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Trailblazer: Helen Lederer – ‘I once went on a bus tour of Europe with Joanna Lumley and Harry Enfield’

Trailblazer: Helen Lederer – ‘I once went on a bus tour of Europe with Joanna Lumley and Harry Enfield’

Comedy veteran Helen Lederer plays Ab Fab's Catriona

What’s been your biggest holiday disaster?

Going to Crete with a boyfriend who I’d chucked just before we went. Then it rained every day. We had to share a room and not do it. Can you imagine? It was the longest holiday I’ve ever had in my life. Crete is tarnished forever now.

What’s been your best ever holiday?
When I was 19, canoeing down the Dordogne river in France for a month with my then-boyfriend.

Will you be joining the cast of Absolutely Fabulous in the South of France to shoot the upcoming film? [Helen plays Catriona, Patsy’s airhead ex-colleague from the world of fashion]
Who knows. I think they’re going to the South of France – the word ‘Riviera’ has been mentioned, unless I dreamt that – and I’ll probably be filming in London. I know my place and I’m very happy to occupy it!

Has your work ever taken you abroad?
I had to do an advert once, and Joanna Lumley and Harry Enfield were in it, and we had to go all round Europe on a bus. This was before Ab Fab. It was embarrassing, because I used to go out with Harry, and then we weren’t going out anymore! It was a bit like a school trip. I was just skulking at the back and Joanna took a book with her to read.

Where were you going the last time you go on a plane?
Glasgow, for the Aye Write Book Festival.

Are you a sun worshiper?
There are only so many beaches you can lie on – I’ve lost that ability. I get sweaty and uncomfortable. I went to Goa recently as my daughter was doing a yoga thing and I couldn’t settle. I was bored. Also I’m an obsessive with my writing. I think ‘I don’t deserve a holiday yet.’

Have you ever traveled with gay friends?
Two gay friends and I once went to a lovely, rustic house in France to play table tennis. Hilarious.

You recently went on a writer’s retreat to Ibiza. What was that like?
Brilliant. The villa was beautiful. It was a real adventure, mixing with people you’ve never met. I found the communal eating quite difficult though. For breakfast I’d grab myself and wander away, and pretend I wasn’t doing it!

We interviewed Helen at The Stafford London Saturday Salon, where she discussed her new book, Losing It.

For more information about Helen, click here.