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Patsy Stone

Patsy Stone is a fictional character on the UK television series Absolutely Fabulous, portrayed by actress Joanna Lumley.[5]

Patsy Stone
Absolutely Fabulous character
PatsyStone.jpg
First appearance "Fashion" (1992)
Last appearance Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016)
Created by Jennifer Saunders and
Dawn French
Portrayed by Joanna Lumley
Information
Full name Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau Stone[4]
Nickname(s) Pats
Gender Female (female to male transgender for only one year in the 1960’s)[1]
Occupation Former fashion model,[2]
magazine fashion director,[3]
buyer for Jeremy's,
former pornographic actress
Family Mother (deceased)
Jackie (sister; deceased)
Spouse(s) Edina Monsoon, Baroness Lubliana (pretending to be a man, "Pat", at the French Riviera)

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Patsy was the last of a string of children born to an aging bohemian mother (Eleanor Bron) in Paris, who gave birth "like a sprinkler, scattering bastard babies all over Europe."[6] In a flashback showing Patsy's birth, after telling an attendant to cut the cord, Patsy's mother exclaims that she names the child Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau Stone.[7] The only sibling seen in the series is her older sister Jackie (Kate O'Mara), a former high-class escort whom Patsy worships, despite the fact that Jackie treats her horribly and twice tried to murder her through heroin overdose.[8] Patsy and Edina Monsoon were childhood friends, and since her mother despised and neglected her—regarding her more as a rival than a daughter—she came to rely on the Monsoons for most of her shelter, comfort, and food (though she has only been seen eating twice since 1973). She mentioned that her mother would have had an abortion, though she mistook her pregnancy for the onset of the menopause. The first few years of her life were spent locked in a room, and the rest of her childhood was dismal by Patsy's own description, without friends, parties, or presents. Although her mother eventually sent her to school, by the time she did Patsy was much older than all the other students.[9] She claims to have forgotten everything before 1968, though occasionally memories come back to her in the form of flashbacks.

Although Patsy claims to have been an It girl and in-demand model in 1960's Swinging London, flashbacks reveal she was totally unsuccessful, only getting work through latching on to high-profile designers and models. A flashback to the Sixties reveals Patsy wreaking havoc on the set of one of Zandra Rhodes' photo shoots. She dubs herself an "ex-Bond girl", but the films she starred in were actually Bond-inspired sexploitation films entitled Bond Meets Black Emmanuelle, Boldfinger, and The Man with Thunder Balls.[10] In "Schmoozin'" a group of partygoers are treated to a viewing of Patsy's 70's softcore porn film "Booberella." Patsy claims to have slept with every member of the Rolling Stones, stating that "...you didn't have a favourite Stone, you had 'em all."[11] She also claims to have slept with Keith Moon ("Well sort of. I woke up underneath him in a hotel room once."), and one of the Beatles, although she cannot remember which one.[12]

At various times throughout the series it is alluded to that Patsy was at one time transgender, having undergone a sex-change operation in Morocco in the 1960s.[13] Eddy states that this only lasted a few months, "before it fell off",[14] and Elton John recognizes her as someone he slept with when she was a man.[15]

In the seriesEdit

Friendship with EdinaEdit

Patsy shares a codependent existence with Edina and often acts as her enabler, encouraging her to partake in addictive behaviors like smoking and drinking. The relationship usually results in hilarious, albeit dysfunctional, behaviour and over-the-top conflicts. The two usually spend their days shopping at high-end department stores and boutiques (Harvey Nichols being their favourite), going to lunch at trendy restaurants, and avoiding their respective work places. Patsy is more parasitic in her dependence than Eddie is,[16] she spends most of her spare time at Eddie's house, drinks Eddie's booze, uses her chauffeur-driven car, and at various points lives with her, in either the attic,[17] Saffy's bedroom, or the utility room. In "Death" (Series 2) Patsy attempts to convince Eddy to leave her her multimillion-pound Holland Park house in the event of Eddy's death.

Her dependence on the friendship leads Patsy to sabotage any relationships which take Eddy's attention away from her, which is the root cause of her near-constant animosity towards Saffy.[18][19] Patsy is also quite critical of Edina, often making passive jabs at her weight and poor fashion choices.

AppearanceEdit

Unlike Eddy, Patsy is usually conservatively, but stylishly, dressed and almost invariably wears her hair in a characteristic blonde beehive with a fringe she is very attached to.[20] She has a particular fondness for couture Chanel jackets, which she wears to editorial meetings to intimidate her colleagues.[21] Patsy was born on 30 October, although her actual age is never clearly divulged; she often states herself to be between 39 and 43. She is so obsessed with projecting youth that she uses a false passport (obtained from "Johnny Fingers" on the Isle of Dogs) with a doctored picture from her modelling days.[22][23] In one episode ("Cold Turkey") a nurse guesses that she is around 65 years old.[24] In the episode "Happy New Year" (Series 3), Patsy's sister Jackie reveals that she is 72 years old, to which Patsy replies "My God, then how old does that make me?"; suggesting that Patsy has lied about her age so often that she can no longer remember her real age. Her vanity and obsession with youth leads her to use radical beauty treatments, including sulfuric acid peels, collagen lip injections, and the Botox-like filler "Paralox", which takes away wrinkles but paralyses her face.[25][26]

As the series progresses, Patsy betrays her age more and more, appearing to become more feeble beginning in the 4th series. In "Menopause" Patsy has to visit the hospital after fracturing her bones doing simple tasks, like snapping her fingers. The doctor diagnoses her with osteoporosis and declares that she has the lowest bone density on record. In "Olympics" she admits to using adult diapers for occasional incontinence. Her poor eyesight is evident, with Patsy often colliding with objects and having to scrutinize type and images very closely.

PersonalityEdit

Patsy usually seems quite cold and unemotive, especially in her behaviour toward her chief rival Saffy,[27] but she sometimes reveals a more vulnerable side (in flashbacks to her bleak life with her mother, in her overeager admiration for the awful Jackie, and in those rare moments when Eddy temporarily withdraws her friendship) and even occasionally asks Saffy for advice. She is also prone to intense outbursts of anger, usually directed at Saffy, who constantly chastises her for her many vices and the malign influence she has on Eddy. When faced with a situation that someone else might find alarming or disconcerting, Patsy often responds with a cool "right, cheers, thanks a lot."

Patsy is an alcoholic, a chain smoker, and a frequent recreational drug user. She carries drugs with her at all times, storing joints in her trademark bouffant. She has nearly overdosed on several occasions,[28] and on one occasion in the series has to have her stomach pumped after a rave-style drug binge in Edina's sitting room.[29] In "France" she is detained at customs for carrying cocaine, only to be released when tests show she mistakenly bought baking powder. In "Identity" she is revealed to have stiffed her former dealer, Barron, of ₤50,000 worth of drugs, justifying her habit by saying "Have you seen the price of Methadone these days? Cheaper to buy crack".[30] Her drinks of choice are Bollinger champagne or Stolichnaya vodka, though she will drink whatever alcohol is around. She jokes that her blood-alcohol level is so high that "the last mosquito that bit me had to check into the Betty Ford Clinic."[31] In "Birth" (Series 2 Ep. 6) she causes a fire in Edina's kitchen when she passes out with a lit cigarette.[32] Her addiction to cigarettes is so strong that she carries nicotine patches in the event that she gets into a non-smoking cab, so that she can survive the journey.[33]

In the early series, Patsy is very promiscuous and frank about her sexuality, seducing anyone she finds attractive. When the 4th series commences, Patsy's attractiveness to men has begun to wane, though she refuses to admit this and still throws herself at men. Her obsession for staying thin means that she rarely eats; she claims that she has not eaten anything since 1973, having had a "stomach bypass" according to Eddy. There are only 2 instances where she does eat: in the episode "New Year's Eve" she painfully chews and swallows a potato crisp, then is visibly shaken from having actually eaten something; and in the Christmas Special "Cold Turkey" she renders the entire assembly speechless by demurely asking for a small slice of turkey during Christmas lunch, but chokes it up upon eating it.

CareerEdit

Throughout the first three series, Patsy is a fashion director at an unnamed magazine similar to Vogue, which she secured through sleeping with the publisher.[34] Saffy derisively says that Patsy's job is to "invent random adjectives for pointless clothing."[35] Patsy rarely does any work or goes to the office (in "Magazine" she can't remember where her office is located in the building and needs to ask directions). The benefits she most enjoys are the many free products she is given and the 50% discount she gets at Harvey Nichols. She boasts of her influence in fashion that "one snap of my fingers and I can raise hemlines so high that the world is your gynecologist."[36]

In the episodes "Fear" and "The End" (Series 3) Patsy's magazine closes and she briefly moves to New York to take another fashion director job at "HQ" magazine. However she is so lonely without Eddy that she quickly returns to London. In part one of "The Last Shout" she is job-hunting, but blows off a job interview to go to the pub. In part two her old boss Magda (Kathy Burke) gets her a job as fashion editor at another unnamed magazine.

In the special "Gay" (2002), Patsy has taken a job as "executive creative director, chief buyer and lifestyle coordinator" for "Jeremy's", an upscale boutique whose clientele consists of "rich bitches whose faces are pulled so tight they can't see what they're buying".[37] She also briefly attempts to become a celebrity stylist, which ends after a disastrous encounter with Minnie Driver.[38] In "Birthin'" (Series 5) she is due to receive a "Global Style and Elegance" Award for promoting the importance of accessories, but fails to make the award show when Saffy goes into labor.[39] In the 20th anniversary specials and the feature film, Patsy is once again working for a fashion magazine, under the direction of her old boss Magda.

