Search for the perfect US Patsy

The unthinkable may just happen this time. It's been threatened before, but now rumours have resurfaced that Roseanne is in its final year. Sara Gilbert (Darlene) is going to college, they say, and Laurie Metcalfe (Jackie) is said to be heading for Broadway. Roseanne herself (who's now so famous that she doesn't need a surname) is having a baby, before concentrating on making an American version of Absolutely Fabulous.

The last bit is true - the baby is due in August, and Roseanne recently beat stiff competition to secure the US rights to Jennifer Saunders's award-winning sitcom. Rumour-mongering has gone into orbit, however, over the re-casting of Edina and Patsy, Frenzied speculation has thrown up Roseanne as Eddie, to Sandra Bernhard's Patsy; and Cher, Jerry Hall, Kirstie Alley and even Elizabeth Taylor have been mentioned. But Sharon Stone emerged as the alarming hot favourite to play Patsy Stone as hacks struggled to explain her startling appearance as Becky and Mark's drunken neighbour in tonight's episode (10pm C4).

Why would a comedienne as gifted as Roseanne, who created a hit show with mostly unknown actors, feel the need to employ a big-name actress with all the comic talent of Jimmy Cricket? A screen test for AbFab, the critics unanimously concluded.

As American TV bosses have already said that AbFab's drink, drugs and swearing all have to be curtailed for the US series, a female Jimmy Cricket may be just what they need.