Not quite as fabulous.

Watching Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley’s Bolly-swilling, ciggy-puffing gal pals Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone ageing disgracefully has kept TV viewers fabulously amused over the last two decades.

For this feature-length helping, the pair slip comfortably back into their signature roles to commit further crimes against fashion and etiquette, and their comic timing remains impeccable.

But the AbFab movie ultimately falls victim to the same problems that derail most half-hour sitcoms that make the move to the big screen – there simply isn’t enough material to sustain a feature, and a bigger budget always seems to dictate a shift in location, sending the key cast off to some exotic destination.

In this case it’s the south of France, where Eddy and Patsy hide out when the former faces a manslaughter charge after knocking Kate Moss into the Thames. It’s here that the plot becomes increasingly more chaotic, lurching (like Patsy) even further from the dynamic that made the TV series work: namely focusing on Eddy’s PR disasters and her London home with its revolving door of misfit relatives and visitors (most of whom appear all too briefly here).

The fractious relationship between Edina and long-suffering daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha) hasn’t changed, PA Bubble (Jane Horrocks) is still as ditzy as ever, and the fashion biz is once again nicely skewered. But in widening the scope the focus is lost, and consequently so are the laughs. The funniest moment in the film involves a lewd exchange between Patsy and a lecherous ex, played by Barry Humphries in full Les Patterson mode.

This wheel’s not so much on fire as sputtering.

In cinemas: August 4, 2016star-2
Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jane Horrocks
Directed by: Mandie Fletcher