French and Saunders
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Couchtripper Forum Index -> Comedy News
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: French and Saunders Reply with quote

Dawn French: 'I'll die before I get old'
13th August 2007

Dawn French has told of her firm belief that she will die young despite insisting she is fit and healthy. The Vicar of Dibley star said she was "resigned" to the idea, and revealed she intends to move to Cornwall next month because she wants to spend the rest of her life there. In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, French was asked if her impending 50th birthday was a "landmark". She replied: "Definitely, because I've never thought I'd live to be very old. I've always felt that. So by 50 I want to be down there (Cornwall)." The actress said she wants to die "slowly and nicely, in great surroundings, with my family. It is a bit shocking isn't it?" French said she was not ill and there was no history of early death in her family.

She has one grandmother who is 99 and her mother is a "pretty good" 74, she said. But French revealed she had a long-held belief that it would not be the same for her. She said: "I don't feel gloomy about it. I'm resigned to it. I don't know why I feel so sure. I said it to my brother when I was about six." The star, who said she is not scared of death, added she had told her husband, comedian and actor Lenny Henry, that she doesn't think she'll be around for a long time. And while French said she was a logical person, and there was "not much logic" to her belief, there were just "certain things" she knew.


Here's a 'certain thing' that I know - she's not fit and healthy!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 24 May 2006
Location: Staffordshire, England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Comedienne Dawn French has told of her firm belief that she will die young despite insisting she is fit and healthy."


I'm with you 100% faceless Laughing

I love how she didn't put a real reason as to why she would die early, completely overlooking the fact that she's bloody huge!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Joined: 28 Feb 2007
Location: Bethlehem, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffo wrote:
"Comedienne Dawn French has told of her firm belief that she will die young despite insisting she is fit and healthy."


I'm with you 100% faceless Laughing

I love how she didn't put a real reason as to why she would die early, completely overlooking the fact that she's bloody huge!
That is funny!! I am with both of you Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger

Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at those gazongas! lol!!!!!!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prepare to meet the new Dawn French
Contrary to rumour, Dawn French isn't dying - she's better and busier than ever. She talks to Dominic Cavendish

To say that Dawn French is much loved is rather like saying that some women quite like chocolate. If she wasn't a national treasure before The Vicar of Dibley hit our TV screens in 1994, that status was swiftly accorded her after she put on a cassock and answered every village's ideal of how a woman of the cloth should be: compassionate, capable and heaps of fun.

So when it was widely reported a few months ago that the comedy star was moving to Cornwall in order to die, parts of the country went into a state of premature mourning. "She intends to pen her memoirs in the few years she believes she has left to live," one particularly weepy news report revealed. "She wants to die slowly and nicely, in great surroundings."

French had told a journalist: "I never thought I'd live to be very old," and was apparently approaching her 50th birthday with a mixture of trepidation and resignation. Coming in the wake of Dibley's demise, it felt like the end of an era - perhaps even the end of Dawn French. Yet the woman sitting opposite me in a west London recording studio appears to be in rude health. Was she misreported, or simply having a laugh?

"It did go bonkers, didn't it, that story?" she says. "All I said was that I was moving down to Cornwall with Len [husband Lenny Henry] and Billie [their adopted daughter] and that I didn't want to move again. You've got to remember that I was an RAF kid - all my youth I was an itinerant gipsy, so I've always longed to stay in one place. What I said was: 'I hope this will be my last move.' The journalist said: 'Oh my God, you're going there to die!'" So she doesn't feel she's about to pop off? "It is something I have often thought - that I won't live to be an old, old lady - but how do I know? Hopefully I'm wrong."

When she says "old", she explains, she's measuring herself against other women in her family. "One granny is 99, the other is 95." Panic over, then. Except, it emerges that we are, after a fashion, being asked to bid adieu to the Dawn French we have known and loved. In the New Year, she and Jennifer Saunders, her comedy partner for more than 25 years, will embark on a farewell tour that lays to rest their work as sketch artists. Seven years ago, the pair played huge venues - arenas, ice-rinks. This time they're in more intimate halls.

"We want to do a smaller show, getting back to the ping-pong dialogue we started with," she says. Not that they're severing links as a writing partnership - "There's no way we won't work together again," she says - but the sketch-show format no longer feels right for them. "When we sit down in a room to write sketches now, it feels as if that's getting in the way of us writing other things. It's partly about growing up. Being in a double-act, you get to misbehave like kids forever but there comes a moment when you realise, 'Hang on, I'm 50!'" It seems odd that French and Saunders should be calling it a day as a double act when there is still no one to fill their shoes. "I used to think there were quite a few who could have followed us," says French "I thought Mel [Giedroyc] and Sue [Perkins] were going to, for a while."

For Boys Who Do Comedy, her new interview series devoted to male comedians that follows on from her earlier entertaining survey of female contemporaries, French has been busy asking why the comedy circuit remains a male-dominated arena. "I didn't come to any real conclusions," she admits. "When it comes to performing, I don't think there's anything men can do that women can't. I used to think women were more observational and guys were more gag-led, but that's not really true. "

The series sprang from a genuine interest on French's part to unpick her own motivations for staying in the game. "I was quite ready to stop," she says. "I was a bit tired, a bit disillusioned. I felt I was repeating myself. I was having a little blip and in the middle of that blip I made those programmes, asking other comics: what's the point of all this? I've slightly tortured myself over the years about whether comedy is a proper job. When people reassured me why we do it, how much fun there is to be had out of it, I thought, 'Yes!', in the end, 'Why not?'?"

You don't have to scratch hard to glean that, sad though she was to part with The Vicar of Dibley, it was constraining too. "It was a very happy set-up. I will miss that greatly, but it's time to move on. When you've got a dog-collar on, everyone puts it on you with everything else you do. People see me as a friendly and approachable person - which I am - but I would also like to be able to push the boundaries a bit. Directors will say: 'You're so warm.' You think, 'Yeah, you're talking about the vicar,' but I can't bring 'vicarness' to everything else. You have to be tough and try to persuade people to come with you another way."

What new directions she will strike out in remain as yet unclear. This Christmas sees a second series of Jam and Jerusalem, the West Country sitcom penned by Saunders in which she plays Rosie Bales, a woman with dissociative identity disorder. Once she has relocated, and finished her memoirs, we'll start to more of this slightly edgier Dawn, she reckons.

"I'm starting to be more demonstrative about what I want. I could stay on and take the work I'm being offered for the next 10 years and have the same sort of life I've had. Or I can change it. I want to have healthy, strong years down in Cornwall, looking at the sea and being surrounded by that amazing light. I don't feel like I'm giving up. Quite the opposite. I feel like I'm changing."

Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy is on BBC1 10.20pm, Dec 9.
French and Saunders tour details:
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

French and Saunders on their final farewell to fans
By Clare Raymond

It began 30 years ago at drama school, but now Britain's most successful female comedy duo are saying a final farewell to fans. Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are winding up their double act - and famous comedy creations including the dirty old men and stroppy schoolgirls - with a two-month tour of the UK that kicks off on Friday. But the pair are determined to continue working together on other projects.

Jennifer, 49, lives in London with husband Ade and their daughters. Dawn, 50, and husband Lenny Henry are preparing to move with daughter Billie from Berkshire to Cornwall. Here, they share the secret of working together - and staying friends.


A lot of people are nervous of Jennifer and after they meet her say: "I don't think she liked me." She comes across as a cool character and she doesn't suffer fools. But she's actually an incredibly loving person, warm, protective, supportive and encouraging - once she trusts you.

At the time of my marriage wobble with Len, she was incredibly protective. She would stop everything, usher me into the corner with a cuppa and tell people: "Stay away from her." And that was just one of many times when we have been there for each other.

We have been through births, weddings, parents dying, all sorts of big stuff since we met at drama college where we were training to be teachers. I arrived at college late because my dad had just died and was trying to work out who I could be chums with. I remember thinking it wouldn't be Jen because she seemed posh and confident, all the things I wasn't.

But six months later we ended up sharing a flat in north London, and we became friends very quickly. We used to try to make each other laugh and gradually we started to invent characters. Then we did a bit of cabaret at college for a laugh and it was only after I started teaching and Jennifer was on the dole that she saw an advert in The Stage looking for women to join the Comic Strip comedy club in Soho.

We are chalk and cheese in lots of ways, yet we've never had a big stand-up row. We love each other. We probably have about three minor sulks each day and we get through it. If one of us has an idea for a sketch and the other one doesn't like it, then we don't do it.

Before we start work I have to know: "How are the kids? How is Ade? Are you buying a new house? What car are you driving?" Today we have been talking about: "Are we having the menopause?" because neither of us is sure. We get celeb magazines and talk about who we like and don't like. How great is that? We don't live near each other so when we are both busy we keep in touch by texting and phone.

It's nice to do things separately because then we have fresh gossip, but we do socialise when we can. We have supper or meet for lunch and have been on holiday together. I am godmother to Jen's eldest daughter and I'm sad the children don't see more of each other because my daughter Billie and her youngest daughter Freya like each other very much.

When I knew that Lenny and I were going to adopt I worried about how this kid would ever become mine and Jennifer said: "I've got three kids and I gave birth to them but I don't know who they are because they are all so different." That was a really great thing for me to know.

Jennifer is a complex person, a mass of contradictions. People think she is sullen but she absolutely is not. She finds the fun in every situation. My favourite memories of Jennifer are nothing to do with French & Saunders but are of when her first child was born, her wedding - real things, fun things we've done together.

So this farewell tour isn't farewell to us working together. And it's certainly not farewell to our friendship! At first I thought she was just far too posh for me

Born: October 11, 1957, in Holyhead, Wales
Married To: Comedian Lenny Henry
Children: Adopted daughter Billie
Other Roles: Lark Rise to Candleford (2008); Jam and Jerusalem (2006-2008); Vicar of Dibley (1994-2007); Marple: Sleeping Murder (2006); Voiced Mrs Beaver in the Chronicles of Narnia (2005); Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004); Wild West (2004), Maybe Baby (2000); Murder Most Horrid (1991-1999)
Did You Know: She co-authored two books on knitting.


When Dawn rang me and said she wanted to go on tour so she could buy her dream house in Cornwall, it wasn't hard to say yes. I thought we should go on tour one last time anyway. It's great fun. We can afford a nice house, but we're not rolling in cash. If I didn't have a job next year I'd be very worried.

My first memory of Dawn is of her arriving at college, being very bouncy and chipper - and vaguely annoying. She was so positive and keen while everyone else was trying to be cool. I never imagined I'd be working with her 30 years later. We still share a dressing room so we can run through our lines. Most dressing rooms are shitholes so it's nice to have Dawn there.

There aren't a lot of sides to Dawn, she's what you see. She is funny in a surprising way, quite surreal and sharp. She can do some fantastic falling over and crashing into things, but she's also a really good actress. Dawn is fastidiously organised, she likes to sort things well ahead. She's very generous and remembers everybody's birthdays, embarrassingly, because I always forget hers. She has to tell me when hers is - and what to buy her. And she can never leave a bloody room without saying goodbye to everyone.

I enjoy working on the computer but Dawn has never learnt. I can't even send her an email because she doesn't have email. When she is concentrating or if she is tired, she will fiddle with a piece of cloth, running the corner under her fingernails, which gives me the heebie-jeebies. Dawn also likes to sort out people's love lives.

We talk about our kids an awful lot. We are never short of conversation, but we've never discussed our relationships with our boyfriends or husbands, we're not intimate like that. We have a different sort of friendship. We have fun and don't want to weigh it down.

Dawn and I can have a whole year when we don't see each other, but we keep in touch. We're not in each other's pockets, and I think that's the secret. Also we're not argumentative which is very good. We have silences when I think I'm right and she thinks she's right, but we just don't go there again. I enjoy a drink but Dawn is pathetic. If she does drink it's something silly like Southern Comfort.

I think we are lucky that we have both been successful in the other things we've done. Working apart has been good for us because we don't rely on each other. We don't feel any compulsion to watch each other's stuff and then ring each other to say: "You were wonderful." I don't know if she ever watched Ab Fab, it doesn't matter. Of course I have seen the Vicar Of Dibley but it's not essential.

Dawn can still make me go into hysterics when she does her Mick Jagger impression. I have never been able to look at her doing it without laughing. What you see is what you get with Dawn

Born: July 12, 1958, in Sleaford, Lincs
Married To: Bottom star Adrian Edmondson
Children: Three daughters, Eleanor, Beatrice and Freya
Other Roles: Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2005); voiced the Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2 (2004); Jam and Jerusalem (2006-2008); The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007); Spice World (1997).
Did You Know: The name of her Ab Fab character Edina Monsoon, is a play on the name Eddie Monsoon, the name her husband uses in his comedy sketches.


Jen: We were in Weston-super-Mare and it was awful. We lost one of our Land Rovers in the waves and it was absolutely freezing. It couldn't have been less like Los Angeles.

Dawn: It took four or five hours to the make-up right. The crew were shocked by our transformation and we'd flirt with the girls.

Jen: We play schoolgirls who have a fight and say things like: "You've got a poo stripe in your pants." I have no idea who thought of that one...

Jen: I remember being strung into bloody corsets for this. I always felt fat and thinking I had to go on a diet, which has been my life.

Dawn: Most of our impressions are really appalling, but when Jennifer did Jodie Foster there was something absolutely right about it.

Dawn: An unrivalled exercise in our history of mindless violence - smashing, hitting, blood and gore. The whole thing was great fun.

Jen: This was such good fun. We recorded Help! with Kathy Burke and Bananarama to raise money for Comic Relief in 1988 and I think we got to number one. Bananarama were really wild party girls. We couldn't keep up.


I remember posting one of thier live videos on the first torrent tracker that we had here and it went like hot cakes - they are still very popular, but I'm not sure if I could handle a whole 90 minute show in a theatre.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farewell French and Saunders
Liz Hoggard

"You're looking at 100 years' worth of woman here,” says Dawn French triumphantly. “We're 50, the same age as Madonna.” “We're vintage,” adds Jennifer Saunders. “Vintage is anything you sent to the dry cleaners and got back.”

As an unabashed fan, I admit I dreaded interviewing Britain's best-loved comedy duo. I could see it turning into one of their sketches where the prissy teacher can't keep control of two unruly 13-year-olds. We meet at the new Ivy Club on West Street, and already they're tinkering with the air-conditioning. But in person they are funny and modest — and genuinely interested in what you have to say. If you can get a word in edgeways.

But this is a year of goodbyes. They are ending their 30-year partnership as French & Saunders, bringing their live show to the West End next month for the very last time. The four-week run is made up of classic sketches, together with brand-new material.

You always wonder how close the two really are — they cheerfully admit they don't see each other much when they're not working. Yet the chemistry is palpable. They finish each other's sentences, tease each other about senior moments. “Come on, dear, keep up!” But they have very different lifestyles.

French has just moved to deepest Cornwall with husband Lenny Henry and their adopted daughter Billie, 16. When she's working, she rents a flat in Marylebone but she hasn't lived in London for 20 years. She tells a funny story of her Welsh cousin who came to visit her in the late Eighties during the poll tax riots, encountering ram-raiding and smashed windows, and insisted: “You see, that's why we don't come up London!”

Saunders, on the other hand, with her husband Ade Edmondson and grown-up daughters Ella, 22, Beattie, 21, and Freya, 17, has just moved back to inner city Paddington. She went in search of the rural idyll in 2002 when she bought a 400-year-old farmhouse in Devon to raise teenagers, horses and rare-breed sheep. “I'm in a real love London' moment — not to have a car or need a cab from the theatre. I was talking to Jules [Holland] about it and I like the idea that we'll all be in walking, bicycling distance.” At this point French explodes. “Are you going to start going on a bicycle? Are you Madonna? Who do you think you are? I will dispatch you if you tone up!”

They seem pretty jolly for fiftysomethings who have voluntarily put themselves out of work. French says it's time: “I've been waiting for someone to say: What are you girls doing in the dressing-up box? Get out.' I don't feel remorseful about anything. I feel: Good, this will give me a kick up the arse' and we move on to other things.”

She has filmed the last-ever Vicar of Dibley, and next month her autobiography, Dear Fatty, is published, structured as a series of letters, many to her father, who committed suicide when she was 19. Part of her motivation is that someone wrote a biography without even meeting her. She calls it “… a sort of rape. It lied about my mum and dad's marriage, saying they split up when they never did. My mum still cries about it.” She hired a researcher to interview her mum, her brother and her grandmother — “she's 100 next week,” she says proudly. “I did that because I thought that would be formal, they'd be able to talk in a way they couldn't talk to me. And they did.”

French's father, Denys, hid his chronic depression from Dawn and her brother, Gary. He told Dawn every day how beautiful she was, which gave her innate self-confidence. She learned from her grandmother that her father had talked about taking his life when he first joined the RAF when he was about 16. “It must have been a massive burden for him, but he wanted to live a cheerful, happy life and would drag himself through the old black dogs' and get on with it.” Early one morning, Denys drove from the family home and attached a hosepipe to the exhaust. After his death, French wanted to delay her place on a teaching course at the Central School of Speech and Drama to be with her mother, but she insisted she go.

It was fate. Central is where she met Saunders. At first Saunders dismissed French as cocky. French thought Saunders snooty and aloof. But they ended up sharing a house as both had fathers who had been in the RAF (although Saunders' was officer class). “I think that's what drew us to each other,” French tells me. “It's quite a peculiar existence so you feel safe in the company of others who have been itinerant and slightly identity-less.” As a RAF child, you learn to put all your goods on display and be interesting, funny. “Basically our job.”

They created a cabaret act and answered an ad for female acts to join an experimental sketch show called The Comic Strip, where they met Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle and Ade. Comedy was the new rock'n'roll. Soon the Comic Strip was signed up by C4, and French and Saunders had their own BBC series.

