My first job was …

Cooking Sunday lunches for firemen at Willesden Green Fire Station in London.

It taught me … Not to peel new potatoes and then roast them as they are NEW potatoes and more expensive than normal potatoes and need just a little boiling.

My big break came … When I met Dawn French at college and we realised we could make each other laugh, and other people at the same time.


The last job I quit was … You don't quit.

The nicest famous person I know is … Joanna Lumley. She is just unerringly good and nice but combines this with a wicked sense of humour, which is very unusual. She makes sure when she starts a job that she says hello to every member of the crew and all the supporting artists without fail in a way that is never ingratiating. And this is all before I have even come out of my Winnebago.

The best time I've had on set was … On Ab Fab. There were times when Joanna and I laughed so hard I nearly peed. It was always so relaxed on set because everyone was so good at their job that no one had to worry or pull rank or be starry. Never was so much fun had.

But the worst was … On a French film I did where they had decided I should play an Englishwoman who spoke fluent French. They got me a coach who would spend hours doing my lines with me until I was word and accent perfect but hadn't ever prepared me for the actual scene so when I went on set I had no idea what anyone else was saying or when I was supposed to speak.

In another life, I would be … Writing murder mysteries or gardening.

• Jennifer Saunders teams up with Joanna Lumley in Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers, Sunday, 8.30pm, on Living Channel