The Ab Fab star made a virtual appearance on Loose Women today.
With hair salons reopening a hot topic of the day, Joanna revealed that she only washes her own hair sparingly. “I was a model in the 60s; we had to do our own hair then, we had to sort it, do it, put on wigs, cut it, change it, dye it… so I got used to doing my own hair. I just go down to the supermarket and buy stuff off the shelves and stick it on,” she told Ruth Langsford, Linda Robson, Coleen Nolan and Saira Khan.
She continued: “My hair is like something you take out of a hoover bag. I practically never wash it. It’s been dyed for so long and so much, it’s been in such extremes of temperature, I don’t think it’s hair at all… the camera is strangely very forgiving.”
Speaking of the closure of theatres and the effect it’s having on the industry, Joanna said: “It is so much, the rock bottom, I can’t tell you. Practically everybody in our profession – and that goes not only for actors but musicians and dancers and chorus people and people who work in theatres – are freelancers. And if you’re not employed, you’re just not employed.”
She added: “Theatres don’t look like they’re going to open until next year and will they ever be the same if we’re not allowed to all be jostled in and crowds and shouting and clapping or sitting in dead silence? Part of entertainment, and I would think that goes for football matches as well, any kind of entertainment sport, everything depends on human beings being crushed together, that’s how we love it. We’re pack animals.”
Speaking of narrating an online performance of Waiting For Godot via Zoom this Sunday she said: “It’s all for The Royal Theatrical Fund. It’s really to help people who are going to be out of work for goodness knows how long and whose futures look really shaky.”
Joanna joked that her Absolutely Fabulous alter-ego Patsy Stone would cope fine with lockdown “as long as someone brought her a drink.” Of an Ab Fab reunion, she noted: “I don’t think Jennifer ever wants to write any more but it never really goes away. It would be nice maybe to do something. Jennifer and I are in constant contact. We’re half thinking of something, but it won’t be ‘Ab Fab: The Reunion’. And I don’t think we should do it without June Whitfield … but maybe something, never say never.”
And on being separated from her grandchildren who are in Scotland she said: “Even though lockdown is easing here, we’re still not able to go up there. It’s been ghastly, but thank goodness for things like this where we can sort of ‘meet’ each other.”
She added: “When I was a child I didn’t see my father for a year and a half when he was a soldier and I was back at school in England. You just pinch ourselves, this has only been three months. We have to be brave and strong.”
Joanna added of life in lockdown: “I’m so lucky, in my lockdown I’ve been working, I’ve been doing voiceovers and recordings and studios with masks and sitting alone in a private booth. Even though I’m 74, I feel 39, sweetie…”.