My Week: Joanna Lumley, actress and campaigner

A triumphant end to her long battle to allow Gurkhas to settle in Britain


Monday


This summer I've been working on an Ian Fleming documentary for the BBC so I go to a studio to put the commentary over it. Having been a Bond girl, watching all the footage in a dark room really transports me back. In the evening I sit at home, my heart beginning to pound at the thought of the next day, when the High Court will deliver their verdict on whether the Gurkhas have the right to settle in Britain. My father fought alongside the Gurkhas in the Second World War and the fact that they are not allowed to call Britain home, despite having served our country, is shocking.

Tuesday

After a pretty sleepless night I wake with a real sense of anticipation, dread and excitement. Before going to the High Court I attend the funeral of the actor William Fox, who has just died at the age of 97. The ceremony is absolutely ravishing and thinking about someone who has lived for almost a hundred years really puts the world in perspective. After the funeral I have a quick meeting about another documentary and then get in a taxi, desperate to get to the High Court for the hearing. A huge crowd of supporters has gathered and the tension is palpable. When it is announced that the Gurkhas have won the right to settle in Britain it is thrilling. We can hardly speak for smiling and we can hardly see for trying not to cry. We all hold on to each other. I end the day sharing a bottle of champagne with my husband, watching the news on television. A big smile on my face.

Wednesday

I wake to see all the wonderful coverage in the papers and in endless letters of support. I'm thrilled to bits. I get the Tube and on it everyone passes on their support and says things like "Great news about the Gurkhas!". It's fabulous.


Thursday

I spend all day doing phone interviews and sending emails. I also work on our website through which I am trying to get one million signatures of support to take to Downing Street. Despite this huge achievement in British justice, the law still hasn't changed and this is our focus now. The idea that these people come to this country to sponge is atrocious. We've lost sight of our duty as human beings, instead putting our arms around our pile of gold and viewing strangers as a threat. The world is changing and if we slam the door shut on those who need our help, then we have lost sight of change and the only certain thing in this world is change.



Friday

I go and collect my outfit to wear for the James Bond gala that I am hosting with Stephen Fry on Sunday and collect some pictures that I've had framed. I used to buy shoes; now I buy pictures. In the evening I catch the train to Canterbury Cathedral for a piano and flute recital. The music is stupendous and the cathedral is unbearably beautiful. I sit in the dark reflecting and I thank the higher powers for the result this week.

www.gurkhajustice.org.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing