Dame Joanna Lumley calls out ‘creepy’ covert snappers


Dame Joanna Lumley says she hates it when people secretly take photos of her in public and will always call them out for their “creepy” behaviour.

The Absolutely Fabulous star told Sky News: “I never mind doing photographs with people, but what I don’t like is when they steal them.

“They don’t ask, you can just see them quietly at a dinner table, going like that [gestures taking a photo] across the restaurant.

“I walk over and say, ‘Shall we do a proper picture?’ And they get a bit flustered and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to disturb you’, you know? But that’s creepy.”

The 77-year-old actress, who was made a dame for her services to drama in 2022, is currently starring in Netflix thriller Fool Me Once, based on Harlan Coben’s best-selling book.

Dame Joanna plays Judith Burkett, the protective mother of a murdered man, opposite Michelle Keegan, who plays his widow Maya.

It’s an invasion of privacy Keegan is wary of too: “I feel like everyone’s being watched a little bit now, because everyone’s got cameras in their hands on their phones.

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“So, no matter where you go, someone’s got a camera anyway. I find it quite intrusive.”

A pivotal moment in the drama comes after a hidden nanny-cam ends up capturing footage that changes everyone’s lives.

Dame Joanna says even covert filming, like CCTV in supermarkets, can be disconcerting.

“Sometimes we’ve all been in shops and we’ve looked up and there’s a screen up there and it’s got the back view of your head holding a lump of butter or something, and you think, ‘little weird creature’… There’s something of a disconnect.

“Suddenly you become a voyeur if you’re watching the screen, you can put into it, and you can imagine all sorts of things are being said or done.

“And there’s a feeling of being watched, if you’re in a room where there’s a camera – you know you’re being watched… it’s odd.”

Fool Me Once is streaming on Netflix now.

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