The return of Absolutely Fabulous? Jennifer Saunders teases a new series but says ‘comedy has changed’ amid ‘woke’ culture


Jennifer Saunders protests for theatres
Jennifer Saunders hints at another series of Absolutely Fabulous
(Image credit: Getty)

It may have been one of Britain’s most popular sitcoms, but Jennifer Saunders doesn’t think Absolutely Fabulous would get commissioned now due to “woke culture”.

Absolutely Fabulous starred Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, and ran from 1992 to 1995, before being revived in 2004 to 2005.

It followed the journey of PR extraordinaire, Edina Monsoon—played by Saunders—and Patsy Stone—played by Lumley.

But, despite the show’s huge popularity at the time, Jennifer says the humour would be unlikely to land well in the “woke” era we’re living in if the show were to be aired now.

Speaking to The Sun, the 62-year-old said she wouldn’t be as brave with the jokes as she once was.

“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,’” she admitted. 

“I think people do talk themselves out of stuff now because everything is sensitive.”

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Jennifer Saunders and best pal Dawn French

Jennifer Saunders and best friend Dawn French

(Image credit: Getty)

On how comedy has changed since the days of Jennifer and Saunders with Dawn French, Jennifer confessed, “What p****s me off? Quite a lot of stuff actually. I get p****d off by people and gentle criticism all the time.

“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*** off’.

“It’s not a crime to have an opinion or say something. It stops a lot of the fun, maybe, like jokes. I remember jokes. Silly jokes.”

Jennifer says she’s sure it makes comedians more “wary” about their work, after popular shows like Dad’s Army and Blackadder were given warnings by the BBC. 

Despite Absolutely Fabulous’ film revival in 2016, Jennifer isn’t convinced the show will have another outing.

On the slim chance of a reunion, Jennifer—who recently made a brief comeback with Dawn French—said, “We are old. I suppose it could but it would be a series more than a film.

“And French and Saunders the same. Dawn likes to write books and I like to do my garden. It’s hard to do those things as there is an expectation.”

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."