In a shock announcement, Joanna Lumley has revealed that she served in the ranks of the Royal Gurkha Rifles as Rifleman Limbahadur Gurung.
Ms Lumley served for 12 years in the 40's and 50's and rose to the rank of Lance Corporal. She was posted to the 1st Gurkha High Altitude Combat Concert & Catering Force - an elite singing and dancing assault formation with the special task of entertaining and feeding the troops whilst being at instant combat readiness.
In an eerie similarity to the British TV favourite "It Ain't Half Hot, Mum", Ms Lumley discloses that she was cast in female roles as was Lance Bombardier "Gloria" Beaumont (Melvyn Hayes) in the TV series.
"It was the experience of playing female roles that led me inevitably to gender reassignment and height enhancement surgery" says Ms Lumley "and it was as a result of that successful transformation that I was cast as Purdey in the New Avengers". She goes on to comment that the fighting and violence involved in the Purdey role were "nothing to a former Gurkha".
Her recent success in gaining immigration rights for Gurkha ex-servicemen is, she reveals, due to her desire for a decent Gurkha meat momo (Lamb Nepalese style dumpling steam cooked lightly spiced served with typical chutney} of which very there are very few cooks presently in the UK.
Ms Lumley is widely tipped for Damehood in the near future and is seen as a favourite in the race to become Lord Mandelson's arm candy when he becomes Prime Minister and needs a "First Lady".