Joanna Lumley is reflecting on some of her most amazing adventures in a new series, Joanna Lumley's Unseen Adventures. Speaking about her new series, she said: "I've been lucky enough to visit some incredible places over the years. Travel is my passion, it’s in my blood. What you eventually see on your screen takes weeks to shoot and months to edit and we didn’t always have time to show you everything we filmed. We have kept the unseen stories safe and now I can reveal this treasure trove!”
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Absolutely Fabulous actress is something of a national treasure, but how much do you really know about her? Get all the info about the one and only Joanna Lumley here...
Joanna will star in Joanna Lumley's Unseen Adventures on Tuesday night
How old is Joanna Lumley?
Joanna is 73 years old and looks absolutely incredible! She previously opened up about ageing gracefully, telling Good Housekeeping: "I’m really not against [cosmetic surgery] but what’s the point of getting stuff done when I’m looking to play older people like grannies? They are not going to cast me as a 35-year-old – there are 35-year-olds to do that. You have got to think very carefully what you want done."
Joanna looks amazing
She also opened up about her diet, saying: "I eat like a sensible person. I haven’t got a very sweet tooth but I love salted things like nuts. I would have to be dragged in by a lorry if I ate as many salted peanuts as I would like to!"
Is Joanna Lumley married?
Joanna is married to conductor Stephen Barlow, and opened up about how her extensive travels affect her relationship with her husband, saying: "We are both independent. I love being on my own. When I’m away, I don't even phone home. Incidentally I come from a different generation where we couldn’t usually afford to phone home, so I’ve never been used to it. I like to write a postcard. I won’t phone, that takes your travelling head away from you… You don't want people keep phoning. If you're on the other side of the world it’s always the wrong time."
Joanna with her husband, Stephen
Does Joanna Lumley have children?
Joanna is a mum, and a grandma! She had one son, 52-year-old Jamie Lumley, who has two daughters, Alice and Emily. Joanna has a very close relationship with Jamie, who she raised as a single parent.
She opened up about one of her main regrets about him when he was a child in Australian Women's Weekly, explaining that she had sent him to boarding school while she was filming, and never received a letter from him begging her to take him out of the school. She said: "That knowledge of that burns me to this day. I love my son. He's the pure gold in my life and to think he was miserable and believed I hadn't fulfilled my promise. It just cuts me to the core."
Joanna with her husband and son
Struggles with depression
The actress has been candid regarding her struggle with depression, and opened up about it on The Jonathan Ross Show. She said: "Occasionally I get eclipsed by sadness or depression, the black dog on your shoulder, and feel lousy for two or three months. And then one morning everything’s thrilling again." She later adds in the conversation: "You’ve got to have lived life to the full and been grateful."
Her love of boxing
Visiting a boxer who is a rising star in Havana in her new series, Joanna revealed that she loves boxing! She said: "I just adore boxing. I know it’s not considered terribly good to love these pugilistic things but I just love it, it’s one of the oldest forms of fighting." The episode will also no doubt surprise viewers on Tuesday night as she drinks a Pina Colada for the first time - at a service station! She said: "I sound terribly naïve, but I’ve never had one before and particularly never created like this, at a service station served in a pineapple. I live a very sheltered life."
Joanna talks about her love of boxing in her new show
Her charity work
The impressive star is a keen human rights activist for the Gurkha Justice Campaign and Survival International. She also supports a number of animal welfare groups, including Vegetarian's International Voice for Animals, and is a patron for Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Farm Animal Sanctuary.
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More about Joanna Lumley's Hidden Caribbean
The two-part special will see Joanna visit Haiti and Cuba while learning more about their history, which has seen them colonised, populated by slaves, affected by natural disaster and suffering sanctions. The first episode will see her in Havana, where she meets a female boxing star, watches a cabaret and reads to factory workers as they roll cigars. She will also pay a visit to Fidel Castro's hometown, and take a horse and cart ride around Cuba. Speaking about Havana, she said: "You could spend all day long walking up and down these ravishing streets. All the walls and all the paints, the colours are so great."
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