Why are they famous? Lynne Franks

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Indy Lifestyle Online
MAIN CLAIM: Darling-darling, sweetie-sweetie, Bolly darling, Harvey Nicks darling and all those tired old catch phrases only Australians and other culturally-backward colonials now dare use. Once famous for being a spectacularly successful PR "guru", in the Eighties-speak that she handles so well, Franks is now better known as the supposed inspiration for Jennifer Saunders' character Edina in Absolutely Fabulous. The latest news is that she is about to leave our shores for Los Angeles.

APPEARANCE: Anita Roddick meets Eve Pollard returning to her roots. Tired Finsbury Park drama therapist working with problem children. Once successful actress who now runs her own granary baps and bagels delivery service.

BABY FAB: Born in North London, Franks is the daughter of a manic depressive butcher. She left school with four O levels, and became a secretary on Petticoat magazine before setting up her own PR company in 1971. Franks trailblazed through a profession that was just reaching its apogee, becoming the most famous PR person yet invented and representing clients such as Next, Gaultier and the Labour party. The Eighties all too quickly over, our energetic heroine sold her company for pounds 6 million in 1993, heralding phase two of the myth that is Lynne Franks: what we may term the AbFab period.

HIPPY DIPPY: After a couple of decades of materialistic and corporate bliss, Franks came over all hippy dippy, New Agey and chanty. Her make- over involved a full-scale and somewhat embarrassing (see, indeed, Absolutely Fabulous) quest for self-knowledge via women's sexuality groups, re-birthing, crystal healing, etc, etc. Lynne of the Nineties also trendily "downsized", trading staffed mansion for maisonette. No shoulder pads in her matt black closet, we may take it, then?

ABSOLUTELY THEN: At her recent fiftieth birthday party, attended by Peter York (so Eighties), Nick Kamen (Eighties, Eighties) and Katharine Hamnett (ditto), Lynne enjoyed a heart-shaped cake, representing the party's theme of sensuality. Well, like, that's really excellent. She was said to have hated Absolutely Fabulous, but eventually saw the joke we all enjoyed a few years before, and called her autobiography Absolutely Now. Lynne has two children, Josh and Jessica, by her marriage to designer Paul Howie. She now has a psychology writer boyfriend called Tom Blakeslee, whoever he may be.

FAME PROSPECTS: Lynne is leaving for America to start a "global communications business". Buddhist chants on the Internet are not clever and not funny, so let's hope she's come over all shoulder pads again. It's megabucks or rice patties, Lynne. The choice is yours.

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