It's easy to forget just how radical they were. Their teen delinquent characters paved the way for Vicky Pollard, and both Little Britain and James Corden had cameos in their early sketch shows. Dawn confesses that when they were in the fat-suits, they'd run round BBC Centre, goosing secretaries. She has always been gloriously unapologetic about her weight. “I've always been a fat girl. I get a bit fatter sometimes, I get a bit thinner other times. I'm not a depressive eater.”

Ab Fab — which started off as a 14-minute sketch in a French and Saunders show — came about by accident. “We had the studios booked for a new series and then I adopted a kid,” French explains. “When you go through the adoption process, you sit and wait for them to tell you when the right kid is available, and you don't know when that's going to be. I had to say to Jen: I've got to go now, shit!' And so she took the studios and wrote Ab Fab. And you think: God that's great, she covered for me, she did the things she wanted to do, and she didn't hold it against me. She'd been pregnant three times, so it's not like she went: Oh God, you're ruining our career now'.”

In 1999 French's marriage hit a crisis. Lenny's mother died and while he was on tour the tabloids rumbled a liaison with a young blonde and he ended up in the Priory. At the time, Dawn observed: “He went a bit mad. I was sort of worried he hadn't gone off the rails before that, he'd always been so calm.”

The couple are still very much together but it has given her a horror of the press. She also had to take out an injunction to stop her biographer revealing the identity of Billie's birth mother. That, she says firmly, is Billie's business when she is 18.

More recently French has been doing straight roles such as Lark Rise to Candleford, while Saunders has been pushing the envelope as a writer. Jam and Jerusalem, set in a fictional West Country village, was inspired by her time in Devon. “I wrote it after my dad died, it's about someone left on their own and grieving. But I wanted to show life in the country isn't sinister, it can be totally real. I really feel in Devon it's not about who you know, it's about what you do.”

She's fascinated by human psychology and when French goes off to the loo, she grills me about life on a newspaper. While Saunders is enigmatic — which is thrilling — it was French I wanted to please. She's so warm and bubbly, though her stare can be forensic. Both seem easygoing mothers. While Jen's girls are mad about popular culture, Dawn says Billy is quite an individual. “Weirdly enough, she's not really involved with telly, although she loves cartoons. She's free to watch what she likes. I'm all for telly. I must make her watch more television! What am I thinking of?”

Saunders' middle daughter Beattie is a performer now, too — she had an all-girl fringe show at the Edinburgh Festival called Lady Garden, so it's in the blood. They've never had a big argument, though Saunders jokes she's not stopped by the paparazzi nearly as much as French. “I have an office in Portobello, and I get absolutely nobody paying any attention. Not even the fruit man. I go out all the time on my own, nothing. The second she turns up, it all goes crazy.”

In truth, they're not remotely competitive. Saunders says that “working with Dawn, you can make huge embarrassing mistakes — you're with someone you trust enough to be a child with.” Their latest favourite game is identifying celebrities upside down in Hello! “You'd be surprised how difficult Kate Middleton is upside down,” says Saunders.

Their extraordinary partnership has made for a perfect working-mother career — they've almost never worked in the school holidays. “Nothing has ever come in the way of our real life, ever,” French says firmly. “And that's about planning, which women are particularly good at. Our job is our fun.”

So what fun can we expect of them in the future? Saunders, a self-confessed “comedy tart”, would like to write a proper film. They can foresee working together on TV again, but in a very different way. Maybe an edgy BBC3 slot. “When you've been promoted as we have been it's hard then to experiment and people don't forgive you very easily,” says French. “I've never thought we belonged on BBC1 ever!”

Their farewell show has won their best reviews in years. There's just one special guest they'd love to nab. For 20 years, they've been turned down by Madonna. They find it an oddly comforting ritual when her agent says again, “Sorry, she's out of the country.” French boasts she once got a fax at home from Madge but the ink has faded. Saunders isn't actually sure it ever happened.

What would they do if she said yes? “Oh God, I'd lick her up the face,” says French. “I'd lick her up the legs,” says Saunders. “I'd rather do the face,” rejoins French. “Although these days it might come off.”
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pitch Queen

Joined: 24 May 2007
Location: Sunshine State

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I was going to be in London....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

French and Saunders on the end of their partnership
Britain's best loved comedy duo, who are bowing out with their London stage show, explain why it has to end
Dominic Maxwell

French and Saunders are retiring - but, true to discursive form, they're not in a great rush about it. There was the farewell tour in the spring, a break for summer hols, and now the farewell London run. But that, they insist, will be that. Britain's most popular double act of the past two decades are done. Finito. Kaput. Unless, that is, they accept an offer for a last lap of honour, a tour of Australia. But then that really will be it. Well, unless...

“I'd do something for Comic Relief, wouldn't you?” French breezes to her comedy partner of 30 years. “We're already thinking that Mamma Mia! is a bit of a good one for a parody,” Saunders agrees, with a guilty chuckle. “But that's about it,” French says. “And they might be begging us not to.” “They might be,” Saunders says. “We've got to remember how old we are.” “We are elderly. We're 100! We're both 50. This is the last chance to see us nearly die, I'd say, of exhaustion onstage.”

Well, they might be shutting up shop, but anyone looking for the French-and-Saunders-in-bitter-bust-up story is going to have to dig with a JCB. Courteous yet uncontained, they are a chatty and charming pair. Sometimes they finish each other's sentences. Sometimes they talk at the same time, in and around each other, like a pair of lead guitarists soloing at the same time. And if they show off, they are doing it for each other's amusement - and reward each other with generous laughs. They are clearly both buoyed and anchored by each other's support. So why make this tour their last?

“We didn't have that awkward situation,” French says, “where one of us rang the other one going: ‘I think it's time to stop,' and the other one went: ‘Please let's keep going for another 20 years.' There was just this gradual realisation that maybe there are other things we'd like to do, maybe it's a young person's game.” Each show ends with a musical farewell. “It's quite therapeutic, actually,”French says. “You say goodbye so many times that you start thinking eventually: ‘Well, come on then, leave the building!'”

They decided that the double act was done, Saunders says, because they felt that their television act was done. “You can't do the shows we used to do. We came through at a time when the BBC did everything in-house, so everything was available: costumes, wigs, special effects. Now, everything is put out to tender, so everything costs an amazing amount. And we don't want it to look like a slightly sub version of what we used to do.”

