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June Whitfield is still fabulous with Channel 5

Broadcasting

June Whitfield is still fabulous with Channel 5

Best on the Box highlight for Saturday, October 1st.

June Whitfield is among Britain’s bestloved comedy actors. She will always be remembered for playing Jennifer Saunders’ mother in Absolutely Fabulous and Terry Scott’s wife in the long-running sitcoms Happy Ever After and Terry and June. While June enjoyed a calm and untroubled personal life, happily married to a chartered surveyor for more than 50 years, she played a
long game with her career and found ways to move with the times.

Her youthful insecurity about her looks meant that she rarely played leading roles, opting instead to play the daughters, girlfriends, wives, mothers and, latterly, grandmothers of numerous leading men.

The comedy writer Barry Took once joked that she had supported more actors than the Department of Health and Social Security. The roll call includes Arthur Askey, Jimmy Edwards, Tony Hancock (pictured with June above on his ABC series), Frankie Howerd, Harry H Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell, The Goodies and Morecambe and Wise.

June was content to take second billing to these stars, using her perfect comedy timing to make them all look brilliant. As a result, she came to be adored by generations of viewers for more than seven decades.

With contributions from June’s family, friends like Rory Bremner, fans and co-stars like Jane Horrocks and Stephanie Beacham, this documentary examines how June was able to keep working well into her nineties. And while she was never the star, she always stole the show.

The absolutely fabulous June Whitfield, Channel 5 at 8.45 pm

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