Thread Number: 73974  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Ab Fab - How UK and The World Has Changed Since 1990's
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Post# 977328   1/7/2018 at 14:33 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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It's been rather chilly around here of late so spent the post holiday week indoors watching television most nights.

For a change popped in some old Ab Fab videos and suddenly thought how "dated" so many things seem, this with the series having just come out in 1992. Then it hit one that was > 20 years ago... Where has the time gone then?

Anyway here are things one noticed.

Mobile and cell phones aren't huge bricks with retractable antennas.

Laptops have largely displaced desktop computers.

Rollerblades are *OUT*

Walkmans and Discmans have been replaced by either one's phone or whatever else plays ITunes.

Eds and Pats took a plane to France, most today would take the Chunnel instead.

Who could have known then "Princess Di" would end so badly.

Manual expresso machines are out, K-pods are the new "in" thing for coffee.

The cooker in Ed's kitchen likely would be induction instead of just electric coil.

Fashion house Christian Lacroix is sadly no longer what it once was.

Edina's big limo and driver would find that big car not entirely welcome in much of London for a variety of reasons ranging from congestion pricing to lack of petrol stations. See what happens when one tries:

Post# 977363 , Reply# 1   1/7/2018 at 19:39 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Loved Ab Fab! And you're right---technology has advanced rapidly in the past 20 years. My first "cell" phone had a traditional handset with a curly-cord leading to the base, which was in a zippered bag that fit in my briefcase, but left little room for other items. Oh, and it had a retractable antenna, as well.

Post# 977386 , Reply# 2   1/7/2018 at 21:00 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley did a one hour BBC documentary at Christmas, called 'Absolutely Champers', where they go to France, on the Champagne trail discovering champagne production techniques.

It had several clips from old 'Ab Fab' episodes of them behaving disgracefully!

They end up at several wineries and Bollinger's HQ too!

Post# 977390 , Reply# 3   1/7/2018 at 21:21 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Glad here Eddie is carrying on

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Jennifer Saunders has had her share of health worries in past, but she seems to have beaten the odds and keeps on keeping on.

Watching that clip in my OP one wonders what Eds and Pats would make of those London parking meter machines. Patsy would likely whack the thing with something. Eds would ring up on her mobile..... "Huh Hello?..... Don't you dare put me on hold...."

Believe it or not original Ab Fab cast for most part is still with us! Including "Gran" June Whitfield:

Dad/Justin is no longer with us, having passed about four years ago:

Cannot imagine how Eds and Pats would cope in this totally different world twenty years on. Public relations as a career/job or whatever has drastically changed in this 24/7 instant news or other media world we live in. That and anyone with access to a computer or whatever can make "news".

And all the new technology! Not that Eds ever did anything such as housework, but how could she cope when even operating a washing machine or dryer now requires a certain level of tech savvy.

What of poor Bubble? She was useless as personal assistant then, God only help her now. *LOL*

On the brighter side Eddie's house in Holland Park/Shepard's Bush would be worth *VASTLY* more now than when she bought it. Prices have jumped over ten percent year to year for the past few.

Remember James Lance, the actor who played young Daniel who got Patsy all hot and bothered? He's middle aged now and recently married.

Post# 977391 , Reply# 4   1/7/2018 at 21:22 by iej (Ireland)        

Eddie didn't actually use the kitchen. She just got it for looks and so that she could use the cook top to light cigarettes. Induction was around in ab fab days and high end kitchens certainly had it. De Dietrich was probably the dominant niche brand.

Post# 977396 , Reply# 5   1/7/2018 at 21:51 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Never understood why Eds had both the gas cook tops on that island; and then that huge AGA type range against wall in background.

Again it's not like Eddie did any cooking, but Saffy did. Also cannot recall if Eds had a microwave.

Did notice in all the shows washing machine door was left ajar/open. Again not that anyone ever bothered.

Post# 977430 , Reply# 6   1/8/2018 at 02:12 by liamy1 (-)        
Have you seen...

The Ab Fab movie?

Granted it is not the strongest movie (I suspect this is down to Jennifer Saunders admitted “rush” to write the movie before time/age moved them on to where it would have been really unviable).

However, I believe you would find it most interesting for noticing the differences between then and now, especially Eddy’s house.

On a related note (and in honour of your picture sake), as someone who is from the U.K. When watching shows like “keeping up appearances” and “one foot in the grave” especially, I feel a slight bit of sadness for years gone by: it reminds me of the early to mid nineties, when the world was simpler and even the Sun seemed to shine a little brighter, the houses, the cars, the clothes, all just a reminder of all the years that have all gone by and will never happen again.

Post# 977435 , Reply# 7   1/8/2018 at 07:02 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Ab Fab Movie

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No, I didn't watch. Sometimes you just can't go back, can you?

