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Joanna Lumley to Receive BAFTA Fellowship

3 May 2017
Joanna LumleyRankin

Acclaimed performer to be honoured at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards on Sunday 14 May 

BAFTA-winning actress Joanna Lumley OBE will be honoured with the Fellowship at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at the Royal Festival Hall in London, on Sunday 14 May.

Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games across their career.  Fellows previously honoured for their work in television include Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, along with Jon Snow, Bruce Forsyth, Melvyn Bragg, Michael Palin, Trevor MacDonald, David Attenborough and Julie Walters. Ray Galton and Alan Simpson received the Fellowship at last year’s Television Awards.

Jane Lush, Chair of BAFTA, said: “From high-kicking her way into our hearts as Purdey in The New Avengers to showcasing her enviable comedic credentials with her portrayal of Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna Lumley is a true icon of television, and so I am truly delighted that BAFTA will be honouring her with Fellowship this year, the highest honour that the Academy bestows.”

Joanna Lumley OBE said: “Nothing could make me prouder or happier than being awarded this phenomenal honour. To be counted amongst the greatest talents and stars of our industry is an awesome gift: the BAFTA Fellowship is the grandest and most unexpected prize I have ever had the joy of receiving.”

With a career spanning 40 years, Joanna Lumley has become one of the most acclaimed and distinctive performers in British television. Already a successful model, her breakthrough role came as Purdey in The New Avengers in 1976. The title role in Sapphire and Steel followed, running for six series on ITV.

Almost two decades and many roles later, Lumley made a seamless transition into a BAFTA-winning comedic actress as Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous. Firmly cemented as one of the UK’s most respected performers, Lumley has also fronted several travel documentaries. Last year saw Lumley reprise her role as Patsy for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

Previous BAFTA recognition of Lumley’s work includes six BAFTA nominations, and awards for Comedy Performance (1995) and Light Entertainment Performance (1993) for Absolutely Fabulous. In 2000, she received the Special Award for The Avengers.

The Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards will be hosted by Sue Perkins at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and broadcast on BBC One at 20.00 on Sunday 14 May. BAFTA will also be streaming live from the red carpet on their Facebook page. 

For further information, please contact:
Hannah Smith
T: +44 (0) 20 3003 6547
E: [email protected]

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit For more, visit

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