Viking scoops Saunders autobiography

Penguin imprint Viking has signed comedian Jennifer Saunders' autobiography, to be published this autumn.

Joel Rickett, publisher at Viking, acquired world rights to the as-yet-untitled book from Maureen Vincent and Robert Kirby at United Agents.

Saunders achieved fame as in the alternative comedy scene of the 1980s, working closely with other performers such as Dawn French and Ade Edmondson, whom she later married. She created and starred in the sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous", as well as recently writing the script for the Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever!

She said: "As the steady march of time takes its toll on my memory and the vultures circle, I thought I should have a stab at recollecting how it all happened. At the moment it is a blur of funny stories which I shall put into a word processor and see what comes out the other end. I also owe thanks to Clare [Balding] for inspiration and for the introduction to Joel."

Rickett edited Clare Balding's My Animals and Other Family for Viking, a book which became one of the hits of last year.

He said: "We're thrilled that Jennifer Saunders feels this is the moment to write her life story, and we feel so lucky that she's chosen to work with Penguin. From 'Comic Strip' to 'French & Saunders' to 'Absolutely Fabulous', she has written and performed in dozens of the best-loved series, films and shows of the past three decades.

"Her characters are household names, but it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. She's going to write a funny, true book filled with extraordinary stories. It will reach an enormous readership."

It will be released in October 2013.