Before becoming an award-winning actress and national treasure, Joanna's career began in modelling. More recently she has presented a number of popular travel documentaries, as well as starring in three new episodes of the iconic BBC One series Ab Fab in 2011/12.
In 2010, she presented Joanna Lumleys Nile on ITV. This four-part documentary took Joanna on an expedition to follow the River Nile, one of the world's longest rivers. On the way she experienced the magnificent sights of ancient Egypt and visited one of the largest capital cities on earth, Cairo.
The following year she presented two travel documentaries: Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey and Joanna Lumleys Land of Northern Lights for BBC One. In Greece, her journey began at the Parthenon in Athens. She then went on to explore Greek Gods, beliefs, myths and legends. In Joanna Lumleys Land of Northern Lights, she headed to the far north of Norway to capture a sight of the natural wonder.
Joanna Lumley returns this year for a new travelogue in which she will journey through Turkey and Iran to discover the origins of the story of Noah's Ark.
After being turned down by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts at 16, Joanna chose a career in modelling. She finally got her acting breakthrough with a role in the film Some Girls Do. Lumley hit the big time when she played Purdey in the classic TV series, The Avengers. One of her best-known characters is that of Patsy in the BBC One series Absolutely Fabulous. The award-winning sitcom was set in the world of fashion and PR, and was first broadcast in 1992.
Joanna has since had roles in various films and TV series, including Class Act, Cold Comfort Farm and James and the Giant Peach. Other travel programmes include Girl Friday in which she was cast away on a deserted island in the Indian Ocean; and Joanna Lumley in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon in which she followed the same route as her grandparents in the 1930s.
1993: British Comedy Awards: Top Television Comedy Actress and Top Television Comedy Personality
1995: BAFTA for Best Comedy Performance in Absolutely Fabulous
2000: BAFTA for her work in The Avengers
Joanna Lumley has published a number of books, from autobiographies to those that elaborate on her lifetime's adventures.
No Room for Secrets
Stare Back and Smile
Absolutely: A Memoir
In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon