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

BBC One and BBC Two sitcom focusing on two fashionistas. 39 episodes (5 series), 1992 - 2012. 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.

Absolutely Fabulous

Public relations maven Edina and best friend Patsy drive sensible daughter Saffron up the wall with their self-absorbed, substance-abusing escapades

1992 - 2012
BBC One, BBC Two
39   (5 series), plus 2 short specials
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield and Jane Horrocks
Jennifer Saunders
Bob Spiers, Christine Gernon and Dewi Humphreys
Jon Plowman, Jonathan Paul Llewellyn and Jo Sargent

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.

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Production Details

Production companies
Also known as
  • Ab Fab (Other official name)
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.
Laugh track
Live audience

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Thursday 12th November 1992 on BBC Two at 9pm
Last new broadcast
Monday 23rd July 2012 on BBC One at 9:30pm
Last repeat
Monday 19th July 2021 at 1:00am on Gold

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