The Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley Celebrates Political Victory

Gurkhas, an ethnic group from Nepal, have fought in the British Army for over 150 years. Yet many of those veterans were barred from living in the very country they so passionately defended for years.

Actress Joanna Lumley, best known for her role as Patsy on Absolutely Fabulous, has been a vocal campaigner to allow Gurkha soldiers residency rights in Britain.

And her hard work has paid off: Prime Minister Gordon Brown has now allowed those veterans the right to move to the UK.

Lumley was triumphant upon hearing the news, and she gave this tearful, impassioned speech:

Now isn’t she simply gorgeous, poised, and all kinds of amazing?

Lumley sat down with Sir David Frost on British Al Jazeera earlier this month to discuss her activism. She reveals the reason why she has so ardently fought for Gurkha residency rights: her father was a soldier in India, her birthplace, and a Gurkha fighter saved his life. It’s a wonderful interview (almost 15 minutes in length):

In other news:

  • Lucy Gordon, a British actress who had a small part in Spider-Man 3, was found dead in an apparent suicide in Paris.(E!)
  • The brilliant Jane Horrocks, AbFab‘s Bubble, has signed on to play funny lady Gracie Fields in a BBC4 biopic.(The Stage)
  • A spinoff of The Apprentice UK titled Junior Apprentice will feature 16 and 17-year-old vying to work with Sir Alan Sugar. Sugar said: “It is my long-held belief that we should be doing more to promote enterprise among young people, as the future of our economy relies on them. Understandably, the contestants won’t have any previous business experience, but all I want to see from them is an entrepreneurial aptitude and an enthusiasm to succeed.”(Brand Republic)
  • Is Russell T. Davies in Hollywood to negotiate a Doctor Who movie?(The Sun)
  • Actress/writer Sharon Horgan discusses why the BBC pulled her show, Pulling, which, if you’ve seen the ads running on our site, is available on DVD.(The Stage)
  • Did someone eff up on the ITV website and put up the Britain’s Got Talent finalists before they were officially announced?(Mirror)
  • “My name is Homer Simpson, I’m 39 years old and, well, I’ve never been kissed. My dream is to be a great singer like Susan Boyle.” (Telegraph)
  • Cat Deeley did it. Piers Morgan (blech) sorta did it. Now Myleene Klass wants to be the next British D-list celebrity to make the leap to America’s A-list, hosting NBC’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Um. Honey, this is not the way to do it.(Hello!)
  • Meet the real-life inspiration for Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Bruno, Austrian entertainer/shauspieler/sänger, Alfons Haider.
  • Coldplay‘s Chris Martin thinks being sued for plagiarism is inspiring. “You think, ‘Right, if everyone’s trying to take away our best song, then we’d better write 25 better ones’. And so just at the point where I was thinking about getting fat and becoming complacent, I’ve been finding more inspiration. Now we’ve got more to prove than ever before.”(NME)
  • UK band Elbow have capped a monumental year with two big Ivor Novello wins. Their masterpiece, “Grounds For Divorce”, won Best Contemporary Song. Fine by me: I named “Grounds For Divorce” the best song of 2008.
  • Jarvis Cocker will star in Wes Anderson‘s adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox.(Guardian)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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