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Joanna Lumley to receive BAFTA Fellowship

The British Academy Television Awards will be held on 14 May (17) at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Joanna Lumley is to be honoured for her TV work by officials at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) later in May (17).

The former Absolutely Fabulous actress will be presented with the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship accolade at the British Academy Television Awards in recognition of her "outstanding and exceptional" contribution to film or television.

“Nothing could make me prouder or happier than being awarded this phenomenal honour," Joanna said in a statement. "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.

Jane Lush, Chair of BAFTA, added, “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 71-year-old has been nominated for BAFTAs six times during her career and she won awards for Light Entertainment Performance and Comedy Performance in 1993 and 1995 respectively for Absolutely Fabulous, and the Special Award in 2000 for The Avengers.

She follows in the footsteps of previous recipients which include her Ab Fab co-star Jennifer Saunders, who was honoured with her comedy partner Dawn French, plus Bruce Forsyth, Michael Palin, Sir David Attenborough, and Julie Walters.

The awards will be hosted by British presenter Sue Perkins at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 14 May (17). The Crown leads the nominations with five nods, including mentions for Best Drama Series, lead actress Claire Foy and supporting stars John Lithgow, Jared Harris and Vanessa Kirby.

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