Nadia Sawalha reveals unknown detail about sister Julia playing Saffy in Ab Fab

The actress played Saffy for twenty years

Hanna Fillingham

Nadia Sawalha comes from a very famous family, and both her dad Nadim and sister Julia Sawalha are actors too. Julia is best known for her role as Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous, and Nadia previously gave an interesting insight into how her sister played the character.

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While Saffy is portrayed in the popular BBC sitcom as the straight-laced daughter of Edina Monsoon, Nadia revealed that Julia always played Saffy with the sub-text of being just like her carefree mum Edina. Talking on Kate Thornton's Podcast, White Wine Question Time, the Loose Women panellist said: "My sister played Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous and she always used to say that her sub-text was that actually she was Edina. That inside she was Edina and then on the outside she had built this Saffy persona."

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Nadia Sawalha and her sister Julia

The TV presenter had been talking with best friend and Loose Women co-star Kaye Adams on the podcast, where they were discussing the things that they would never be able to truly relate to. Kaye admitted that she would never be able to just not care what people think of her and do something crazy, and Nadia likened her friend to Julia's portrayal of Saffy. "I would say that's your inner you," she said.

Julia starred alongside Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley and the late June Whitfield in the long-running comedy show, and was devastated in December when June sadly passed away. Julia, Joanna and Jennifer reunited in January to attend their co-star's funeral, and were pictured linking arms at the emotional service.


Julia played Saffy Monsoon in the hit sitcom Absolutely Fabulous

Nadia has previously spoken about Julia's fame, and how she felt lucky that from her sister being in Ab Fab as well as her father working as an actor, she found that it slightly easier when she became well-known after joining EastEnders in 1997 as actress Annie Palmer.

During a discussion on her YouTube channel in March, where she was discussing fame, she said: "Having been on a soap opera - I was in EastEnders 20 years ago - and I used to watch the youngsters come into it. You come in and then you film for six weeks, and for six weeks you are in EastEnders you are working as a soap star, but you are not yet a star. And then suddenly that episode will come out and the next minute you are ludicrously famous. At the time I was in it it had 20 million viewers, honestly to just have that sudden fame."

She added: "I was very lucky because I came from a family that had always been in the film business. My dad [Nadim Sawalaha] was an actor and my sister [Julia Sawalha] was very famous in Absolutely Fabulous, so I had a bit of a sense of what it was like. But still it was a bit of a shock."

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