Absolutely Fabulous’ Jane Horrocks says the show ‘wouldn’t be made now’

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Absolutely Fabulous star Jane Horrocks has admitted she doesn’t think the nineties hit would be made now due to the lack of free rein in the industry.

The actress, 56, who played Edina’s personal assistant Bubble in the hugely-successful drama, said that they couldn’t make the same show today.

She also admitted that creator Jennifer Saunders would ‘struggle’ with the lack of free rein that she once had in the early days of the programme.  

No way! Absolutely Fabulous star Jane Horrocks has admitted she doesn't think the nineties hit would be made now due to the lack of free rein in the industry (pictured as Sylvia in new drama The Singapore Grip)

No way! Absolutely Fabulous star Jane Horrocks has admitted she doesn’t think the nineties hit would be made now due to the lack of free rein in the industry (pictured as Sylvia in new drama The Singapore Grip)

Jane told The Sun said: ‘When Jennifer started writing Ab Fab, in the first few series nobody bothered her at all. She had free rein to write what she wanted and there were no producers who interfered with her work.

‘They didn’t say, ‘You can’t write that’, or, ‘You have to write that’. I think that she personally would have a very different experience writing for today’s television because I don’t think she would be allowed free rein.

‘I think Jennifer might struggle with the restrictions she would have to adhere to.’

Jane also admitted that she doesn’t even think her character Bubble would have made it onto the show in 2020, because she would have been seen as too much of a stereotype. 

Opinion: She also admitted that creator Jennifer Saunders would 'struggle' with the lack of free rein that she once had in the early days of the programme

Opinion: She also admitted that creator Jennifer Saunders would ‘struggle’ with the lack of free rein that she once had in the early days of the programme

Jane currently stars as Sylvia Blackett in ITV’s latest Sunday evening period drama, but The Singapore Grip has failed to win over viewers with its first episode.

The premiere, which aired last night, left audiences at home ‘switching off’ and complaining about the ‘bizarre’ storyline – after shifting timelines from before and during the Second World War’s Battle of Singapore.

Adapted from JG Farrell’s 1978 satirical novel mocking British colonial attitudes, the episode started in the thick of fighting, with outlier Matthew Webb (Luke Treadaway) caught up in the fall of city as he desperately searched for an unnamed woman.

However, the story then goes back in time to Matthew’s arrival in Singapore ahead of the Japanese army invading the British stronghold. 

The son of a powerful aristocrat (Game of Throne’s Charles Dance), Matthew is then quickly and reluctantly included in the schemes of the Blackett family. Scroll down for video 

In character: Jane currently stars as Sylvia Blackett in ITV's latest Sunday evening period drama, but The Singapore Grip has failed to win over viewers with its first episode

In character: Jane currently stars as Sylvia Blackett in ITV’s latest Sunday evening period drama, but The Singapore Grip has failed to win over viewers with its first episode

Shock! Pictured, the Blackett family and guests appearing shocked by their evening entertainment

Shock! Pictured, the Blackett family and guests appearing shocked by their evening entertainment

Swilled! Mr Blackett's daughter causing a scene with her potential love interest

Swilled! Mr Blackett’s daughter causing a scene with her potential love interest

Reaction: The premiere, which aired last night, left audiences at home 'switching off' and complaining about the 'bizarre' storyline - with many admitting that they've 'already given up' trying to work out what's going on (pictured)

Reaction: The premiere, which aired last night, left audiences at home ‘switching off’ and complaining about the ‘bizarre’ storyline – with many admitting that they’ve ‘already given up’ trying to work out what’s going on (pictured)

Another viewer added: ‘I’ve already given up on The Singapore Grip. Couldn’t get into it, despite a strong cast. Need another Downton Abbey or The Durrells for the perfect Sunday night viewing to get me watching.’

‘I can’t be alone in not having a clue about what’s happening? It’s bizarre,’ a third unimpressed Twitter user wrote.

‘I was quite looking forward to this series, but I am really struggling to get into the first episode,’ another said. 

While a fifth wrote: ‘Managed the first 30 minutes of #TheSingaporeGrip (although 20 of those were under sufferance). I certainly shan’t be bothering with any more.’ 

Based on the 1978 novel by JG Farrell, which drew on real events, The Singapore Grip is initially the story of rich Brits living lives of excess in the Crown colony in the early 1940s.

Setting the scene: The episode started in the thick of fighting, with outlier Matthew Webb (pictured, Luke Treadaway)

Setting the scene: The episode started in the thick of fighting, with outlier Matthew Webb (pictured, Luke Treadaway)

Claims: 'The Singapore Grip is quite flat so far', one person tweeted, with the show then tracing backwards to Matthew's arrival in the city as the son of a powerful aristocrat (Game of Throne's Charles Dance) who is quickly caught up in the schemes of the Blackett family (pictured)

Claims: ‘The Singapore Grip is quite flat so far’, one person tweeted, with the show then tracing backwards to Matthew’s arrival in the city as the son of a powerful aristocrat (Game of Throne’s Charles Dance) who is quickly caught up in the schemes of the Blackett family (pictured)

What I thought: Many viewers were left unimpressed by the first episode of The Singapore Grip and aired their frustration on Twitter (pictured)

What I thought: Many viewers were left unimpressed by the first episode of The Singapore Grip and aired their frustration on Twitter (pictured)

But the invasion of the island by Japan in 1942, one of the key events of the Second World War, throws their lives into turmoil.

Matthew is seen returning to the city in the first episode, after the passing of his father Mr Webb, and getting caught up in the schemes of the Blacketts.

David Morrissey and Jane Horrocks appear as Walter and Sylvia Blackett, expats enjoying the fruits of his success in the Far East rubber trade. 

On the other hand! However, the changing of timelines within the programme confused some, while others loved the first episode and couldn't wait to see how the drama unfolded (pictured)

On the other hand! However, the changing of timelines within the programme confused some, while others loved the first episode and couldn’t wait to see how the drama unfolded (pictured)

Australian actress Georgia Blizzard plays the Blacketts’ scheming daughter Joan, a woman with her sights set on Matthew.

However, the changing timelines within the programme confused some, while others loved the first episode and couldn’t wait to see how the drama unfolded.

One person wrote: ‘#TheSingaporeGrip very good. Better than #asuitableboy! Or #Strike’, while another said: ‘That was a promising first episode of #TheSingaporeGrip.’

A third added: ‘Well overall I thought it was rather intriguing. Certainly interesting enough to stick with.

Struggles: Matthew is seen returning to the city in the first episode, after the passing of his father Mr Webb (pictured with Elizabeth Tan as Vera Chiang), and getting caught up in the schemes of the Blacketts

Struggles: Matthew is seen returning to the city in the first episode, after the passing of his father Mr Webb (pictured with Elizabeth Tan as Vera Chiang), and getting caught up in the schemes of the Blacketts

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