Joanna Lumley ambushed by gang while filming in Haiti

BFI and Radio Times Television Festival

Joanna Lumley has revealed she was ambushed by a gang while filming her new documentary in Haiti.

The Absolutely Fabulous star was making the two-part documentary Joanna Lumley's Hidden Caribbean: Havana To Haiti when she and her camera crew were surrounded while driving in the mountains.

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English actress Joanna Lumley, 16th January 1986. (Photo by Michael Ward/Getty Images)
British actress Joanna Lumley, 1986. (Photo by Michael Ward/Getty Images)
Joanna Lumley visiting Haiti Surf School for her new series (ITV)
Joanna Lumley faced riots and robbers filming new documentary 'Hidden Caribbean' (ITV)
Joanna Lumley ambushed by gang while filming in Haiti
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Joanna Lumley has fronted short films to promote Utility Warehouse.

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When she was in school, Kate Middleton was such a fan of the British comedy Absolutely Fabulous that she did memorable impressions of its star, Joanna Lumley, for classmates. Today, the full series is available on DVD (and now you'll be able to imagine Kate's impressions as you watch—you're welcome).

General election: John Le Carré and Joanna Lumley among 24 public figures refusing to vote Labour over anti-Semitism in party
Joanna Lumley To Uncover The ‘Hidden Caribbean’ In Her Latest Adventure For ITV
Joanna Lumley with Gurkha veterans and their families during the campaign for them to be allowed to settle in Britain - Eddie Mulholland
Joanna Lumley calls on Boris Johnson to tax single-use plastics
Joanna Lumley with Gurkha veterans in 2008, during the campaign to win the right the veterans and their families to settle in the UK - Geoff Pugh
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Joanna Lumley attends "Love Letters Live" in support of Help Refugees at Shoreditch Town Hall on February 14, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Joanna Lumley attends a photocall for Brita at the Coin Street Observation Point on the South Bank in London. Joanna is working with Brita in a bid to convince the British public to reduce consumption of bottled water at home and opt for tap water instead. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Joanna Lumley attends the press night performance of "Madam Butterfly", part of the English National Opera's 2019/20 season, at The London Coliseum on February 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
New Avengers star Joanna Lumley, wearing Cartier jewellery, dazzles the punters at Sandown Park racecourse. Racegoers were invited to guess the value of the jewellery in a competition organised by Cartiers. Archive-pa189048-3 (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Joanna Lumley attends the EE British Academy Film Awards Gala Dinner at Grosvenor House on February 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
‘Trees are our ancestors and protectors’, according to Joanna Lumley.
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Joanna Lumley attends the EE British Academy Film Awards Gala Dinner at Grosvenor House on February 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/WireImage)
Joanna Lumley during Joanna Lumley at Nigel Havers Wedding Reception - December 8, 1989 in London, Great Britain. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
Joanna Lumley during Joanna Lumley at White Roses Premiere Spetember 8, 1989 in London, Great Britain. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
Portrait of actress Joanna Lumley wearing a polka dot sweater, October 29th 1986. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)
English actress, former model, author and activist Joanna Lumley, Uk, 26th January 1984. (Photo by Steve Wood/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British actresses Joanna Lumley and Dinah Sheridan show off some jewellery on January 11, 1984. (Photo by Mike McKeown/Express/Getty Images)
Joanna Lumley, who plays Sapphire in the TV series Sapphire and Steel, arriving at the Odeon Leicester Square in London for the Royal Charity premiere of the film 'Yanks'. Archive-pa190294-2 (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
New Avengers star Joanna Lumley at London's Heathrow Airport before flying to Canada. Archive-pa181258-1 (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Actress Joanna Lumley with the winner of the Purdey haircut competition winner, April 1977. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
The stars of the New Avengers, Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt, 29th April 1977. (Photo by Carl Bruin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Actress Joanna Lumley judging a Purdey haircut lookalike contest with hairdresser John Frieda. March 1977. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Actress Joanna Lumley models her 'Purdey' haircut with its creator, hairdresser John Frieda. January 1977. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
21st October 1976: British actors Gareth Hunt, Joanna Lumley and Patrick MacNee, the stars of the television series 'The New Avengers', sitting on the bonnets of their sports cars. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Actress Joanna Lumley models her 'Purdey' haircut with its creator, hairdresser John Frieda. January 1977. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 7/27/1976-Pinewood, England- Following a pause of more than six years, the popular British television series "The Avengers" is once again in production. Like its predecessor, the new series will be uniquely tuned in to the nearly unanswerable taste of the universal public. Patrick MacNee (R) returns as "everywhere" man John Steed; his new femme fatale is Joanna Lumley, who portrays "Purdey"; and Gareth Hunt (C) plays the new role of Mike Gambit.
Actress Joanna Lumley, who plays Purdey, during filimg of the new television series of The Avengers (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
(L-R) Joanna Lumley, who plays Purdey, Patrick MacNee, who plays John Steed, and Gareth Hunt, who plays Mike Gambit, pictured during filming at Pinewood Studios (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
From left to right, actors Patrick Macnee, Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt, stars of the television series 'The New Avengers', during production at Pinewood Studios, England, 12th July 1976. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
English actress Joanna Lumley plays Desdemona to Michael Levete's Othello during rehearsals for the Old Harrovians' May Day performance of Shakespeare's tragedy, 28th April 1976. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Joanna Lumley, star on The New Avengers. 8th March 1976. (Photo by Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
1976: Joanna Lumley, the 'Bond' girl, now stars in the TV series 'The Avengers' as Purdy. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Pop singer Rod Stewart with his new girlfriend actress Joanna Lumley in her garden at her Kensington home, 24th May 1974. (Photo by Harry Fox/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
29th January 1970: Actress Joanna Lumley models an embroidered chiffon dress. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)
Swiss Ambassador Rene Keller hoists a 007 banner over the Swiss Centre in Coventry Street, London, where a James Bond exhibition is on display. He is helped by two Bond girls - Mona Chong (left) and Joanna Lumley. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON - 1st JUNE: English model and actress Joanna Lumley posed with guests at Hendon Greyhound track in June 1968. (Photo by Chris Morphet/Redferns)
5th March 1968: Joanna Lumley, the 'Bond' girl and star of the TV series 'The Avengers'. (Photo by M. McKeown/Express/Getty Images)
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She told the Radio Times: "Suddenly there was a blockage across the road: they'd put branches down.

"Luckily, we had two big bodyguards who got out and said 'Come on guys, clear this away'. And they went 'No, we want your money or your life'.

"Sometimes they dig trenches, pour oil in and set fire to it, then they come with guns and take your wallets."

The crew also arrived in the country's capital on the day of a riot.

Lumley said: "Port-au-Prince is an absolute catastrophe. We arrived there on the day of a riot, so we had to have a police escort to the hotel.

"Riots break out like wildfires across the country and if you're in that place, you're stuck. All the aid workers in Port-au-Prince don't go to the parts we went to because they're no-go areas."

However, she said she never considered going home, adding: "I'm not really an afraid kind of person.

"If you look timid, people and animals pick it up very fast. In Haiti, people are so poor and living in such squalor, but if you say 'Bonjour' and put your hand out, you've made friends immediately."

– The full interview is in the Radio Times, out now.

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