So while they will still work together, such as on Saunders's sitcom Jam and Jerusalem, they won't be playing characters called Dawn and Jen any more. Parody has an expiry date. “There comes an age where you can't do it any more,” French says. “I remember we were strapping our tits down one time, two series ago, trying to get into some school uniforms and thinking, actually, this is hideous.” “Taking the piss out of people is a young person's thing,” Saunders agrees. “It gets to be unseemly. It can start to look a bit tragic and bitter.”

Time to appear on Grumpy Old Women? “We've been asked,” Saunders says. “But we're too grumpy to do it.” “Too grumpy to turn up!” French says. And they burst out laughing, unselfconsciously joyful as a pair of kids sitting at the back of the school bus.

They met in 1978, when they were training to become drama teachers in London. Both came from itinerant backgrounds, but the ebullient French and the watchful Saunders were very different characters. They have never had a straight-man, funny-man relationship but they have had an introvert-extrovert relationship, haven't they?

“As far as characters called French and Saunders, yes,” French says. “But we're not the people we were when we first met - we were very opposite. I used to be a massive party-thrower, I could hardly go a month without throwing a party. I can't stand them now.”

Yet Dawn is daffier than Jen - isn't that at the heart of many of their routines? “That developed out of how we were naturally on stage at the beginning,” Saunders says. “I was less extrovert." "But then you completely shocked me,” French says, “when you did Ab Fab and you were falling over all the time and being completely physical, which is not something you did in the double act. So it's easy for us to swap.”

They were, they admit, in several right places at several right times. They made their mark as alternative comedy was coming into being at the Comic Strip club in Soho, alongside fellow rookies such as Alexei Sayle, Ben Elton, Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson. “We were the token women,” French says. They soon became famous faces when the Comic Strip Presents... became the key comedy show on the new Channel 4 in 1982. They were making half-hour comedy films, without interference, only later realising their luck. “Incredible luck,” Saunders says. “It's all been gloriously accidental.”

French married the comedian Lenny Henry in 1984, then Saunders married Adrian Edmonson a year later. Soon afterwards they got 16 million viewers for their own ITV series, Girls on Top, with Ruby Wax and Tracey Ullman, then in 1987 their own BBC Two sketch show. “In those days only one executive needed to make the decision,” Saunders says. “The BBC was looking for women, it really was,” French adds. “It was a PC thing.”

But they became increasingly popular as they honed their act over the next couple of series, reaching a peak with their third series in 1991. Saunders moved to Devon and had three children - Eleanor, Beatrice and Freya - while French adopted a child, Billie, in 1992. In fact, Billie arrived just as they were starting on a new series. With a crew and studio time already paid for, but French retreating to look after Billie, Saunders expanded on a sketch from their previous series - the result was Absolutely Fabulous.

“Jen completely covered for me,” French says. “No, no, thank you very much,” Saunders says, “that show has been very good to me.” “And I've done very nicely out of it too.” “She has a stake in it,” Saunders says. “She gets something out of the back end.” And they're back on the bus.

But how about rivalry? Some comedians can't watch other people's work because they feel threatened by it. That's a male thing, French responds - yet the new show, as well as collecting favourite old sketches, has a running rivalry between the two about who has been more successful, each whipping out viewing figures for Absolutely Fabulous or French's The Vicar of Dibley. They're playing with a preconception, they both insist, not defusing a real-life tension. “Jen is like a sister,” French says. “I take huge pride in things she does well.”

Comedy has made them rich but they insist that making each other laugh has always been their motivation. “It is such an enjoyable thing, being funny,” Saunders says. “The show that we do is like having the best dinner party.” “We were friends first,” French says, “so really the audience are slightly eavesdropping on us.”

Even so, there was another motivation for the show. Peter Kay did his Mum Wants a Bungalow Tour to house his mum; French and Saunders have their farewell tour to house Dawn French. Last year she saw a house in Cornwall and knew she wanted to move there, but she couldn't afford it. So she suggested a tour.

“Oh yes,” she says, “but we've always done things like that. We haven't been very businesslike along the way. So if you see a place you want to move to, you think: ‘Oh God, I haven't got any money. Hey, do you want to do a tour and earn a bit of money and also that'd be perfect wouldn't it, we could end it there?' You are not doing it just to earn the money. But it all fits in.”

And while reports of French and Saunders's demise are about right, reports of French's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Their show is called Still Alive - inspired by the fallout from an interview that she gave in which she said she was moving to Cornwall and didn't expect to move again. This, allied to some comments she made about not expecting to live to a ripe old age, was taken to be a warning of imminent death.

“It was announced to the world that I was going to die quite soon,” she says, “so I had to spend the following year reassuring people. The fact is that I'm moving house, and I said I don't want to move again after that, and the interviewer took that to mean I am never going to...”

“‘I am going to die in Cornwall',” intervenes Saunders.

“Yes,” French says. “Eventually.”
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

October 24,2008
By Roger Lewis

WHETHER she’s rhapsodising about Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and “the puddings I’ve enjoyed” or describing “the cheekiest chaps in Cheekyville” that she has had a crush on down the years, the evidence of Dear Fatty suggests that Dawn French is never not trying to be the Vicar of Dibley. She, exactly like Geraldine Grainger, is upbeat and jocose about her obesity. She refers to her mega-42H bras as “bap scaffolding” for her “unfeasibly large norks”. She is unremittingly jolly about her early sexual mishaps and attempts at “industrial-strength kissing”.

Her mishaps as a chambermaid in Salcombe belong in one of her sketch shows. French was born in Anglesey in 1957. As her father was a staff sergeant in the RAF, she was raised on a succession of air bases from damp Lincolnshire to sunny Cyprus and “so we didn’t get to belong anywhere”. An itinerant forces life meant lots of schools and brief friendships – it was as if she was already auditioning, getting people to want to like her immediately.

