Screen Free For Emma No. 3!

One of the most successful TV shows of the 1960s is now being revived: The Avengers. Thirty new episodes are currently being shot in London. Returning is Patrick Macnee aka John Steed. But his companion is different. BRAVO presents the new "Emma Peel" to you.

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Joanna Fights with all her Weapons

Exactly one thousand attractive women were available. Among models, actresses, and unknowns, English television searched for a successor for the legendary Emma Peel from the equally legendary TV series The Avengers. After a long pause, the British were finally able to continue this successful series after a five-year break.

To find the male protagonist was easy. Patrick Macnee, who had played John Steed from the very beginning, enthusiastically returned. The show was just missing his female partner. The most popular Emma, Diana Rigg, had announced for years that she wanted nothing more to do with the role. And her successor, Linda Thorson, had not been particularly popular with the audience. So who would do it?

This time the series was not looking for a burly karate type, but for a beautiful and cool lady with typical British sex appeal, cool and unapproachable. The field was eventually narrowed to 250, and ultimately the 30-year-old model Joanna Lumley was chosen.

Joanna, who was born as the daughter of an English officer in Kashmir in India, will be a new type of Avengers woman: "In the series my name is Purdey," she says, "and I am emphatically a female detective. I do not wear, like my predecessors, leather suits and the like, but clothes of silk, chiffon and satin. I will not defend myself with karate, but with my own unbeatable weapons".

This self-defense method is called "Panache" - a very feminine, danceric, almost ballet-like fighting style. Its effect is, however, just as destructive as the strokes of the Karatist Emma. Joanna has been training for weeks. "I benefit from the fact that I used to have ballet lessons. My longing was to be a prima ballerina. But then I grew too tall so I gave it up and became a model."

Along the way, she took acting lessons. And now, as Purdey, she has her first great test. She is already looking forward to this task. But the role came with one little snag: "I had to cut off my beautiful long hair. Because it's more practical in a fight."

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With thanks to Denis of Steedumbrella for the translation. (Back to Joanna Lumley articles)