Absolutely Fabulous. Image shows from L to R: Bubble (Jane Horrocks), Saffron (Julia Sawalha), Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Mother (June Whitfield), Patsy (Joanna Lumley). Copyright: Saunders And French Productions / BBC
Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One / BBC Two
  • 1992 - 2012
  • 39 episodes (5 series)

Public relations maven Edina and best friend Patsy drive sensible daughter Saffron up the wall with their self-absorbed, substance-abusing escapades. Stars Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield and Jane Horrocks

Absolutely Fabulous. Image shows from L to R: Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Patsy (Joanna Lumley). Copyright: Saunders And French Productions / BBC

Key details

Genre
Sitcom
Broadcast
1992 - 2012
Channels
BBC One, BBC Two
Episodes
39 (5 series), plus 2 short specials
Creators
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
Stars
Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield and Jane Horrocks
Writers
Jennifer Saunders, Sue Perkins and Ruby Wax
Directors
Bob Spiers, Christine Gernon and Dewi Humphreys
Producers
Jon Plowman, Jonathan Paul Llewellyn and Jo Sargent
Companies

Absolutely Fabulous centres around the work of wealthy international public relations maven Edina Monsoon, her decadent lifestyle and dysfunctional family.

Baby-boomer Edina's self-indulgent, substance abusing behaviour is contrasted by and frequently comes into conflict with her sensible, practical, Generation X daughter Saffron.

The tension is increased by the involvement of Edina's ruthless, parasitic bitch-fashionista best friend Patsy Stone, who vies with Saffron for Edina's attention and leads and encourages Edina in her outrageously irresponsible behaviour. Patsy's extreme substance abuse far outstrips even Edina's.

The bizarre family unit who comprise the core cast also includes Edina's indifferent and emotionally distant Mother - a partially senile old woman who delights in pointing out her flaws, stealing from her and enjoying her luxurious lifestyle. She is far more connected to Saffron. Also present is Edina's supremely incompetent secretary and personal assistant Bubble - who often seems confused by simple concepts and is disrespectful of her employer. She is kept on for the aesthetic merit of her bizarre outfits and because the work-shy Edina looks competent and efficient by comparison.

Throughout the series Edina and Patsy embark on a kaleidoscope of self-involved, attention seeking escapades in the fast world of the rich and famous - often dragging the family along for the ride.

There are regular appearances from other bizarre and quirky members of the extended family as well as outlandish friends and associates, and real-life celebrities.

Based on a French & Saunders Series 3 sketch, the show and character of Edina are said to have been inspired by PR consultant Lynne Franks.

Additional details

Also known as
  • Ab Fab
Production
Studio
Camera set-up
Multi-camera
Picture
Colour
Soundtrack
Theme tune This Wheel's On Fire was composed by Simon Brint and sung by Julie Driscoll and Adrian Edmondson. Driscoll's vocals were replaced by Debbie Harry's during Series 4 and 5.

Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Thursday 12th November 1992 at 9pm on BBC Two
Last new broadcast
Monday 23rd July 2012 at 9:30pm on BBC One
Next repeats
  1. 2011 Christmas Specials, Christmas Special: Tomorrow at 11:15pm on Gold
  2. 2011 Christmas Specials, Christmas Special: Thursday at 3:10am on Gold
  3. 2011 Christmas Specials, New Year Special: Thursday at 10:55pm on Gold
  4. Series 5, Christmas Special: Saturday 11th December at 11:05pm on Gold
  5. Series 5, Christmas Special: Sunday 12th December at 3:20am on Gold
Most recent repeats

Recording details

  • BBC Television Centre

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