Every comedian must have a dark secret and here’s French’s. Having spent a year gallivanting in America, where she was the naughtiest girl in her boarding school, she returned home to find her father haggard and depressed. He hadn’t coped well after leaving the RAF and he gassed himself in the car. French was 19. Such was the intensity of everyone’s grief, “we kept on breathing but we weren’t really living”.

French is still angry, in fact, that he missed seeing what she has achieved in her career – missed seeing her get married, missed seeing his grandchild. “How could you do this to us? How dare you steal our happiness,” she demands, addressing him in the present tense.

The Vicar of Dibley mask slips but when French moves on to London to train as a drama teacher it is firmly back in place. French was obviously gifted and inspiring in the classroom but at college in 1977 she met Jennifer Saunders, and their appearances together at end-of-term rags and in staff cabaret shows were such a hit they wondered if a living could be made as entertainers.

They were invited to join the Comic Strip team at the Boulevard Theatre in Soho as the token females in a rep company consisting of Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and director Peter Richardson. Soon they were making a series of classic films for Channel 4, The Comic Strip Presents – Enid Blyton parodies, Starsky And Hutch parodies, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep parodies and the like.

The French & Saunders double act was first given a series on BBC2 in 1987. In the audience one night, chuckling loudly, was Lenny Henry. When French met him later, instantly “I was in giant love with him”. It was not to be easy – the couple received much vile and racist hate mail. French is circumspect about her husband’s breakdown and the “total wobble” that led to a spell in the Priory but she is funny about their attempts to have children and the IVF treatment.

Eventually the couple adopted. Now a teenager, Billie Henry is coping with demons of her own – and French is infinitely understanding and compassionate. “Anyone who is adopted as a baby has the right to a fierce hurt” – it is a primal rejection that has parallels with French’s own emotions concerning her father’s tragic vanishing act.

The most memorable sections of Dear Fatty are when French stops being silly. She doesn’t like photographers and autograph hunters invading her privacy, for example. When total strangers with their “preconceived perceptions” assume they know her and start chatting, “the rumblings of a volcano of foaming fury inside me” that are provoked are as unlike the frivolous Vicar of Dibley as can be imagined.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

French and Saunders take their final bow as they end 30-year partnership
By Liz Thomas
10th November 2008

For 30 years they were the nation's favourite female comedy double act but Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders have taken their final bow together. The pair performed together for the final time last night, bringing an end a comedy partnership that has spanned three decades with an emotional hug on stage.

The stars took to the stage in front of a celebrity packed audience that included American comedian Robin Williams and Little Britain star David Walliams. Also in the audience were their husbands Lenny Henry and Adrian Edmondson.

French and Saunders have been performing their show, Still Alive, which is a mix of classic and new sketches, for the past four weeks. Saunders even donned her famous leotard to reprise her Madonna impression, to which French quipped: 'You are too old for this.' To which she replied 'I am the same age as Madonna'. There were nods too to French's solo success with The Vicar of Dibley and Saunders work on Absolutely Fabulous.

The duo, who met in 1978 while studying at The Central School For Speech and Drama and made their name producing hilarious spoofs of films, such as The Exorcist and Silence Of The Lambs, admitted they were calling time on their partnership earlier this year. French explained: "There was just this gradual realisation that maybe there are other things we'd like to do; maybe it's a young person's game. We are elderly. We're 100! We're both 50. This is the last chance to see us nearly die… of exhaustion onstage,' Saunders added. French has said she plans to move full time to Cornwall with her family, while Saunders is keen to concentrate on writing.

They have had huge success with their stage and television career, with their eponymous BBC television show, spanning six series over 20 years. At the peak of its success it pulled in excess of 10 million viewers and the duo were hailed as having forged a path for newer stars such as Catherine Tate and Jo Brand.

Last month Saunders revealed that the pair's frustration with the BBC also played a part in their decision to call time on their comic partnership. She said that financial restraints and competition from digital channels has meant that the BBC has been less willing to take on ambitious work, instead focusing on 'populist' comedy. She said: 'They are not making the kind of comedy we used to do - what they want now is populist programmes because there isn't the budget to try the more ambitious things we were doing. We've been stopped from doing lots of sketches we wanted to do. The budgets for that kind of more ambitious stuff just aren't there now. Really, that's the reason we've decided to stop.'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some audio of Dawn French talking about "her tally of famous kisses, not liking Jennifer Saunders, and Lenny Henry's bottom" that was in today's Sunday Times

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I love reality shows but I'd never go on one.. why show off my grumpy side?"
The comedienne reveals all about the laughter and tears through her life
By Sue Carroll
The Mirror

Dawn French bounces into the club where we meet at six o'clock and wonders if the sun is sufficiently over the yardarm to have a drink. A woman after my own heart. She deserves her gin and tonic. This has been a non-stop year with a farewell tour of French and Saunders and the publication of her best-selling autobiography Dear Fatty. No wonder Dawn feels she can relax.

"I've been in couch potato mode," she admits, "watching I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! I love reality television. I've never missed one single Big Brother. I'm utterly drawn to it. I make my fingers numb from texting mates while it's on - things like 'that man needs to be ripped apart'. Luckily Davina McCall is a friend so she'll tell me if I'm on the right track about something. But I must stress she'd never divulge anything BIG."

Dawn is one of the few celebrities I've met who isn't po-faced about reality TV, though her husband Lenny Henry isn't a fan. She says: "It's my football. Len's good about it. It's my indulgence. He'll even provide refreshments if he can see I'm particularly gripped. Would I appear on a reality show myself? Oooh no. I can see that editing is the enemy. I've always had far too much control to let that happen. And why would I want to let the world see me grumpy? It's more delicious watching other people in unguarded moments."

It's hard to imagine any fly-on-the-wall show uncovering more about Dawn than she has already revealed in Dear Fatty, a memoir written in a series of letters to everyone who has ever meant something to her. Including, and perhaps especially, her dad a former RAF pilot who attached a hosepipe to the exhaust of his car and killed himself when she was 19.

"Dear Dad," she writes, "It's been over 31 years and every day I have to remind myself of that, and every day I am shocked." It's been cathartic, Dawn says, to tell her father about "stuff" that has happened. The writing process was, at times, painful. There was a period of about three weeks when emotionally I went to places I wish I'd never have to go. I cried a lot," she reveals.

