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I'm in the company I always wanted to keep, says Joanna Lumley after receiving Bafta Fellowship

The Ab Fab star said she was “unbelievably honoured” to get a Bafta Fellowship.

Joanna Lumley said she was “in paradise” as she was presented with a Bafta Fellowship at the Bafta TV Awards.

The actress was presented with the fellowship by her Absolutely Fabulous co-star Jennifer Saunders, who said: “In 1990 I handed her some scrappy lines and unformed ideas and she alone created Patsy Stone, a creation that has at least kept me laughing for 27 years.

“She’s a comic genius and a brilliant clown who never forgets how hard it’s been to get where she is.”

Coming on stage to a standing ovation, Joanna said: “I’m unbelievably honoured, you don’t even dream of it, you don’t even think of it, then the letter comes and you don’t believe it.

“I’m like a piece of Cellophane laid over the industry.

“We are lit and furnished with words and costumed and made up, we have stunt performers to make us look better, we have people who feed us and dress us and we arrive and people say ‘you were so funny in that’ and you say ‘yes, thanks’.

“It’s all somebody else.”

She said: “This for me is paradise, I am in the company that I wished to keep ever since I was young.

“I wanted to be with the people who left race and religion and gender and shoe size outside the door.

“I wanted to be with those people, I wanted to hang out with the boys in the band, I wanted to be part of the sisterhood, I wanted to be in this real circus.”

Addressing Jennifer, she added: “All I really want to say is ‘Jennifer you write it, I just do it’.”

Adopting Patsy’s famous drawl, she concluded with: “I just want to say actually to you all, thanks sweeties, thanks a lot.”

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