The inspiration for casting Joanna Lumley as Patsy came from a sketch on The Full Wax (1991). There, Ruby Wax interviewed Lumley, where the actress (who had previously been seen as a prim and proper English rose) played herself as a drunk, cocaine-addicted, washed-up has-been.
During Pride Week in New York City in 2002, Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders served as judges at an Edina and Patsy look-a-like competition at a gay bar.
Jane Horrocks originally auditioned for the part of Saffron, but Jennifer Saunders adapted and expanded the role of Bubble for her instead.
Despite playing mother and daughter, Jennifer Saunders is only ten years older than Julia Sawalha.
When the series first aired in 1992, the BBC placed it on its out-of-the-mainstream channel, BBC2, thinking that it might build a modest cult following. However, the show drew such high ratings that it was moved to the more Populist channel, BBC1. According to Jon Plowman, head of comedy at the BBC, during the development of the first series there was concern that "an audience outside the square mile of Soho - the trendy district of London - would not know what this was about." It eventually became one of the highest-rated shows in Britain.
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley also portrayed their characters on an episode of Roseanne (1988) opposite Laurie Metcalf. Metcalf guest-starred on this show, although as a different character.
It is revealed that Patsy's sister, Jackie, was born in 1922. It is also stated that their mother gave birth to them when she was around fifty, meaning Patsy's mother was born in the 1870s.
In season two, episode three, "Morrocco", the houseboy is named Yentob. Alan Yentob was then the director of BBC1.
Idris Elba had his first speaking part in season three, episode three, "Sex", in which Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) compared him to Sir Sean Connery.
In season six, episode one, "The Last Shout: Part 1", Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) makes reference to "when I was a Bond Girl." Lumley played a Bond Girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
The name of Jennifer Saunders' character, Eddy Monsoon, is a play on her husband's last name, Edmondson. Adrian Edmondson previously used the name Eddy Monsoon himself for a character that appears in The Comic Strip Presents... (1982).
The cameo role of Patsy's sister Jackie (based loosely on Jacqueline Kennedy), was originally intended for Charlotte Rampling, but she declined. Kate O'Mara was cast instead.
Two American remakes failed to get off the ground. The first was developed in the 90s by Roseanne Barr, which would have starred Carrie Fisher and Barbara Carrera. In 2008, BBC and Sony were developing a new remake for Fox, with Kathryn Hahn as Eddy and Kristen Johnston as Patsy. Neither shows were picked up for a full season order.
Jennifer Saunders and June Whitfield appeared on Friends (1994). Whitfield played the housekeeper to Saunders' character, Andrea Waltham.
The series started out as a single sketch on French and Saunders (1987), titled "The Modern Mother and Daughter".
Ranked number twenty-four in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!" (May 30, 2004 issue).
Pet Shop Boys created an homage song of this show for Comic Relief in 1994, titled "Absolutely Fabulous", which featured dialogue from this show. It debuted at number two in Australia, which was also the highest peak position for them in that country.
Bob Spiers directed twenty-three episodes and worked on every season on the show, except for the last, as he died on December 8, 2008.
In July 2016, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016) was released. Jennifer Saunders had been planning to write a movie since as early as 1995, but instead was talked into producing more episodes. All of the main cast returned, along with cameos from numerous celebrities, including Rebel Wilson and Kate Moss.
The show began airing in the U.S. in 1994, two years after its initial release in the U.K.
Two members of Spice Girls appeared on this show: Emma Bunton and Geri Horner. Jennifer Saunders appeared in Spice World (1997) and wrote the West End musical "Viva Forever", which centered around songs by the group. Geri was mentioned in season five, episode two, "Book Clubbin'", but never appeared on the show.
Eddy's (Jennifer Saunders') kitchen set, home of many classic scenes with Mother (June Whitfield), comprising most obviously the distinct staircase area, was re-used as the shop in the Miranda Hart sitcom Miranda (2009).
Script Editor Ruby Wax revealed that Jennifer Saunders would write the script the evening before filming, and the only time Saunders produced an entire script was for the pilot episode, which she had written in pencil in a textbook.
In season four, episode one, "Parralox", Edina (Jennifer Saunders) ends up with a Smart Car due to a mix-up by Bubble (Jane Horrocks) with Patsy (Joanna Lumley) memorably having to ride in the boot. In real-life, Joanna Lumley owns a Smart Car, describing it as "the best car I've ever owned."
Lead characters Patsy and Edina's propensity for vodka was apparently inspired by some dizzying nights on the town with the partying girls from Bananarama during the 1980s.
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley starred in Saunders' comedy Clatterford (2006). June Whitfield's daughter Suzy Aitchison also had a starring role.
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley have played Queen Elizabeth II. Lumley played her in Gangsta Granny (2013) and Saunders voiced her in Minions (2015).
An episode that would had been a crossover of the sitcom Bottom (1991), which was never thought of or even considered by Jennifer Saunders, would have seen Edina and Patsy go on a date with Richard Richard and Eddie Hitler. Adrian Edmondson, who played Eddie Hitler on Bottom (1991), is Jennifer Saunders' real-life husband and performed the theme song "Wheels on Fire".