Joanna Lumley to receive BAFTA Fellowship

Joanna Lumley is to receive the BAFTA Fellowship prize at the awards ceremony which takes place at Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday May 14

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Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley is to be honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship at the ceremony on May 14.

The 71-year-old actress is to receive the prestigious honour in recognition of her outstanding and exceptional contribution to television.

The British star, who is best known for portraying Patsy Stone alongside Jennifer Saunders (Edina 'Eddy' Monsoon) in BBC comedy series 'Absolutely Fabulous', says the accolade was "unexpected" and she is overjoyed to be among some of film and television's "greatest talents" in accepting the award.

Of the honour, Lumley said: "Nothing could make me prouder or happier than being awarded this phenomenal honour. 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."

Lumley joins a list of revered movie makers and actors to be chosen for the accolade by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with past recipients including Steven Spielberg, Sir Sean Connery, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Dame Judi Dench, Martin Scorsese, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Christopher Lee, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier and Sidney Poitier

'The Producers' director Mel Brooks was last year's winner.

Jane Lush, the chair of BAFTA, said: "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 the Fellowship this year, the highest honour that the Academy bestows."

Besides 'Absolutely Fabulous' - which run from 1992 until 2012, and was turned into a movie last year - Lumley is a successful model, and also had a title role in ITV's 'Sapphire and Steel'.

Lumley has previously received six BAFTA nominations and was awarded for Comedy Performance in 1995 and Light Entertainment Performance in 1993 for 'Absolutely Fabulous'.

And In 2000, she received the Special Award for 1971's 'The Avengers'.

The Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards will be hosted by Sue Perkins at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and broadcast on BBC One at 8pm on Sunday May 14.

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