Actress, activist and presenter Joanna Lumley was one of our celebrity supporters for National Vegetarian Week 2020. Here she chats to us about what made her go vegetarian, her latest passions and the best advice her parents gave her.
Many of us are cooking more while spending more time at home. Have you discovered any new favourite ingredients or dishes?
Homemade pesto, using peeled almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, squashed garlic, fresh basil and mint leaves all whizzed together. Fabulous.
Do you remember what made you turn vegetarian? What have you learned along the way?
I was half way through eating a steak in the late sixties and I suddenly saw it as flesh, like my arm… and that was it.
What is your favourite kind of cuisine, and why?
I have always adored Indian dishes from all over the sub-continent, but also love middle-eastern food, and wood-fired pizzas, and tapas.
What have you been most proud of in your life?
I am not really proud of myself for anything, but I am humbled to have been involved in getting justice for the Gurkhas in 2009.
You do lots of charity work and campaigning – why? What drives you?
Charity is just helping out where it’s needed. I have always liked helping, and am interested in making things better than they were.
What’s the best advice your parents gave you?
Never give up. Nothing lasts forever. Dissemble. Smile.
What’s the life lesson you would pass on to young people now?
Be strong and brave. Try to like everything and everybody before you find fault. Be polite and punctual, and occasionally be reckless. Above all, be kind.
You are well-known for your role as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous. How did Patsy get her hair into a bouffant like that and was it uncomfortable?
It was all my own hair, backcombed into a tower which Jennifer called Mr Whippy, then sprayed and shaped into a beehive. It didn’t hurt a bit.
What is your latest passion?
Daydreaming and extra gardening. Keeping my eyes on the distant horizon.
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