back to top

A Guide To Being More Ab Fab, By Joanna Lumley And Jennifer Saunders

The stars gave some absolutely fabulous life advice to our readers.

Posted on

To celebrate Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie coming out, we decided to get Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders to help make our lives a little bit more, well, Ab Fab. We gave them YOUR burning questions, and let's just say their advice is everything you'll ever need.

1. I’m going to be a mum as of November. Both being mothers, what advice would you give? – charlotteed1

BuzzFeed

Jennifer Saunders: Don't imagine that this is the end of your life. What I find with a lot of people who are about to have babies, they think, "Well, that's the end, isn't it? I can't ever go out again." When babies are little you can take them anywhere. Keep your baby with you and live your life as you have been living.

Joanna Lumley: And be quite quiet and kind with it, and when it's upset, hum. Babies and animals like humming.

Advertisement

2. At what time in the morning is it OK to drink champers without the bloody orange juice? – Sylvia Waycot, Facebook

BuzzFeed

JL: About 4am?

JS: I never have the orange juice – I just never stop.

JL: Yes, the orange juice goes away certainly at about 5 in the morning.

Advertisement
BuzzFeed

JL: Well Jen, with Dawn [French], you were kind of the trailblazers on that.

JS: Well, the only way we overcame it was by doing it. The thing about being women in comedy is you've just got to do it. And lots of people always wrote to me and said, "Oh, what can I do, I'm starting out in comedy, what should I do?" Do it! The only thing you can do is do it. There's no advice to give except do it and keep at it.

JL: It's actually quite a good rule for life in general. People say, "I want to act, what should I do?" and you say go, find yourself somewhere, you might not get paid but act. You know, just do it.

JS: And don't take no for an answer.

JL: Well, sometimes.

JS: [laughing] Well, obviously we have to sometimes, yes. It depends what you're offered.

Advertisement

4. What's the best selfie pose for ultimate fabulousness? – logolou

BuzzFeed

JS: Up! And do you know a new trick that Rebel Wilson taught us? Which is two phones, one with a torch on it held at the same level near the other camera as you're taking it – lights you beautifully.

JL: If you can, always hold the camera up. So many people hold it down there and it's just a double-chin tragedy.

5. How can you deal with people that constantly want to keep you down? – rhonaa437bccc0c

BuzzFeed

JS: Get rid of them. Don't talk to them.

JL: Or be exaggeratedly polite, because that puts them in the wrong and it doesn't matter how awful they are. If you just greet everything they say with "thank you so much, you are sweet, thank you, thanks so much", put your head round the door when they least expect it and say "I think you're fabulous, thank you", it just puts them off and then they'll stop putting you down.

Advertisement
BuzzFeed

JS: But also someone was doing something on Twitter the other day, someone said something absolutely vile to them or said something horrible. It was when we were tweeting about Pride, it was something awful, and this girl said, "What shall I say, what shall I say?" I said, "Just don't engage with it," because sometimes if you engage with the hatred you absorb a little bit of it. Just ignore it, cut it out. Let them stew in their own juice.

6. What is the most fabulous insult? "Bitch troll from hell" was always one of my favourites! – Lizzie Reynolds, Facebook

BuzzFeed

[both start laughing]

JL: It's still one of mine, but only for Saffy.

JS: I don't think you can better that one. [giggles] It occurs in the film actually quite a few times.

JL: But you have to be sober to say it I think.

JS: Yes, you do actually, otherwise it could be horrible.

Advertisement

8. All of my friends and family my age know exactly what they want to do with their life or what area of work they want to go into. I have no idea and I’m not interested in university. I don’t know what to do and it’s stressing me out. Any advice to help me get a hold of my life? – ciarar4251d876a

BuzzFeed

JL: I would say start working at anything, take any small job, whether it's just helping stack shelves. Once you're in work, one thing you might know is you don't want to stack shelves – at least you now know what you don't want to do. But you're in work. So start working at once in anything. I really mean that.

JS: And don't worry about time. Don't think you have to be anything at any time or age. Don't put a time limit on stuff. And take time to work it out. There's no rush in life. I think people are put off by this idea of, "Oh, what am I going to put on my Facebook profile?" Leave it, forget it, live your life at the pace you want to live it. Give yourself time to think. And [Joanna's] right, get a job, do anything until you know.

Advertisement
BuzzFeed

JL: And I would always say start quite humbly and quite low because then you can climb. Don't put it off and say, "Oh, I wanted to do a better job than that." Start. All of us have started very low. Jennifer very, very, very low.

JS: [laughs] VERY low. It's taken this long.

BuzzFeed

JS: Do you know the one thing I've learnt? I used to be really, really shy and I thought, Oh god, parties. Everyone's going to come and talk to me, I don't know what to say, urgh it's just embarrassing. And what I've learnt, it's taken me a long time and I wish I'd known this when I was in my twenties and thirties, is ask questions. When you go to something, ask people about themselves. Because what people hate is "ahh, people are looking at me". Forget it, go and ask that person about them. Be interested in other people. And then they do all the talking!

JL: And if you're ever in doubt, don't sort of ask them, "What do you do?" Quite a lot of people aren't necessarily doing anything and that's awkward. Talk about something completely different. I mean, not quite "what is your favourite colour" but start off on something completely different that doesn't affect either of you.

Advertisement

10. How do you stay 39 forever? – patrickstrudwick

BuzzFeed

JL: Just say it, darling.

JS: It's just words. Age is just words.

JL: That's a very profound thing to say. "Age is just words." That's good. That's a little profundity from Ms Saunders. We only get one or two a month.

Advertisement

11. I actually work in PR – what advice would you give for dealing with a media crisis, darlings? – juliak42baa786b

BuzzFeed

JL: Oh, take it away, Jennifer.

JS: [bursts out laughing] I don't know! I don't know. A media crisis? I think the thing is, just stay cool. Because the one thing Edina never manages to do is to just stay cool, and the people I've noticed who manage to cope with stress the most, in life they look the most stress-y, but the moment an actual crisis occurs it's like, [hand action over face] hey, now I'm ready. Make it as if it's the thing you wanted to happen because this is how you deal with life.

JL: Kind of act it in fact. Act cool and remain focused and then things can go very badly wrong. But make yourself cool. It's like when you're sad – pretend you're happy and you'll find you kind of can be.

12. What would be your ultimate Ab Fab piece of life advice for someone in their twenties, just starting their career in the big wide world? – eleanoreleanor

BuzzFeed

JS: Don't take too many selfies. [laughs] Look outwards, keep your eyes looking out.

JL: Yes, that's really what it is. Look outwards. Stop being anxious about how you look or appear to others. Stop competing and just look outwards. The world is glittering and I'm afraid that sometimes if you're looking inwards you don't see the glamour and the glitter. It's all waiting for you. I am waiting for you.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is out on Friday 1 July! And if you want to be featured in similar posts then make sure you follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

Questions have been edited lightly for clarity.