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Joanna Lumley – Purdey


The New Avengers
Main article: The New Avengers (TV series)
The sustained popularity of the Tara King episodes in France led to a 1975 French television advertisement for Laurent-Perrier champagne, in which Thorson and Macnee reprised their roles. The advertisement’s success spurred financing interest in France for new episodes of The Avengers.

The result was a new series, The New Avengers. Patrick Macnee reprised the role of Steed, with two new partners, Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) and Purdey (Joanna Lumley). It aired on ITV in the UK in 1976–1977, CTV in Canada, CBS in the United States (in 1978–79) and TF1 in France (series 1 in 1976–1977 and series 2 in 1979). The final four episodes were almost completely produced by Canadian interests and were filmed there. In some markets they carried the title The New Avengers in Canada.

Although Macnee was the only actor from the original series to reprise his role, archival footage of Diana Rigg allowed Emma Peel to make a cameo appearance in a second-season episode “K is for Kill: The Tiger Awakes”, while Macnee’s first co-star, Ian Hendry, made a guest appearance as a different character in the episode “To Catch a Rat”.

Dame Joanna Lamond Lumley DBE FRGS (born 1 May 1946) is a British actress,[1][2] presenter, former model, author, television producer, and activist. She has won two BAFTA TV Awards for her role as Patsy Stone in the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012), and was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the Broadway revival of La Bête. In 2013, she received the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards, and in 2017 she was honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship award.

Lumley’s other television credits include The New Avengers (1976–1977), Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982), Sensitive Skin (2005–2007), Jam & Jerusalem (2006–2008) and Finding Alice (2021–present) as well as playing Elaine Perkins in Coronation Street in 1973. Her film appearances include On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), Shirley Valentine (1989), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Ella Enchanted (2004), Corpse Bride (2005), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016). She had roles in two episodes of Are You Being Served? written by Jeremy Lloyd, whom she had married and divorced three years previously.

Lumley is an advocate and human rights activist for Survival International and the Gurkha Justice Campaign. She supports charities and animal welfare groups, such as Compassion in World Farming and Vegetarians’ International Voice for Animals. Lumley was made a Dame (DBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to drama, entertainment and charity.

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