United Kingdom

Jennifer Saunders doubts Absolutely Fabulous would be commissioned today amid 'woke' culture

Jennifer Saunders believes her legendary sitcom, Absolutely Fabulous, would have never gotten off the ground had she pitched it in 2021.

The comedienne, 62, created the series in 1992 and starred alongside Joanna Lumley in it as boozy drug-popping Edina Monsoon and her best pal Patsy Stone.

The series lasted five seasons and continued on TV in the form of one-off special episodes until 2012. It then spawned a movie in 2016.

No go! Jennifer Saunders believes her legendary sitcom, Absolutely Fabulous, would have never gotten off the ground had she pitched it in 2021 [pictured in 2020]

But Jennifer doesn't believe it would have been nearly as successful if she has first written it today, among the world's 'woke' culture.

''What p****s me off? Quite a lot of stuff actually. I get p****d off by people and gentle criticism all the time,' she told The Sun. 'This is a modern thing, isn't it? If someone says something it always has to be, "Oh, but sorry, you can't say that". I say, "Oh f**k off!" It's not a crime to have an opinion or say something!'

Of today's super-sensitive way of the world, the actress and writer went on: ' 'I think it has changed comedy like what we used to make. I think we would probably talk ourselves out of most of it now. It would be like, "We won't have a good answer so let's not do that!"

'I think people do talk themselves out of stuff now because everything is sensitive. It stops a lot of the fun, maybe, like jokes. I remember jokes. Silly jokes.'

Too much for Gen Z? The comedienne, 62, created the series in 1992 and starred alongside Joanna Lumley in it as boozy drug-popping Edina Monsoon and her best pal Patsy Stone

Classic: The series lasted five seasons and continued on TV in the form of one-off special episodes until 2012. It then spawned a movie in 2016

However, Jennifer - despite dismissing the idea of another film or a new series of Ab Fab in the past - hinted it might not be the end yet. 

'We are old. I suppose it could but it would be a series more than a film,' she said. 'It's hard to do those things as there is an expectation!'

The sitcom's comedy mostly rode on the fractiousness between Edina and her uptight daughter Saffron, played by Julia Sawalha. Eddy often found herself torn between her best friend Patsy and the disapproving Saffy.

Gone are the days of silly: 'I think people do talk themselves out of stuff now because everything is sensitive. It stops a lot of the fun, maybe, like jokes. I remember jokes. Silly jokes,' Jennifer said

More to come? However, Jennifer - despite dismissing the idea of another film or a new series of Ab Fab in the past - hinted it might not be the end yet

The show also featured Jane Horrocks as PR maven Eddy's madcap assistant Bubble, and June Whitfield as Eddy's mother. June's last appearance in the franchise was, like the rest of the cast, in the 2016 big screen adaption, in which Eddy and Patsy were forced to flee the country after nearly killing Kate Moss.

June died in December 2018, two years after Jennifer insisted she was 'done' with Ab Fab.

Despite a positive reaction to the film, and rumblings of a sequel, she told the Daily Mail in late 2016: 'I’m not doing anything more with Ab Fab. That’s it. That. Is. It. I can’t see the point of doing anything else with it, really.'

Iconic cast: The sitcom's comedy mostly rode on the fractiousness between Edina and her uptight daughter Saffron, played by Julia Sawalha. The show also featured Jane Horrocks as PR maven Eddy's madcap assistant Bubble, and June Whitfield as Eddy's mother [pictured in 2011]

Loss: June died in December 2018, two years after Jennifer insisted she was 'done' with Ab Fab [pictured in one of the early episodes]

Yet, in October 2018, she told an audience at Cheltenham Literature Festival that the idea of continuing Ab Fab was 'always on my mind, always'.

She said: 'I am thinking at the moment of writing a little something. It has to be age-appropriate otherwise we’d have to be in wheelchairs basically. I think Julia is old enough to be my mother now.'

She also touched upon political correctness at the time, saying: 'I think it is harder to write what we used to write because there is just always someone tutting in the back of your mind. "Oh what do you think? Don’t you think someone might be offended?" It is very tiring!'

Box office hit! The 2016 big screen adaption saw Eddy and Patsy flee the country after nearly killing Kate Moss [pictured]

TBC? In October 2018, Jennifer told an audience at Cheltenham Literature Festival that the idea of continuing Ab Fab was 'always on my mind, always'

Timeless classic: Ab Fab ran for three series until its supposed two-part finale The Last Shout in 1996. However, it was rebooted for a fourth run in 2001 and a fifth season was made in 2004

Joanna, 75, said at the end of 2020 that the future of Ab Fab was entirely in Jennifer's hands and to 'wait and see'.

The show was developed from a sketch Jennifer wrote with her long-term comedy partner Dawn French in 1990, titled Modern Mother And Daughter. 

The basis of the sketch became the premise for Ab Fab, which ran for three series until its supposed two-part finale The Last Shout in 1996. However, it was rebooted for a fourth run in 2001 and a fifth season was made in 2004.

Several one-offs followed, with the last TV episode to date airing in the summer of 2012, focusing on Eddy hosting Micheal Douglas at her house for the London Olympics.

The film followed in 2016 and this is, to date, the last fans have had of the franchise. 

Bring them back! The film followed in 2016 and this is, to date, the last fans have had of the franchise

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