Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir in India in 1946. She spent most of her childhood in the Far East where her father, a major in the Gurkha Rifles, was posted.

She first came to fame in the 1960s as a model in London. Her breakthrough role as an actress was as Purdey in The New Avengers when her fabulous hair was coined the ‘Purdey bob’ and became one of the must-have styles of the 1970s. In 1992, she reinvented herself as a comic actress in Absolutely Fabulous and has been a household name ever since, especially for her campaigning for the rights of Gurkha soldiers.

Joanna Lumley has been quoted as saying: ‘You have to feel more involved than just writing out a cheque. Charity is almost the wrong word – I think people are beginning to feel more responsible for the world.’

We were very pleased when she became one of our patrons in 2005.