"Dad had depressions, rather like Winston Churchill's 'black dog' moods, but they were kept private so my brother and I never knew the extent of them. He didn't want it to be the baseline of his life. Back then there was a stigma attached to mental illness. People still don't really understand it fully. If you break your leg it's allowed to get better but if your mind is broken... that's different. When someone dies like Dad did you experience a cocktail of emotions, the overriding one being shock.

"I was confused and angry of course but time has made me see that he was in eight kinds of hell. It's a bit like being angry with someone who is drunk. It's pointless. I've never felt any shame about what happened. And my mum and nan have been great about me writing it all down. We've all had a long time to work it out."

It's only partly because he was taken from her life at such an early age that Dawn sees her father, Denys Vernon French, as the benchmark she would judge other men by. The other reason is he gave Dawn, 51, something that would make her life easy. And it's a lesson many fathers would do well to learn. She says: "He told me that I was beautiful. I was 13 and I remember I was wearing a pair of hotpants. I must have looked awful. Dad beckoned me in to see him before I went out and I thought, 'Oh God, another lecture.' "Instead he did this amazing thing - he told me I was priceless and so precious to the family. 'Truly,' he said, 'you are our world."

"You are a rare thing, an uncommon beauty, a dazzling exquisite, splendid young woman. How lucky any boy would be to have you on his arm. Don't you dare be grateful for their attentions. You utterly deserve it. You deserve the very best.' "My dad gave me the armour that night and I swear I've worn it ever since." This, if anything, is the key to what makes Dawn tick. It's why despite being "teeny and wide like a weeble" she would never go down the Fern Britton gastric band route.

She dieted once, when she married Lenny, and er, that's it. Dawn says: "You've got to like who you are. If you love your body, other people will like it." It is a philosophy based on self-esteem and confidence but if that ever temporarily disappears Dawn has other tools. "I'm brilliant at deluding myself, she says. "I have this great method for dealing with anything that scares me. Anyone can use it - I just pretend to be the person I want to be. For example, I was terrified of writing my book so I told myself I was an author. Just put the doubting part of your mind on hold and just get on with being what you'd like to be. Then finally the moment will come when you think, 'Actually I'm rather good at that.' Over time I've bought a lot of confidence in myself."

Disarmingly honest, Dawn is extraordinarily frank about the time comedian Lenny was exposed for spending a night in a York hotel room with a sexy blonde nine years ago. She knows what Gordon Ramsay's wife Tana is going through and the kind of advice the world and its mother is offering. Dawn says: "The truth is that everyone rushes in to make moral judgments. It can be quite disabling because other people don't actually know what's happened. Couples need to have their own congress to sort things out. That's what Lenny and I did.

"We agreed to lay all our cards on the table so nothing shocked us. The problem was it was so dull. You hear yourself saying, 'Well, I did once flirt with someone.' "In the end we were making things up to make it more exciting. We fell about laughing, it was so ridiculous. I was reading that our marriage was in peril. My advice to Tana is it's best not to read what other, often thoughtless, people think. When you have kids it helps them to know they come first. You can reclaim your own life later."

Dawn knows only too well the time is coming when she'll be forced to let go of her 17-year-old adopted daughter Billie. She says: "I've watched this separation thing with Jennifer and her daughters. It's a tricky old time, seeing them leave home. What's more difficult is trying to tell my daughter that she's breathtakingly beautiful. That's not me being boastful, I can say that because I didn't make her. But is there a teenager who doesn't have insecurities? Thankfully she has a lovely boyfriend who I think convinces her that she is gorgeous. Billie loves horses, sport and music. Nothing could interest her less than our careers. There's nothing remotely showbizzy about our lives when we're at home."

Since her final goodbye last month to the stage partnership she shared with Jennifer Saunders, Dawn plans to spend time at her "big old building" in Cornwall. "It's heavenly, beyond beautiful," she says of the home it's taken her and Lenny two years to get right. "And this will be our first Christmas there. We'll have lots of family, mates and kids running round the place. I don't want to move again. Jennifer and I definitely want to work together again but we're not sure what it will be."

Meanwhile Lenny is working on an MA having done a degree in English literature. "He had a shit education," says Dawn, "but he's always been a prolific reader and thinker. It was so important to him to get that degree. The day he collected it was incredibly moving. Not just for the graduated but the families who have had to make space in their lives for their loved ones to do it. His determination has taught me and our kid a lot. Next year he's going to play Othello, something he always thought was for other people. I'm so proud of him. But there's a downside. Why does he want to talk about Shakespeare when I'm watching telly? He's the brainbox now.

"I'm just a couch potato. Though I might try to learn to use a computer. I've never sent an email in my life. I worked out that if I live to 105 I still won't have had time to read all the books I want to. I panic sometimes and think, 'Oh God, I've got to cancel everything.' "


October 11, 1957 Born in Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales, to parents Denys French, who was in the Royal Air Force, and Felicity "Roma" O'Brien.

September 11, 1977 Denys, who suffered from crippling depression, commits suicide. Dawn, 19, starts studying at London's Central School of Speech and Drama.

Late 1977 At the college Dawn meets Jennifer Saunders, who she initially thinks is "a snobby git".

1981 On the comedy circuit she meets Lenny Henry, 23, already an established performer.

October 20, 1984 They marry at the "Actors' Church" - St Paul's, in Covent Garden, London.

1992 After two miscarriages they adopt a baby girl and call her Billie.

1999 Lenny Henry is caught out spending the night with a 26-year-old blonde at a hotel.

2001 Dawn and Jennifer Saunders both decline an OBE.


I didn't realise she'd turned down an OBE, that's pretty cool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bad Toad

Joined: 02 May 2006
Location: DFW, TX

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent article and the photos as well! Thanks so much for posting them. She is one of my all time favorites and her comedic talents are many.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's all folks! As they finally call it a day, French & Saunders reflect on their highs and lows of 30 years at the top
By Jenny Johnston
6th March 2009

You or I might regard it as a rather odd last day at the office, but all that proves is that we settled for very boring jobs. Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are singing Abba's Dancing Queen at the tops of their voices. Dawn has a hammock - oh no, silly me, it's a bra - over her Hawaiian shirt, and a pair of underpants on her head. Jennifer is doing some sort of cheerleading manoeuvres with a lilac feather boa. The moment is made all the more surreal by the fact that Joanna Lumley is challenging them both in the crazy vocal stakes - and wearing white stilettoes to boot.