Besides truth to tell can only take Ab Fab in limited dosages. While love pulling out the tapes now and then or watching the odd skit online seeing things with "older eyes" does change things.

Eddy and Patsy are just so self absorbed you want to whack em with a cricket bat. Also Eddy is horribly aggressive towards Saffy, while Patsy is often physically abusive. Often wondered at the time why Saffy just didn't pack up and move in with her grandmother.

Early to middle 1990's, what larks!

Felt like a continuation of the 1980's a bit didn't it? Great bands, great music, all night raves at car parks in Romsey........

Post# 977440 , Reply# 8   1/8/2018 at 08:21 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I love that movie

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We watch it again and again. It's really well done. Definitely worth watching and, yes, they sure do get a few licks in at the 'new' world of today.

Part of the movie's charm is that it feels like a TV episode - not quite polished.

But, everyone has their own taste in these things. I like my humour broad and low.

Speaking of which, anybody else watched 'The Windsors' on Netflix or ITV in Europe?It is soooo good!

Post# 977445 , Reply# 9   1/8/2018 at 09:01 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Regarding 'One Foot in the Grave'

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I recently watched the first episode of 'The Duchess of Duke Street'; I was far too young to see it properly first time around in 1976.

Gemma Jones's 'Louisa' (Bridget Jones' mother) was interviewed for a job by a toffee-nosed woman. I recognised the voice - 'twas 'Mrs Warboys' - actress Doreen Mantle from 'One Foot in the Grave'.

Post# 977469 , Reply# 10   1/8/2018 at 13:44 by liamy1 (-)        
Going back,

No sometimes you just can’t. I suppose it’s a case of its right for the time, for the right reasons.

It’s not a terrible movie, and I would definitely watch it again (in fact I think I have seen it twice since release).

Yes agree, 90s did seem like a continuity of the 80s for a large part, but there was definitely a distinct change at the turn of the Millennium.

Post# 977470 , Reply# 11   1/8/2018 at 13:45 by liamy1 (-)        

No not watched it yet, it was heavily advertised by ITV, I’m sure I’ll catch it either on ITV catchup/Netflix at some point.

Post# 977501 , Reply# 12   1/8/2018 at 17:18 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

One Foot in the Grave!

I loved that show. I often felt bad for Victor. So often it seemed he was one of several who made mistakes, yet he wound up getting blamed for all of them. And he nearly always came out of any situation with his role appearing larger than it actually was.

Not that he was an innocent victim by any means. But he rarely got any questions actually answered and rarely found out what exactly it was that he did wrong (and he usually did do something wrong), what he should've done instead, or how, exactly, he 'should have known better'.

Post# 977534 , Reply# 13   1/8/2018 at 20:59 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Oh, yes Keeping Up Appearances, my favorite British Comedy. It's crazy to thing it's been 22 years now since a regular episode was filmed. I like to look at the filming locations on Google, some have changed a lot, some you can't tell any difference.

One thing I used to like to do was pick out the 90s things in that show - like what in each episode would have made it up to date at the time. Hyacinth's smoothtop cooker, pushbutton slimline phone with redial, mobile phone, pick out the 90s cars that show up (usually Fords), etc.

Post# 977540 , Reply# 14   1/8/2018 at 21:50 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
The BBC Has Graciously Put KUP & Some Others Online

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Well a pretty decent amount anyway is on Youtube:

Ab Fab:

One Foot In The Grave:

Last of the Summer Wine:

And so it goes...

Being as many of these series are twenty or thirty years on, guess BBC figured they had to move with the times.

Years ago it was things like PBS television stations in USA, and various others round the world that carried these old "Britcoms", but many have either scaled back such programming, and or are carrying more modern offerings like Downton Abbey.

Post# 977543 , Reply# 15   1/8/2018 at 22:13 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Yeah, our PBS station has carried several different few British Comedies over the years, but Are You Being Served and Keeping Up Appearances have always been in the lineup. For a long time it was Are You Being Served, Keeping Up Appearances and As Time Goes By with two episodes of each. Now it's now one of each and two Midsomer Murders. I just looked and saw The Memoirs of Hyacinth Bucket is airing the weekend, I've never seen that before, good thing I noticed.

Haven't been much into the British comedies lately, they're something that I come and go from. It's probably been a year since I watched any full episodes.

I do watch Keeping Up Appearances on YouTube sometimes but most of the videos are messed up in the picture or sound, probably to avoid being deleted.

Post# 977545 , Reply# 16   1/8/2018 at 22:37 by liamy1 (-)        
I sure...

Wish KUP ran for longer than it did, however, if internet sources prove correct, it was actually Patricia Routledge herself who called time on the series as she didn’t want to be typecast as Hyacinth.

