In a career that encompasses roles as diverse as the gun-toting, kick-boxing Purdey of the New Avengers to the champagne-swigging sidekick of Jennifer Saunders in Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna Lumley has long been one of Britain's most dependable actresses and one who is always highly popular with audiences.
Joanna began her professional career as a model, quickly attracting the attention of TV and film makers for her intelligence, sophisticated looks and classic English mannerisms. Her on-screen fame took off in 1969 when she became a Bond Girl in the 007 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This led to many TV roles, culminating in that of the beautiful Purdey in the popular 1970s series The New Avengers. A decade or so later, her wide-ranging skills as an actress were appreciated by a new generation of TV viewers through her hilarious interpretation of the lush fashion director Patsy Stone in the classic comedy series Absolutely Fabulous.
Other TV roles include Sapphire & Steel (with David McCallum), Class Act, Lovejoy, Jam & Jerusalem (a sitcom, with Dawn French), Up In Town (about a fading society hostess) and Sensitive Skin (a drama in which she played the main character, Davina Jackson). In addition, she has appeared twice in Agatha Christie's Marple, in the episodes; The Body in the Library (2004) and The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (2009). Joanna also appeared in a TV series filmed in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, where she spent time in her childhood.
In 2014, Joanna appeared in a BBC One hour-long documentary featuring American musician Will.i.am and later that year she presented Bette Midler: One Night Only, a one-off ITV special. In 2015, she presented a three-part factual series for ITV called Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure, which saw Joanna travel 6400 miles from Hong Kong to Moscow, along the Trans-Siberian Railway.
In addition to On Her Majesty's Secret Service, film roles have included: In the Kingdom Of The Thunder Dragon (1996), James And The Giant Peach (1996), A Rather English Marriage (nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actress 1999) and Dr Willoughby (1999). In 1995, she provided the voice of Annie the rag doll in the animated series The Forgotten Toys.
Joanna has also often been seen on stage. In 2010, she starred in David Hirson's La Bête at the Comedy Theatre, London (it transferred later that year to the Music Box Theatre on Broadway), for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress.
As the possessor of one of the most recognized - and most sophisticated - voices in the UK, Joanna has gained prominence as a voice-over artist in numerous TV commercials.
Joanna is also a keen activist and charity fund raiser, best known for her hard work on behalf of the Ghurkha Justice Campaign and appearing in several editions of Comic Relief, notably with Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Sienna Miller in the French and Saunders pastiche of Mamma Mia, in which she played the role of Tanya (named Patsy in the spoof).
An OBE and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Joanna is an inspirational public speaker, perfect for a wide range of Corporate Events, including After Dinner Speaking, Awards Hosting and Facilitating. To book Joanna for your event, contact Prime Performers using the online booking enquiry form or call us on 020 7251 8222.
I wanted to send my thanks and appreciation to Joanna re: last week’s TARGETjobs Awards at the Grosvenor House. Joanna was utterly delightful to work with, both on the day and later at the event in the evening, where she did a superb job of hosting our awards. Her presence and presenting led the 1,200 strong audience to get to their feet for two standing ovations – not something I have ever seen at a corporate before.
Sally, it was delighted to work with you and a great honour to have Ms Lumley with us during this trip…I’m grateful for your help and for Joanna’s wonderful presentation; it was a real triumph!We were delighted with how it went and Joanna was just perfect and a true professional.
Alliance Medical Centres
On behalf of all the staff at Guinot and all our clients, I just want to say a huge thank you to Joanna for her support at the conference on Sunday. I can say with great confidence that it meant such a lot to everyone to have her there. Joanna really did make all our award winners feel so special and for that I am personally so thankful! Joanna was extremely easy to work with, and we have had nothing but continued excitement and praise for her presence.
Guinot-Mary Cohn UK Ltd
- Property presenter.
- Singer and Presenter who will forever be remembered as one of the world's most successful boy sopranos.
- Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is Britain’s greatest Paralympic athlete.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE