The Telegraph has announced that on May 14th, Joanna Lumley, aka Absolutely Fabulous’ Patsy Stone, will receive the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ most coveted prize — the BAFTA Fellowship.
Others often affiliated with Lumley — Ab Fab creator/star Jennifer Saunders and her comedy partner Dawn French — have already received the award, and indeed it’d be sad to recognize the Edinas of the world without also honoring the Patsys. (Though Lumley did earn her fair share of BAFTA praise, garnering six nominations for the BAFTA Awards, and winning twice in the early ’90s for Ab Fab for Comedy Performance and Light Entertainment Performance, whatever the hell kind of ultra-British backhanded compliment of a category that is.)
Lumley said in a press statement-y press statement:
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.
BAFTA Chair Jane Lush 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.
The prize, given annually, honors key contributors to British film and TV canon yearly — predominantly to established (…aaand largely white dudes of a certain age — really, BAFTAs sooo white) actors and directors.
Former honorees have included Mel Brooks, Mike Leigh, Federico Fellini, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, David Attenborough, Sidney Poitier, Ingmar Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave, Charlie Chaplin, Laurence Olivier, and Alfred Hitchcock.