Although she was great in Hetty Wainthrop in Hetty Wainthrop investigates. She will always be most remebered as Hyacinth.

Also (and this is only personal to me), the show couldn’t have survived anything more than 5 years on top of it’s 1995 end; as real society slowly changed from late 80s/early 90s (as mentioned upthread), it just wouldn’t have worked, right from the comedic, endearing behaviour, to the smaller details (could you imagine if it were now? Hyacinth with a Slim-line white iPhone X and 50” 4K tv?)

Post# 977550 , Reply# 17   1/8/2018 at 23:06 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Yes, It was Miss. Routledge that ended KUP

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Have seen the interview where the good lady stated she wanted to go on and do other things and work with "good people". She also felt it was far better for the show to go out on a high note rather than people saying "oh is *that* still on?..".

What many do not know is that Miss. Patricia Routledge is a classically trained singer and actress. She won a Tony for her performance in Noises Off on Broadway and has a pretty vast CV. Like many other British actors and actresses she does stage, screen and television.

Further proof of Patricia Routledge's acting skills are seen here doing A Woman Of No Importance, a monologue by Alan Bennett. Just her, a bit of scenery and changes of wardrobe, but it hits home! PR tells the story of a woman who thinks she is so important, but isn't, and worse doesn't have a clue even as she lay dying of mortal illness.

Post# 977551 , Reply# 18   1/8/2018 at 23:11 by liamy1 (-)        
I certainly...

Didn’t know she was vocally trained at all, let alone clasically trained. Thanks for that.

I’ve never seen the woman of no importance, so will definitely take a look.

Post# 977552 , Reply# 19   1/8/2018 at 23:11 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Soldiering On - Stephanie Cole - Talking Heads

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Another great monologue from Alan Bennett's Talking Heads series.

If you've only know Miss. Cole from "Waiting For God" this will hit home.

Just an aside Miss. Cole often actually quite younger than the roles she was cast to play such as Diana "foul mouth" Trent.

Post# 977555 , Reply# 20   1/8/2018 at 23:20 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Hetty Wainthrop in Hetty Wainthrop Investigates

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In interviews writer/creator of that series *created* HW out of a composite of a group of "northern women that I knew".... What emerged is a bossy no nonsense woman who wasn't quite a battle axe, but likely could help out if there was a rush.

The character appealed to PR because she felt it was a 360 degree turn from Hyacinth Bucket. You'd *NEVER* get Hyacinth on the back of a motor bike, but Hetty has no problems.

Post# 977575 , Reply# 21   1/9/2018 at 04:26 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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"Didn’t know she was vocally trained at all, let alone clasically trained"

Ohh yes.

Fact tis those who have been professionally trained singers often make the best ones to act as if they can't. Well they would, wouldn't they? After all having spent so much time learning how to sing properly, they also know what not to do; so they just "switch" off or reverse what they've learned.

Many having seen PR only as Hyacinth Bucket would assume the actress couldn't sing to save her life. But if you listen carefully it is clear PR does have a rich and powerful voice, moreover she knows how to control it.

Another famous example if this is the late Madeline Kahn who channeled Marlene Dietrich in Blazing Saddles.

Miss. Kahn had a wonderful classically trained singing voice. She auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera, but was turned down not because of the quality, but that it was deemed the voice was too small/lacked power for operatic roles.

As opposed to:

Post# 977627 , Reply# 22   1/9/2018 at 11:12 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Comedy series

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I must say that I am not a fan of modern UK comedy series - I think they are just far too contrived. And the acting is as stiff as a board.

I get more joy with Capt Mainwaring, Mrs Slocombe, Margo Leadbetter, and "That Bucket Woman!".

I recently saw a couple of old black and white Laurel & Hardy films. They still make me laugh.

Post# 977685 , Reply# 23   1/9/2018 at 20:18 by cuffs054 (GA)        

Rolls, I did love 'The Duchess of Duke Street" and thought it was very well done.

Post# 977752 , Reply# 24   1/10/2018 at 10:25 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Old series actors

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Part of the fun of the old series, comedy or drama, is recognising actors before they were famous.

Lalla Ward (2nd 'Romana' in Dr Who) and Pauline Quirke (Birds of a Feather) turn up in 'The Duchess of Duke Street', in addition to Barbara Lott (Timothy Lumsden's mum in 'Sorry!') and Margaretta Scott (Tricki Woo's 'mum' in 'All Creatures Great & Small'). As was Elizabeth Shepherd, who apparently played Emma Peel in 'The Avengers' just before Diana Rigg was cast. The producers didn't like the dynamics of the shot footage, so recast and refilmed with Miss Rigg.

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