comic Strip Presents skits.
But now, they are apparently set to reunite again for The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go To Rehab, which is of course a spoof on Enid Blyton’s series of 21 children’s books, The Famous Five.
Jennifer’s comedian husband Ade Edmondson will also star in the one-off special… Read more & comment »
The quality of BBC3 comedy can be described as patchy at best, after all this was the channel that enabled Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crips to continue forever, however occasionally they can produce excellent shows such as Him and Her or Pulling. In fact Pulling was generally considered a favourite before it was pulled cruelly by the channel a few years ago, however creator Sharon Horgan is back with a new sitcom ‘Dead Boss,’ in which she stars and has co-written.
In it Horgan stars as Helen, who at the start of the very first episode is convicted of murdering her boss, tiling impresario Eric Bridges, and sentenced to twelve years in the ominous Broadmarsh Prison. Of course Helen is completely innocent, she was with her fiancée Justin at the time who has conveniently vanished since the trial took place, so once she is inside prison she immediately begins planning her appeal which doesn’t get off to a very good start.
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When comedy writer Sharon Horgan (who’s pictured above, front and centre) began considering who to cast in her new BBC3 sitcom Dead Boss – which she co-wrote with Holly Walsh – she was desperate to get Ab Fab creator and star Jennifer Saunders on board.
And luckily for her, though busy with writing new episodes of Absolutely Fabulous and the script for Spice Girls the Musical, Jennifer jumped at the chance to play the role of Margaret, who’s the governor of Broadmarsh Prison.
Sharon herself plays the role of inmate Helen Stephens, who’s desperate to prove her innocence after she’s imprisoned for murdering her boss.
Of enlisting Jennifer to star in the show, Sharon said, “It was like a dream cast to get Jennifer on board.
“I had never worked with her before, only admired her from afar, like a TV stalker… Read more & comment »
Jennifer Saunders, who of course writes and stars in Absolutely Fabulous, is fronting a documentary about horse riding which is set to air on ITV in August.
Jennifer – who of course battled and overcame breast cancer – will be featured in daily training routines ahead of the Badminton horse trials which take place next month.
Entitled, Jennifer Saunders in the Saddle, we’ll see her working with British Olympic hopefuls including Piggy French and Lauren Shannon among others as she learns to ride competitively.
Speaking to the Mirror about the documentary, and her love of horse riding, Jennifer said, “My only worry about grassroots is that I just won’t have enough riding time… Read more & comment »
Jennifer Saunders – who of course writes and stars in Ab Fab – recently revealed that penning the script for Spice Girls musical Viva Forever helped her to cope with grueling treatment for breast cancer…
However, it seems that Jennifer is now rapidly running out of patience with stars Mel C and Mel B, who are reportedly bickering over the script.
An insider told the Sun, “Mel B and Mel C just cannot agree on anything. It is driving Jennifer crazy.”
All the original members of the band, Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm, are involved in the project, but they won’t be starring in it.
However, Geri has other fish to fry right now as it’s been revealed that she’s landed her own reality TV show on Sky Living which will be entitled – ever so imaginatively – Geri… Read more & comment »
Absolutely Fabulous creator and star Jennifer Saunders has told the Daily Mirror that working on the Spice Girls’ musical, Viva Forever, kept her “going” during her treatment for cancer.
Jennifer, who’s married to fellow comedian Ade Edmonson – the couple have three children – explained that she began work on the musical just weeks after she received the diagnosis that she had breast cancer.
She said, “I started writing the musical two months into my breast cancer treatment and it really kept me going.
“It took me a while to get back to a normal pace again, but I had a really great support network around me.”
Jennifer, who was given the ‘all clear’ from her cancer in 2010, also revealed that she thinks the finished musical is going to be something of an emotional journey for the members of the girl band.
She said, “During one read through I played one song and then Emma [Bunton] said ‘Oh I think I’m going to cry I loved this song.’
“It’s a collection of their best memories and they had such a ball, such a great time together… Read more & comment »
The BBC’s Comedy Blog report today that Ab Fab creator Jennifer Saunders is to star alongside former Auf Wiedersehen, Pet actor Timothy Spall in a new BBC comedy based on the works of PG Wodehouse.
To be entitled Blandings, the comedy has been adapted for TV by Guy Andrews, and co-produced by Mammoth Screen and the BBC.
It focuses on main protagonist Clarence Emsworth, the ninth earl and owner of Blandings Castle. Spall plays Clarence while Jennifer plays his sister, Connie.
Set in 1929, the series will be made up of six episodes, which are being filmed on location in Ireland.
Of the comedy, Guy said, “Blandings Castle is dysfunction junction, the home of a chaotic family struggling to keep itself in order… Read more & comment »
Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley has revealed that she wants The Spice Girls to star in a movie version of the hit BBC sitcom.
The show’s writer – and of course star – Jennifer Saunders has said that there will be a movie, and BBC insiders have intimated that there’s to be a new series of the show as well, which would air in 2013.
But of the movie, Joanna – who plays Patsy Stone – told the Daily Mirror, “Jennifer [Saunders] is a great magnet!
“She phones people up and they all just say ‘any time’.
“It was lovely to have Emma [Bunton] in the Christmas special and it would be great to have all of The Spice Girls in the movie.”
And of how well received the two new episodes of Ab Fab have been, Joanna told What’s On TV, “The reaction to the Ab Fab specials was extraordinary.
“It’s very lovely to know there is still such a demand for it.” Read more & comment »
Well, it seems like a long way off right now, but a BBC insider has told the Daily Express that Jennifer Saunders IS preparing to write a new series of hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous, which would air in 2013.
As fans of the show will know, over Christmas and New Year, we were treated to two new episodes of the sitcom, with another promised for later this year to tie in with the televising of this year’s Olympics.
The insider told the paper, “The viewing figures prove it’s as popular as ever and there’s a real appetite for more episodes.
“Obviously it’s down to Jennifer to write more and getting all the actors together takes some organising.
“But the current understanding is there will be another Christmas special for the end of 2012 and then more episodes the following year.” Read more & comment »
Comedienne Jennifer Saunders, who is of course the writer and star of Absolutely Fabulous, has revealed how she fought to stave off a bleak depression while being treated for breast cancer.
Jennifer, who learned she had the disease last year, told the Christmas edition of the Radio Times that her battle with the illness left her “drained and exhausted”, and she was given a course of anti-depressants to help her cope with the trauma of chemo and radiotherapy.
Now happily in remission, Jennifer said of fighting cancer, “It’s like suddenly becoming older. You feel fagged out, you lose your motor and it makes you feel depressed.
“You have that ‘I want to go to bed and sleep for ever’ kind of feeling.”
Jennifer also revealed that while she had all that going on, she also began to go through the menopause, which is of course a difficult time in and of itself, without having cancer as well… Read more & comment »
Whoopee! Comedienne and writer Jennifer Saunders has officially confirmed that she’s in the early stages of creating a script for Absolutely Fabulous The Movie.
Speaking to The Times, Jennifer – who of course plays the role of Eddy Monsoon – said, “I want to write Ab Fab: The Movie. We’d have so much fun, and I’ve thought of a really nice idea.”
Jennifer, who will be back on our screens over Christmas with special episodes of the hit sitcom, added, “We thought it would be hilarious if [Edina and Patsy] went to a party on an oligarch’s yacht, got drunk, fell asleep and woke up in the middle of the ocean.
“Everyone else has left, and the ship has been moved on.”
However, at the moment, Jennifer is busy working on a Spice Girls musical, which is to be entitled, Viva Forever, but it’s such good news that there’s to be an Ab Fab movie! Read more & comment »