‘Absolutely Fabulous’ star Joanna Lumley exposes the ‘sexist 60s’

London: Joanna Lumley, who was a model for three years in the mid 1960, has revealed that bottom pinching was among the mildest forms of abuse in the male-dominated showbiz world.

In fact it was really the Sordid Sixties, with teenage girls often suffering the kind of sexist treatment highlighted by the recent Jimmy Savile scandal.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of abuse women had to put up with - verbal as well as physical,” the Mirror quoted her as saying.

“We were just dolly birds and we were treated like dirt. Girls were secretaries and chaps had the proper jobs and drove cars. That’s how it was.

“We were treated as if we were animals. Men had all the power and if they wanted you to feel small they would say things like, ‘Get back to the zoo and come back when you’re not so ugly.’

“It’s very hard to believe behaviour like that now but it was normal back then,” she said.

According to the Sunday People, memories of her modelling years came flooding back for the 66-year-old ‘Sapphire and Steel’ star when she directed and performed in an episode of Sky 1’s ‘Little Crackers’ series.

The series features dramatisations of events in the real lives of TV comedy stars including Stephen Fry, Dawn French, Kathy Burke, Victoria Wood, Paul O’Grady, Katy Brand and others.

In Joanna’s ‘Little Cracker’, which is based on her first fashion shoot called Baby, Be Blonde, in 1965 when she was just 18, she appears as a magazine editor while her younger self is played by 21-year-old newcomer actress Ottilie Mackintosh.


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