To the viewers it was Absolutely Fabulous, a television sitcom about Edina, Patsy and their new age antics; to Josh Howie it was Absolutely Real – he is the son of Lynne Franks, the PR guru who inspired the Edina character played by Jennifer Saunders.
Now Howie, a stand-up comedian, has described what life was like growing up in the world of Ab Fab.
He claims he had to convert to Buddhism while still at primary school and to chant whenever he wanted something.
At 16, he lived with North American Indians and was renamed “Blackhawk” by his mother. At another point, Franks, who was going through a hip-hop phase, convinced her son he was black. He was then treated by a “psychic therapist” to rid him of this misconception.
He also claims that at 18 he was made to join his mother and a “midwife” in a spa bath, all of them naked, for a “rebirthing” ritual.
Howie recalled last week: “It [Absolutely Fabulous] was quite painful to watch. This was her [my mother’s] life. It was like watching a documentary.”