Today marks the 66th birthday of the actress Joanna Lumley.
She was born in Srinagar in India.. her father James was an Army Major... her mother Beatrice wasn’t... The family returned to England in the late 1940s and by the mid-60s, Joanna’s striking looks had already secured work as a photographic model.
Despite no formal drama training, Joanne appeared in the Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and progressed to the cobbles of Weatherfield where, as Elaine Perkins, she somehow managed to fight off the amorous advances of Ken Barlow.
However to my generation, Joanna Lumley was... and will always be Purdey, the all-action blonde-bobbed New Avenger with whom I fell head over heels in love in 1976. Apparently, Patrick Macnee (Steed) and Gareth Hunt
(Gambit) were in the show as well... can’t remember either of them at all...
The picture is a screen still from The New Avengers... I actually have every episode on DVD and to celebrate Joanna’s birthday, I am going to forego Holby City and watch each of the stories one after another...
I haven’t actually told Elaine yet...
I also enjoyed Ms Lumley’s next role, that of the eponymous “interdimensional operative” Sapphire in the excellent Sapphire and Steel. There was one adventure (imaginatively entitled Adventure 2), which was set in an old railway station and featured flashbacks to the First World War... it was genuinely creepy stuff and I remember one particular trump-inducing moment when a “possessed” Sapphire opened her eyes and they were totally black...
Anyway, since then, Joanna found fame once again with her portrayal of Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous... can’t say I watched it all that often though... She has also been an active campaigner for the Gurkhas as well as animal welfare and “Green” issues... and whilst I readily acknowledge the merits of all those worthy causes, Joanna Lumley was... and quite simply always will be Purdey...
Many happy returns Joanna... Where’s the DVD control darling?
All my own work... almost.