Jennifer Saunders has revealed her concerns about ageing on screen.

The British funnywoman is set to reprise her role as carefree mum Edina in Absolutely Fabulous, alongside Joanna Lumley who will be back as alcohol-loving Patsy in three new upcoming episodes of the hit BBC sitcom.

But following an absence of six years, the 53-year-old actress – who this week received an honorary degree in literature from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk – admitted the age would pose the biggest challenge.

“The main problem is they are now extremely old. I’m trying to not even think about how old Edina is now because that means Patsy is almost a mummy,” she quipped.

“I think Edina would now be 60, so I’m not mentioning that, because I am so much younger than that.”

Asked how the characters will change, Jennifer added: “I’m hoping not too much because I think if you’ve only got a couple of episodes, you’ve gotta hit the ground running a bit.”

Two episodes will be screened over Christmas, with another planned in time for the Olympics in 2012.

“It’s not like a whole big new series – it’s just two special episodes for Christmas, and then we are doing one for the Olympics,” said Jennifer, who is in recovery from breast cancer.

Joanna previously joked about how the characters are still the same: “We fast-forwarded to where they’re very old and nearly dead and practically plugged into vodka machines, it doesn’t matter how beyond [the original series] we do it,” she said.

Since its 1992 debut, Absolutely Fabulous ran for three series until 1996, but later returned for two more series and two specials until 2005.