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'Ab Fab' stars receive GLBT Pride award

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Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, stars of hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous, have flown to New York City to receive the 2002 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Award tonight (June 27). Whoopi Goldberg will be presenting the award to the stars during New York State's official Absolutely Fabulous Week, which runs to June 30.

Saunders was delighted: "It is a true honour to be recipients of the 2002 Pride Award. While Edina and Patsy are certainly not role model material, we are pleased that Absolutely Fabulous has such loyal following in the US."

Co-star Lumley added: "It's especially gratifying that, from the start, we had the enthusiastic support and encouragement of the gay community."

Absolutely Fabulous made its US debut in 1994, airing on Comedy Central. It is currently running on BBC America, which is available on digital cable and satellite, and has built up a cult following across the country.

A range of events are planned for Saunders and Lumley, including judging an Ab Fab look-a-like contest held in New York's XL nightclub. They will also be playing a key role in the city's gay pride event on Sunday, June 30, and are "shopping for suitable outfits for the event." The mind boggles as to quite what the Ab Fab pair will turn up wearing.

New York State Senate Democratic Leader Martin Connor said: "I'm thrilled that both Jennifer and Joanna have come to New York to receive the Pride Award. Absolutely Fabulous has huge appeal to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities, but even more important than laughs, the show has depicted these disenfranchised communities in positive and affirming ways and that is helpful in the struggle for civil rights."
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