The Series Philosopher

Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn

Absolutely Fabulous

the-series-philosopher-absolutely-fabulousAbsolutely Fabulous, also known as Ab Fab, is a BBC television sitcom created by, written by and starring Jennifer Saunders (Blandings, This Is Jinsy, Dead Boss). It is based on a 1990 French & Saunders sketch created by Saunders and Dawn French.

The series features Saunders as Edina Monsoon, a heavy-drinking, drug-abusing PR agent who spends her time chasing bizarre fads in a desperate attempt to stay young and “hip”. Edina is joined in her quest by magazine editor Patsy Stone (played by Joanna Lumley), her best friend and enabler, whose drug abuse, alcohol consumption, and promiscuity far eclipse Edina’s comparatively mild self-destructive behaviour. Despite being a middle-aged, twice-divorced career woman, Edina is reliant upon the support of her daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha), a secondary school pupil (and later university student) whose constant care of her mother has left her a bitter cynic. The series also stars June Whitfield as Edina’s sarcastic and thieving mother, and Jane Horrocks as Edina’s brainless personal assistant.

Absolutely Fabulous returned for three special episodes which were originally broadcast on 25 December 2011, 1 January 2012 and 23 July 2012 to mark the show’s 20th anniversary. The episode broadcast on 23 July 2012 featured the 2012 Summer Olympics which were being held in London that week.

A film based on the series will be released to theatres on 1 July 2016.



Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Lumley) are a pair of high-powered career women on the London fashion scene. Eddy runs her own PR firm, and Patsy holds a sinecure position at a top British fashion magazine. The two women use their considerable financial resources to indulge in alcohol, recreational drugs, and chasing the latest fads in an attempt to maintain their youth and recapture their glory days as Mods in Swinging London. In 2011, they are still chain-smokers. The partnership is largely driven by Patsy, who is both co-dependent and enabler to Eddy. Their lifestyle inevitably leads to a variety of personal crises, which are invariably resolved by Eddy’s daughter, Saffron Monsoon (Julia Sawalha), whose constant involvement in their exploits have left her increasingly bitter and cynical.



Actor Character Duration
Jennifer Saunders Edina Monsoon 1992–1996, 2001-2005, 2011–12, 2016
Joanna Lumley (Mistresses, Clatterford, Sensitive Skin) Patsy Stone
Julia Sawalha (Lark Rise and Candleford, Cranford, Jonathan Creek) Saffron Monsoon
June Whitfield (Last of the Summer Wine) Mother
Jane Horrocks (Trollied, Little Princess) Bubble, Katy Grin, Lola, Radio voice


Actor Character Duration
Christopher Ryan (Doctor Who, Bottom) Marshall Turtle 1992–1996, 2001-2004, 2012, 2016
Mo Gaffney (House of Lies, The ’70s Show) Bo Turtle (née Crysalis) 1992–1996, 2001-2004, 2012, 2016
Naoko Mori (Hot Tub Ranking, Psychos) Sarah 1992–1996, 2001-2004, 2011
Christopher Malcolm (Never Say Die) Justin 1992–1996, 2001-2004, 2011
Helen Lederer (Hollyoaks, Old Jack’s Boat) Catriona 1992–1996, 2001-2004, 2012, 2016
Harriet Thorpe (Doctors) Fleur 1992–1996, 2001-2004, 2012, 2016
Gary Beadle (EastEnders) Oliver 1992–1996
Kathy Burke (Gimme Gimme Gimme, Walking and Talking) Magda 1992–1996, 2016
Celia Imrie (Better Things, Titanic) Claudia Bing 1995, 2001, 2016
Eleanor Bron (Fat Friends) Patsy’s Mother 1992, 2003
Kate O’Mara (Doctor Who, Howard’s Way, Bad Girls) Jackie Stone 1995, 2003
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The Series Philosopher is a woman in her late 20s. Not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

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