Patsy's colleagues at her original magazine are Catriona (Helen Lederer) and Fleur (Harriet Thorpe), who tag along on her various career moves.

SignificanceEdit

For her portrayal of Patsy Stone, Joanna Lumley was nominated four different times for the Best Comedy Performance BAFTA award, winning in 1995.[40] She also won the BAFTA for Best Light Entertainment in 1993, and a British Comedy Award the same year for best actress.[41]

The characters of Patsy and Edina Monsoon enjoy a significant following in the LGBT community[42] and have long been favourite subjects for drag performances.[43]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Joanna Lumley FINALLY confirms Ab Fab's Patsy Stone is 'transgender'". Daily Express. 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2017-12-03. 
  2. ^ "Television/Radio; The Original Queens of (British) Comedy". The New York Times. 2003-04-06. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  3. ^ "I just wanna say `fabulous darling' - Absolutely Fabulous is back - More Arts and Entertainment News". Halifax Courier. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  4. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (2011-12-25). "Absolutely Fabulous makes a hilarious return". Radio Times. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  5. ^ Press Association (2011-08-29). "Absolutely Fabulous is back – crack open the Bolly and Stolly | Television & radio". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  6. ^ "Happy New Year" Series 3 Ep. 2. 1995-04-06. 
  7. ^ "Birth" Series 2 Ep. 6. 1994-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Happy New Year" Series 3 Ep. 2. 1995-04-06. 
  9. ^ "Happy New Year" Series 3 Ep. 2. 1995-04-06. 
  10. ^ "Schmoozin'" Series 5 Ep. 6. 2003-11-23. 
  11. ^ "Schmoozin'" Series 5 Ep. 6. 2003-11-23. 
  12. ^ Carina Chocano (2001-11-15). "The return of "Absolutely Fabulous"". Salon magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-01. 
  13. ^ Rebecca Davison (2016-06-06). "Joanna Lumley reveals her Absolutely Fabulous alter-ego Patsy Stone is transgender". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2018-01-01. 
  14. ^ "Morocco" Series 2 Ep. 3. 1994-02-10. 
  15. ^ "Schmoozin'" Series 5 Ep. 6. 2003-11-23. 
  16. ^ "Absolutely Fabulous: British Television Show". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-01-01. 
  17. ^ "Identity" Season 6 Ep. 1. 2012-12-25. 
  18. ^ "Magazine" Series 1 Ep. 6. 1992-12-17. 
  19. ^ "Schmoozin'" Series 5 Ep. 5. 2003-11-28. 
  20. ^ Rebecca Seales (2011-12-20). "Absolutely Fabulous 2011: Joanna Lumley celebrates the return of Patsy Stone | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  21. ^ Magazine Series 1 Ep. 6. 1992-12-17. 
  22. ^ ab fab patsy's passport. Youtube. 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2018-01-01. 
  23. ^ "Identity" Season 6 Ep. 1. 2012-12-25. 
  24. ^ "Cold Turkey" Series 5 Ep. 8. 2003-12-24. 
  25. ^ "Hospital" Series 2 Ep. 1. 1994-01-27. 
  26. ^ "Paralox" Series 4 Ep. 1. 2001-08-31. 
  27. ^ Gates, Anita (1995-04-30). "TELEVISION; Through Thick and Thin (Thin? I Could Kill Her) - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  28. ^ "Menopause" Series 4 Ep. 6. 2001-10-05. 
  29. ^ "Death" Series 2, Ep. 2. 1994-02-03. 
  30. ^ "Identity" Season 6 Ep. 1. 2012-12-25. 
  31. ^ France (Series 1 Ep. 3). 1992-11-26. 
  32. ^ AbFab clips (2011-11-24). Ab Fab - Patsy makes the kitchen catch fire. YouTube.com. Retrieved 2018-01-01. 
  33. ^ "Poor" Series 2 Ep. 5. 1994-03-03. 
  34. ^ Magazine Series 1 Ep. 6. 1992-12-17. 
  35. ^ "Small Opening" Series 4 Ep. 5. 2001-09-28. 
  36. ^ Magazine Series 1 Ep. 6. 1992-12-17. 
  37. ^ "Gay" Series 5 Ep. 1. 2002-12-27. 
  38. ^ "Panickin'" Series 5 Ep.3. 2003-10-31. 
  39. ^ Birthin' Series 5 Ep. 5. 2002-11-14. 
  40. ^ "BAFTA 1995 Best Comedy Performance". bafta.org. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  41. ^ "Joanna Lumley". Wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  42. ^ Christopher Rudolph (2016-06-03). ""Patsy is Transgender", reveals "Absolutely Fabulous" Star Joanna Lumley". newnownext.com. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  43. ^ Charlie Moore, Alex Matthews (2016-06-26). "An Absolutely Fabulous Pride! Drag Queens and 'Human Pups' Join Patsy and Eddy at the City's Annual LGBT Festival". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 

External linksEdit