Fleabag: Phoebe Waller-Bridge hits back at ‘posh’ criticism

It’s fair to say Phoebe Waller-Bridge is having an excellent year professionally.

She’s helping to write the next Bond movie, has seen Killing Eve become a huge international success, and had a triumphant final series of Fleabag.

It was almost universally praised by critics and audiences.

The only hint of negativity was that it was all… how best to say it? A bit, well… posh.

The Guardian’s reviewer certainly felt the air of wealth and privilege made the show “a little less lovable”.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge admits that she was “perfectly set up to have success in the world”.

She was a guest on the podcast How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, revealing she has never pretended she’s “not from a privileged position”.

“I really know that I am. I mean, my God.”

Image caption

What, no champagne?

She went to private schools, lived in a lovely bit of London and had a supportive family and agrees it’s “absolutely, probably true that loads of people don’t have the the same opportunities” as her.

“If that is where it comes from, then I am really sympathetic to that feeling.”

But she is less impressed when people criticise her actual work because she’s had a lucky start in life.

“To criticise a story on the basis of where the author had come from, or how privileged the author is, undermines the story.

“It’s not like my privilege created Fleabag. I created Fleabag, but from a point of place in my life where I was able to sit and write.”

She thinks it is largely down to getting the right support.

She explains: “I like to think that whatever life I’d lived, wherever I’d been born or brought up, I would still have written if I had been given the encouragement.

“That’s the thing that I care about, encouraging people to do it.”

Image caption

Isn’t your dad’s garden like this?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge also disagrees that the story is “just for posh girls”.

She says she was very aware that it was told “through the prism of a very middle class family” but says she was “using them to tell a story that was emotional.”

“People were sending me photos of tweets, with one guy saying ‘I’m a disabled 42-year-old man living in Hull and I am Fleabag’.

She didn’t have quite so much to say about her latest job – as part of the writing team for the new Bond film.

There were no plot hints but she’s previously said she’s trying to make the Bond girls “feel like real people”.

In fact, the only thing she did reveal was that she had a “total freak-out” about an “amazing” 007 water bottle given out to cast and crew.

Not the juiciest Bond gossip but good to know that Q Branch is on the case with cutting out disposable plastic.

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