Joanna Lumley couldn’t help but blurt out ‘tongue-tied rubbish’ when meeting the Queen

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Joanna Lumley, 75, recalled being completely starstruck when she was awarded her OBE by the Queen in 1995. The accomplished ctress admitted she was so dazzled that she ended up blurting out “tongue-tied rubbish”.

You think, ‘Blimey, it can’t get much better than this!’

Joanna Lumley

Following the release of her new book A Queen For All Season’s, which was published on 26 October, Joanna looked back at when she has the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty in the flesh.

“Getting an OBE from her was quite something,” she smiled in a new interview.

“When she pins your medal on you at Buckingham Palace, you think, ‘Blimey, it can’t get much better than this.’

“But the truth is that when you meet her, you’re so dazzled that you find yourself talking a load of tongue-tied rubbish!”

Over her esteemed career, Joanna has tried her hand at pretty much everything.

And the documentary maker admitted it’s down to pushing boundaries, insisting that she doesn’t regret her fearless attitude to life.

“I was always quite a tomboy growing up and I liked doing things I wasn’t supposed to do,” she explained.

“If someone said, ‘It’s dangerous to step on that,’ I had to do it just to see how dangerous it was.

“If somebody said, ‘He’s a bad egg, don’t go out with him,’ I had to go out with him; I couldn’t not.”

She added to Good Housekeeping Magazine: “And actually, I don’t regret any of that, I really don’t.”

Elsewhere, Joanna opened up about the vivid shock when she learned that one of her ITV co-stars had died on the job while they were filming her latest documentary.

The 75-year-old was shooting another project in Berlin at the time of the accident, when two colleagues collided while flying conventional paramotor – a one-person flying machine that’s powered by battery rather than a petrol engine – in mid-air.

Joanna had been working with Sacha Dench and her support pilot and photographer Dan Burton when tragedy struck.

Sacha is well-known as the Human Swan after she flew a paramotor from the Russian Arctic to the UK along the migratory route of endangered swans in 2016.

But while she was just days away from reaching the end of her journey, on 18 September in the Western Highlands, she and Burton collided.

The 54-year-old father of two from Devon was sadly killed in the accident whereas Sacha luckily survived but remains in hospital with severe injuries.

As she wasn’t filming with them when it happened, Joanna was sick to her stomach when she learned of the “unbearable, heartbreaking” tragedy.

“The shock was so vivid because it seemed such a short time since I’d been with them both,” she told Radio Times.

“We’ve all encountered sudden death, and the sense of disbelief – you can’t quite process it.

“I couldn’t believe Dan would be [with us] no more.”

In the weeks that followed, the future of the documentary was in question but both families wanted it to be shown and it is to be dedicated to Dan.

Read the full interview with Joanna Lumley in the December issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale the 27th of October. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect.

Her interview with Radio Times is also available to read now.

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