Absolutely Fabulous to return with one-off special – details

Jane Horrocks, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Julia Sawalha
Jane Horrocks, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Julia Sawalha (Adam Lawrence)

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are set to reunite on-screen as Absolutely Fabulous returns to TV with a one-off reflective special.

The actresses portrayed Edina 'Eddie' Monsoon and Patsy Stone respectively in the award-winning sitcom, which first aired on the BBC back in 1992.

The upcoming episode, titled Absolutely Fabulous: Inside Out, airs on Gold later this year and will see the stars join forces with their co-stars Julia Sawalha – aka Saffy Monsoon – and Jane Horrocks, who played Bubble, for the first time since the 2016 film.

The show will take viewers down memory lane, revealing how the sitcom was made and paying tribute to much-missed cast member June Whitfield, who played Edina's mother.

Jane Horrocks, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Julia Sawalha
Jane Horrocks, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Julia Sawalha will reunite in a one-off special (Adam Lawrence)

The episode, which celebrates the show's ground-breaking influence on female comedy, will feature various stars from the comedy, as well as costume designers and famous fans to share "unheard anecdotes, exclusive behind-the-scenes secrets and personal reflections amongst a glittering array of archive's best bits: from original scripts to high-fashion costumes, never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, and the first ever episode," according to the synopsis.

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Creator and writer Jennifer said of the upcoming special: "I loved making Ab Fab but I can't remember a great deal, so much of this retrospective is a revelation to me. Thank you Gold for this kind and helpful programme."

Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Jane Horrocks in an office scene from the BBC television sitcom 'Absolutely Fabulous'
Absolutely Fabulous first aired in 1992 (Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)

Joanna added: "It was a fabulous wander down memory lane by actresses who only have the faintest grip on reality. Really thrilling, and I hope vastly entertaining. I loved every second."

A release date for the new episode, which is commissioned by UKTV and produced by Expectation, has yet to be revealed.

Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders smiling at the BAFTAs
Joanna and Jennifer at the 1993 BAFTAs (Getty)

UKTV's senior commissioning editor Kirsty Hanson said the episode "promises to be the comedy event of the year", while Expectation's series producer Owen Braben said fans can expect "behind-the-scenes gossip from the cast and crew, as they reveal how they brought the show to our screens".

The popular series ran for three seasons and a two-part special from 1992 until 1996. It later returned with two more series and another two specials between 2001 and 2004, before making another comeback in 2011 with three 20th Anniversary episodes. The comedy eventually moved to the big screen in 2016 with Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.