Is this menopausal madness we are witnessing? Well, no. Rather, it is the last ever French & Saunders sketch, which is being filmed for Comic Relief. And they've managed to come out with a belter to finish things off - a version of Mamma Mia! that manages to be even more cheesy than the original. It features Jennifer 'doing' Meryl Streep, with wig, dungarees and hippy anklet. Meanwhile, Dawn takes on the role that Julie Walters made her own in the movie, but makes it a little, um, bigger.

As usual they have roped in an eclectic load of showbiz chums. There - with all the men gazing adoringly at her - is Sienna Miller, who plays Jennifer's daughter. Why Sienna? 'She's the most perfect person we could think of,' says Jennifer. 'She's so lovely and... shiny.' Philip Glenister, who always does macho well, is one of the male leads. So is Alan Carr, who is neither shiny nor macho, but manages to steal the show. Then there's Matt Lucas, who does well to escape the day's filming without being whacked round the head by his co-stars. 'Come on ladies,' he shouts at one point. 'If you move faster you can't see the wrinkles as well.'

You get the impression that Dawn and Jennifer get up to these kinds of capers in their own kitchens of a Friday night, or - and perhaps this is the point - would if life didn't get in the way. 'That's true,' admits Dawn, when the music stops. 'I often say that the only reason I come to work is to get some time with Jennifer. Left to our own devices, we'd never see each other because it gets so complicated to meet up. It is an odd job, though, isn't it? It's basically dressing up and hanging around with your mates. And we've got away with it for 30 years!'

But no more. This is the last filming the pair will do as French & Saunders. 'Shall we cry now?' asks French, but with tongue firmly in cheek. If she's upset about anything, it's that the bra she is struggling out of is too big, even for her. 'Even I didn't fill it out properly,' she complains. 'That's never happened to me before.'

Why did they choose Mamma Mia! with which to bow out? It can't have anything to do with being ladies of a certain age, and Abba fans to boot, can it? 'Of course,' says Jennifer. 'Actually, the minute I saw the film I thought, "We have to do this". The thing is, it's very difficult now to pull off these sorts of parodies because there are very few films that you can guarantee everyone will have seen, in the way that everyone saw Titanic or The Piano.'

Being subversive types at heart, they didn't actually like Mamma Mia!, of course. They don't exactly say that they emerged from the cinema sticking their fingers down their throats, but that's the implication. 'Did I hate it? Um, well, it served its purpose, let's put it that way,' says Jennifer. 'Actually, I was desperate to see what Meryl would do with it, and, to be honest, I found it hard to sneer too much. By the end, I was marvelling at what a great actress she is. Ultimately, we were insanely jealous. I mean, it was a simple idea, brilliantly done.' She hisses with mock venom.

Interviewing French and Saunders in any coherent way is pretty much impossible, largely because, like some old married couple, they have developed a habit of finishing each other's sentences, or talking over each other. Anecdotes are often unfinished too, because the pair of them dissolve into giggles.

'We're pretty much like 13-year-old girls,' says Jennifer apologetically. 'We've been banned from going to serious meetings together. You know all those ones we have to do - with TV executives, about scheduling and ideas. Well, we both hate them, and if we catch each other's eye during them, it's just bllleuuughhh!' She blows a raspberry to illustrate.

I ask what they remember laughing most about in all their years together - is it the 'work stuff', or the private, friendship stuff? Interestingly, Dawn says she thinks they have laughed more in their private moments, but Jennifer reminds her that, 'no, Dawn, you're wrong. Remember that time you peed your pants?' 'I did. I peed my pants,' Dawn laughs. 'We were filming the skit of The Piano on a beach and I was the child, so I was constantly down this bloomin' hole in the sand. I was laughing so much I peed my pants. They were proper Victorian ones, too, so there were lots of layers. It was a mess, with the sand too.'

Jennifer agrees. 'The funniest times have been when we've suddenly realised the ridiculousness of what we are doing and we crease up. We've been ordered off our own sets before for laughing too much.' Most people, mercifully, share the joke, even when they are the ones being sent up. 'I think that's because we aren't actually cruel to people. We don't set out to make them look silly.'

Have they had any celebs refuse to take part? Hugh Grant, the Spice Girls and Darcey Bussell said yes. A few have been lukewarm, apparently, which means any plans are immediately ripped up. 'You can usually tell the people who aren't going to have a sense of humour from the off. The po-faced ones usually get found out pretty soon. Our rule is if there is a moment's hesitation, either from the person or their agent, then we go, "Oh, on second thoughts, no, offer withdrawn."'

The one person they've never managed to persuade is Madonna, 'who is the same age as us,' volunteers Dawn. 'We've been stalking her for most of our careers, but she's always turned us down.’ She did send a letter once saying she would love to take part but was out of the country. I mean! Do you believe that, Dawn? As if anyone would have anything better to do than work with us!'

What's interesting about their relationship is that it has changed with every chapter of their lives. There have been difficult times, obviously. When Jennifer got married, to fellow comedian Ade Edmondson, they had three daughters in quick succession. Meanwhile, Dawn and Lenny Henry were struggling to conceive. There were miscarriages, and much heartache, before they finally adopted their daughter, Billie.

They admit that part of what makes their union special is that when they are together they can forget the responsibilities that come with being wives and mothers. 'Our job is our fun,' says Dawn, simply. 'I believe comedy is about staying a child at heart,' adds Jennifer. 'If you have grown up you can't do comedy, simple as that. What we've managed to do is just keep hold of that little bit of us that is forever 13.'

And with that they back off to the set, these perpetual teenagers, giggling as they go.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Couchtripper Forum Index -> Comedy News All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Couchtripper - 2005-2015