Absolutely Fabulous themes through the ages: a retrospective

With an imminent movie release, darling, Ab Fab is still bang on trend – we look at its theme songs then and now.

Names, darling, names – that's what you'll find when you look back over the last 24 years since Absolutely Fabulous made all our TV screens the most stylish part of the living room.

The draw of partying with Patsy and Edina has proven irresistible, and a host of pop stars have made cameos in the show. From Baby Spice herself Emma Bunton to La Roux, along with music legends like Suzi Quatro, Debbie Harry and, of course, Lulu. But one of the biggest stars of the show is the music itself.

To celebrate the release of the long-awaited Absolutely Fabulous The Movie on 1 July, we're opening up the fashion archives to look back at the theme songs of Britain's most flamboyant sitcom.

Original TV version

The hedonistic This Wheel's On Fire was co-written by rock legend Bob Dylan and originally recorded by him and The Band in 1967. It wasn't until the following year that it became a hit in its own right, sung by Julie Driscoll with the Brian Auger Trinity, reaching Number 5. 24 years later, Julie took to the mic again to rerecord the track for Absolutely Fabulous. Her duet partner this time? Why, it was Adrian Edmondson, the comedian who just so happens to be married to the show's creator, and Edina Monsoon herself, Jennifer Saunders. This version was never released as a single. The original 1992 edit of the theme is very hard to find, but here's another cut:

Absolutely Fabulous, by the Pet Shop Boys

Just like every fashion house must have a diffusion label, so too must Absolutely Fabulous have its very own secondary theme. Ab Fab superfans Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who you may or may not know as a low-key underground band called the Pet Shop Boys, combined razor-sharp dialogue from the show with banging beats to create this perfect oddity. Released as a charity single for Comic Relief, Absolutely Fabulous wasn't even credited to Pet Shop Boys as artists – although Edina and Patsy very graciously agreed to mention them as producers on the single's cover –but it's widely accepted this is part of the PSB canon. With an amazing video that featured the two leading ladies getting up to all sorts of vodka-infused mischief, the track reached Number 6 in 1994.

Brand new movie version – now with added Kylie!

While Ab Fab's opening theme has remained almost the same, there have been a few other renditions, including one by Marianne Faithfull and PP Arnold, and another by Debbie Harry. But the most radical reimagining yet comes from the princess of pop herself Kylie Minogue, who's given the vintage track some chichi 2016 accents for the new movie. It's electronic. It's now. It's modern. It's heritage. It's got that chorus. It's got some verses you've probably never even heard before. It's got Kylie on it. What more do you want? We comfortably predict it will be the talk of the fashion world all summer long.

The song isn't the first time Kylie's covered a classic. She went to Number 1 in 1990 with Tears ON My Pillow, and got to Number 2 a couple of years later with her version of Give Me Just A Little More Time, originally a hit for Chairmen of the Board in 1970. Whether it's old or new, Kylie always wears it well.