In a new interview with V magazine, Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley has revealed that her character, the iconic Patsy Stone, is transgender.
Talking to the magazine, she praises the show for depicting LGBT+ characters without making the show about their sexuality.
“You go back and pick through it, the amount of gay references and ease with which it’s been put into the story, without it being dragged along like a great log of plot," she said.
"It’s really normal that one of [Edina’s] ex-husbands now lives with his young boyfriend. It’s completely normal that [Edina] wants Saffy [Edina’s long-suffering daughter] to be a lesbian or that Serge [Edina’s long lost son] is gay and living in New York. It’s completely normal that Patsy is transgender.”
Of course, for longtime fans of the series, this news will perhaps be more of a confirmation, rather than a revelation. There have been references to Patsy being not cisgender in the past, as in series two's "Morocco" episode, which depicts Patsy living as a man with a moustache:
Edina's explanation of this is - in true Ab Fab fashion - that in 1971 Patsy may have undergone gender reassignment surgery, but that it only lasted a year before her penis "fell off":
Meanwhile, Jennifer Saunders, Ab Fab co-creator, writer and actress, revealed that the upcoming movie may be the last we see of Patsy and Eddie because she doesn't think there's any "juice" left in the story, which she attributes partially to a shift in comedy.
“You can’t be rude about stuff anymore,” she says. “Everyone’s so f***g sensitive about everything now.”
Saunders goes on to credit the show's success to the LGBT+ community, saying: “We tried very hard but [gay people] refused to be offended—and I admire them for that. Thank God you’re hanging on in there.”
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie opens in Australia on August 4.