Joanna Lumley icon, national treasure, activist, comedy actress and all-round top girl is barely off our TV screens and appears to have been a permanent fixture in our sitting rooms since she burst onto our screens as Purdey in the New Avengers in 1976. Now in a nationwide tour she takes us through that random journey that started in London in the swinging 60’s. Beginning as Jean Muir’s house model and muse, she progressed to being a full-blown photographic model, featuring in knitting patterns, mini-skirts, toothpaste commercials and the occasional front cover.
From there Joanna takes us on her journey into acting that includes Coronation Street, On the Buses, Dracula and as a brainwashed Bond Girl in Blofeld’s lair in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Joanna’s breakthrough role was as Purdey, a part for which over 800 girls auditioned. Purdey propelled her to instant fame and created one of the “must-have” hairstyles of the 1970s — the Purdey bob. She became a pin-up figure for a generation of British males who grew up watching her as the high-kicking action girl.
Alongside iconic hairstyles Joanna started to develop a nice side line as adventurer and activist; popping up all over the globe she was often seen gasping at the Northern Lights, turning her bra into espadrilles and finding the source of the Nile.
Then as Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous she became a degenerate role-model for a generation. Winning two BAFTAs, Joanna emerged as one of the best comedy actresses of her generation. For 25 years the adventures of Patsy and Edina have sporadically lurched across our screens culminating in AbFab the movie in 2016.