‘He looked at me in amazement’: Joanna Lumley recounts the time she dressed up as Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana to prank the former president
Joanna Lumley has recounted the time she dressed up like Donald Trump‘s ex-wife Ivana to prank Trump at a swanky party – only for the joke to fall flat.
The Absolutely Fabulous star, 74, recounted the story behind the awkward encounter she had with the former US president on BBC‘s The One Show on Monday evening.
The actress, who played outrageous magazine fashion editor Patsy Stone in the legendary 90s sitcom, explained that her character in the show ‘admired’ Ivana Trump.
Awkward encounter: Joanna Lumley, 74, recounted the time she dressed up like Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana to prank him at a party on on BBC’s The One Show on Monday
The show’s creator, Jennifer Saunders, thought there was a striking resemblance between the two women’s hair as Patsy wore a similar style to Ivana’s iconic beehive and fringe in the sitcom.
‘In Ab Fab [sic], Jennifer wrote that Patsy admired Ivana Trump,’ Joanna said.
‘She was married to Donald at the time and Patsy pretty much liked her and Jennifer thought my hair looked like hers.
‘So this was something that was written in as [a line]: ‘I rather admire Ivana Trump’.
Striking: The actress, who played Patsy Stone in 90s sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, (left) explained her character ‘admired’ Ivana Trump (right, in 2007) and wore a similar style
The strange meeting between Joanna and Trump took place after his marriage to Ivana had ended and he was married to actress Marla Maples – between 1993 and 1999.
The prank was the brainchild of a British socialite, Lady Elizabeth Anson, a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth, who was known for organising the capital’s best and most lavish celebrations.
Lady Elizabeth had to throw a large party for Trump in London at ‘somewhere like Claridge’s’ and came up with the idea that it would be ‘really funny’ for Joanna to put her hair up like Patsy, and the businessman might mistake her for his ex-wife.
Not impressed: They met at a party in London in the 90s when Trump was married to actress Marla Maples (pictured together) but the prank fell flat and left Joanna feeling ‘deflated’
Joanna eventually agreed to the prank, saying; ‘I put on high heels, lashings of make-up and I put my hair up as Patsy-ish as I could possibly be.
‘And I shimmied across the room towards him. There he was, usual sort of orange, yellow.
‘And I sort of went “Hi”, like that. And he looked at me in amazement.
‘But his nice little wife at the time, Marla Maples, said, “I think you look wonderful, how lovely to meet you”. So I felt a little bit deflated.’
Joanna shot to fame playing the iconic Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous and won two BAFTAs for her role in the comedy series.
Iconic role: Joanna shot to fame playing the glamorous Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous and won two BAFTAs for her role in the comedy series
Her latest role is in ITV’s upcoming Finding Alice, where she stars as Alice’s mother Sarah, and the actress admitted she enjoyed playing a ‘beastly mother’ in the show.
The six-part series focuses on how Alice slowly picks herself up and finds her inner strength, as the police investigate how her husband came to fall down the stairs.
The first time fans see Joanna’s character Sarah is when she and her husband Roger arrive to comfort Alice, to which she asks her grieving daughter: ‘What on earth are you wearing?’
Talking about the role, Joanna told Radio Times: ‘My character Sarah is tricky, and I think this may be my new role in dramas: rather beastly mothers. I’m hoping it’s cast against type!’