Tanni Grey-Thompson


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Absolutely Fabulous built the last of its three specials around Eddy and Patsy's wild excitement about the Olympics. It isn't the sport they're interested in, obviously, but the imminent arrival of Michael Douglas, who has rented Eddy's house and who they see as a passport to A-list Olympic parties. "I shall be wearing my buttocks as a head-dress by the time that man arrives," announced Eddy, who plans a major make-over.

Unfortunately, she's not been paying very close attention to the calendar and doesn't realise she's left it too late, a mistake she feels is forgivable: "It's been everywhere for five bloody years! Excuse me if I missed that it's actually bloody started. It's been like tinnitus." Dames Kelly Holmes and Tanni Grey-Thompson and Stella McCartney offered themselves up as straight-women for Patsy and Eddy's faux pas and there was a brief, slightly baffling visit to the Olympic Stadium, during which both women enjoyed an unconvincing reverie of athletic glory. And then, after quite a few raucous laughs, it just stopped, as if nobody had quite worked out where the finish tape was. But I did enjoy Eddy's protest as she was bundled out of the stadium by a security guard: "You're discouraging me from taking up sport!"

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 24th July 2012

Jennifer Saunders gave herself an Olympian challenge when she agreed to build an episode of her award-winning sitcom around London 2012.

She's managed it, though, with Absolutely Fabulous: Olympics (BBC1, 9.30pm).

Amid the Bolly, the bitching and the fags, her character Edina rents out her London home to a Hollywood A-lister for the Olympics.

However, no-one has told her that she is supposed to move out, along with her family and assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks), To make matters worse, Edina's ex-husband and girlfriend turn up to stay for the Games.

There is some sports action - if you count Eddy and the fun-loving Patsy (Joanna Lumley) running
for glory in the Olympic stadium and managing to crash a celebrity reception attended by real-life Paralympics legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Mike Ward, Daily Star, 23rd July 2012

Charge your flutes with vodka champagne cocktail, Ab Fab fans! This could be the last-ever episode (although there are rumours of a movie). Certainly, it's the last of three specials, after two at Christmas and New Year, reuniting the bad girls of chichi Holland Park for their 20th anniversary.

Why the long wait? Well, this was always intended as an Olympics-themed edition, with the Games descending abruptly upon Patsy and Eddy's blinkered lives. Eddy could go for gold herself - if there were a category for partying and pratfalls. Sadly, Patsy looks set to be left at the starting line: she's developed, well, let's just say a little issue whenever she sneezes and is in need of a "tightening procedure".

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are on top form with the physical comedy and waspish remarks. June Whitfield's Gran is as endearingly batty as ever and tonight gets the final funny line - if not the last laugh. Watch out for cameos by Dames Kelly Holmes and Tanni Grey-Thompson, as well as fashion designer Stella McCartney, for whom Eddy has developed something of a girl crush. It is not reciprocated.

Patrick Mulkern, Radio Times, 23rd July 2012

The Olympics is almost here and Michael Douglas is coming to rent Edina's house for the duration. Stella McCartney may not be taking her calls but Edina's desperately hoping a film star consort will get her into some happening clubs. Patsy's stress incontinence threatens to ruin things and Bubble is dreaming about sporting glory. Good news: Saunders's writing is right back on form. Includes cameos from McCartney, Kelly Holmes and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 22nd July 2012

Just when you thought no more Olympics-themed programming could be squeezed into the schedules, the "sweedie darling" sitcom returns to give its own raucous spin on events. Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) feels past her sell-by date (rather like this show, cynics might suggest). Party invitations are no longer plopping onto her designer doormat and she can't even get into her favourite fashion stores anymore. Age has also caught up with best friend Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), the former glamour puss is reduced to wearing incontinence pads and cripplingly tight control underwear. For the duration of the Games, Eddy has rented out her house to a Hollywood A-lister and London 2012 is passing the pair by, until daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha) returns home and exhorts them to embrace the Olympic spirit. Cue celebrity cameos from Dame Kelly Holmes, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Stella McCartney, plus a sequence filmed inside the Olympic Stadium. This is the last of three 20th anniversary specials, the first two of which were shown over Christmas. It delivers the odd laugh but feels distinctly dated and should probably be laid to rest - at least until next year's mooted movie spin-off.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 20th July 2012

No one was surprised when a member of the Olympic Deliverance Committee was shot in the foot last week. After all, they do it to themselves all the time. But this was an actual bullet from a real gun. As you would expect. the incident is smeared in a thick gloss of PR, when it's described as "a totally routine accident".

Meanwhile, bluff Nick "I can't help being from Yorkshire" Jowett takes command as everyone discusses Inclusivity Day. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson makes a game cameo, Danny Boyle wants more nurses for the opening ceremony, Ian's PA is stolen by Sebastian Coe, though his replacement hits the ground running, and there's an excruciating tree planting ceremony. Hilarious.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 17th July 2012