“Sweetie, darling! This wheel shall explode!”
By Jordan Beck
Absolutely Fabulous – or more colloquially Ab Fab – is the aptly titled BBC sitcom which took about twenty years to air as many episodes. The drunken antics of two women a lot richer than they deserved to be entered the hearts of gay men everywhere. It followed the absolutely fabulous lives of Edina Monsoon – who PR’d things for a living – and her best friend Patsy, a character inspired by Ivana Trump with beehive to match.
The sitcom was written by comedienne Jennifer Saunders, who based the series on an original sketch she performed with her comedy partner Dawn French. In the series, Edina’s long-suffering daughter Saffy was played by Julia Sawahla. Check it out below…
Now, the theme song…
‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ was written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko in 1967, but only really rose to prominence when it was covered by Julie Driscoll three years later and peaked at #5. It has been lauded as a cornerstone in the psychedelic era of British music, which is probably why it works so well as the Ab Fab theme. The recording for the series’ theme song features vocals by Ade Edmondson (Ms Saunders’ husband), and although the titles for each series changed dramatically over its sporadic run, the recording remained the same for several years.
Did anyone ever had any idea what it actually had to do with Absolutely Fabulous? Was it just a catchy pop song? Or was it a way to ensure that Mr and Mrs Edmondson both got a paycheque from the BBC?
Here’s the full performance on TOTP in 1968 from Julie Driscoll.
In 2015, fans were treated to a shameless dose of Ab Fab frolics, with the release of the cinematic film which concluded everything.
But this time, there was an extra dash bucket of fabulousness thrown in, with the famous theme song getting the campest of makeovers. It could not have been a surprise to anyone when the ultimate sweetheart of camp pop – Kylie Minogue – recorded the film’s theme.
So, go on then – which absolutely fabulous version of the Absolutely Fabulous theme is best? I know which one I prefer.
Do you have a favourite TV theme song?
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