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

Episode menu

2011 Christmas Specials - Identity

There's a homecoming for one of the women, who's been 'away' for quite some time. She arrives at the Monsoon household with a new - slightly scary - best friend who forces a certain person to face some long-hidden truths...

Preview clips

Further details

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

Bubble awakens Edina for a very special day. Now into social media, Edina instructs Bubble to update her website and her Twitter account, as well as to keep an eye on Mother, who has continued to steal from the house.

After passing through Brixton in her limousine, Edina arrives at a prison to greet her estranged daughter - Saffron. Saffy has been imprisoned for two years after (unknowingly, she claims) distributing forged passports to asylum seekers.

Back at the house, the family, including Saffron's father, Justin, celebrate her return. Edina and Patsy update Saffron on trends in fashion and the media, Bubble re-enacts the royal wedding and Justin discusses more political matters.

Later at night, Edina is curious as to whether Saffron discovered lesbianism in prison. Saffron replies in the negative - but says that she did make friends. Edina assures her that she would be 'cool' with them visiting.

Before long, one of Saffy's friends arrives, a tall, street-talking white girl named Baron. Sarah arrives and assumes they were in a relationship and becomes hysterical - leaving when Saffron slaps her.

Baron, a former drug dealer, recognises Patsy as a client who still owes her a lot of money - and demands it be repayed, saying that Saffy will be her 'wife' until it is. Edina assures her that Saffron will cooperate.

Saffron confronts Edina and Patsy about Baron's changed demeanour and they admit all, but claim that they cannot pay the £50,000 she demands - which soon becomes £70k.

Enquiring as to Patsy's means and her job at the magazine, it becomes apparent that she has never spent a penny of her own money, nor claimed her pension. Worse, she has no legitimate passport, no birth certificate - no identity.

As the trio sink into despair, and Patsy begins to doubt her very existence, Mother helpfully presents Patsy's old Post Office savings book. Patsy resists going to the pension office as it will mean revealing her actual age, but Edina accompanies her.

Patsy soon finds her efforts have not gone unrewarded. She is able to pay off her debts to Baron with piles to spare - a wealthy woman in her own right.

Broadcast details

Date
Sunday 25th December 2011
Time
10pm
Channel
BBC One
Length
30 minutes

Repeats

Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 29th December 2011 10:20pm BBC1
Thursday 29th December 2011 11:20pm BBC1 Scot
Tuesday 9th April 2013 9:00pm Gold
Wednesday 10th April 2013 12:55am Gold
Thursday 16th May 2013 10:20pm Gold
Friday 17th May 2013 1:00am Gold
Wednesday 18th December 2013 9:25pm Gold
Monday 30th December 2013 11:40pm Gold
Tuesday 16th December 2014 10:40pm Gold
Wednesday 17th December 2014 1:15am Gold
Wednesday 21st January 2015 3:30am Gold
Tuesday 1st September 2015 11:20pm Gold
Wednesday 2nd September 2015 2:40am Gold
Tuesday 22nd December 2015 12:00am Gold
Tuesday 22nd December 2015 2:25am Gold
Wednesday 6th April 2016 11:00pm Gold
Wednesday 6th July 2016 9:40pm Gold
Tuesday 29th November 2016 10:20pm Gold
Wednesday 30th November 2016 1:00am Gold
Friday 16th December 2016 9:40pm Gold
Saturday 17th December 2016 12:50am Gold
Thursday 23rd February 2017 1:10am Gold
Thursday 23rd February 2017 10:40pm Gold
Sunday 12th November 2017 10:15pm Gold
Monday 13th November 2017 2:10am Gold
Monday 4th December 2017 9:40pm Gold
Saturday 16th December 2017 9:40pm W
Wednesday 20th December 2017 9:00pm Gold
Thursday 21st December 2017 2:30am Gold
Thursday 28th December 2017 9:40pm W
Wednesday 1st December 2021 11:15pm Gold
Thursday 2nd December 2021 3:10am Gold

Cast & crew

Cast
Jennifer Saunders Edina
Joanna Lumley Patsy
Julia Sawalha Saffron
June Whitfield Mother
Jane Horrocks Bubble
Guest cast
Christopher Malcolm Justin (Saffy's Father)
Naoko Mori Sarah
Lucy Montgomery Baron
Katy Wix Annabelle (Pensions Office Worker)
Sofie Grabol Sarah Lund
Writing team
Jennifer Saunders Writer
Ruby Wax Script Editor
Production team
Mandie Fletcher Director
Jon Plowman Executive Producer
Justin Davies Producer
Jake Bernard Editor
Harry Banks Production Designer
Simon Brint Composer
Ian Masterson Composer

Videos

The Kardashian Syndrome

Patsy and Edina tell Saffy all about the Kardashian syndrome.

View this clip on the BBC website

Featuring: Joanna Lumley (Patsy), Jennifer Saunders (Edina) & Julia Sawalha (Saffron).

Shopping Spree

Patsy and Edina go on a shopping spree...

Featuring: Joanna Lumley (Patsy) & Jennifer Saunders (Edina).

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