Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders to reprise iconic roles in just a matter of days

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are comedy legends and they’re joining forces once again for Comic Relief…

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders attend the Glamour Women of The Year Awards 2017
(Image credit: Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are bringing back two of their most iconic characters as they reprise their former roles in honor of Comic Relief 2022's Red Nose Day on March 18th. 

It’s been 17 years since French and Saunders was last on our screens, but that hasn’t stopped fans of the hilarious duo hoping against hope for it’s return. Since the sketch show days, Dawn and Jennifer have continued to go from strength to strength with their careers, taking on everything from acting to novel-writing. 

Sadly despite Dawn French sparking Strictly rumors with a recent post, she isn’t currently confirmed to take to the ballroom when series 20 kicks off in the autumn. But whilst this might be met with disappointment from some people, Dawn French fans are about to be treated several times over in 2022. 

Not only has Dawn released tour dates for the UK throughout the year, but she and comedy partner Jennifer Saunders are set to reprise two of their most iconic roles in a special airing in a matter of days.

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders during the Repair Shop special for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day 2022

(Image credit: Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Already Dawn and Jennifer have teased they have plans “stored away” for a reunion. Now according to the Daily Mail, in an upcoming show for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day 2022, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders will once again play The Extras. 

These characters appeared in sketches arriving to sets to work as extras, only to annoy everyone involved with over-exuberant acting and over familiarity. The publication reports that The Extras will cross paths with BBC restoration show The Repair Shop and its stars Jay Blades and Steve Fletcher. 

Opening up about the prospect of reprising their old characters for this Comic Relief special, Jennifer reportedly declared, “As I watched The Repair Shop, I thought all I could ever see was these characters going into The Repair Shop, or me and Dawn, pretending to mend something or imitating the characters. You know, I just thought, this is the show for us.”

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders during the Repair Shop special for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day 2022

(Image credit: Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Whilst Dawn agreed, reflecting on the importance of Comic Relief, which takes place on March 18th and was co-founded by her ex-husband Lenny Henry.

“‘I know that the money is spent correctly and I know that there are projects that are ongoing that need us to be ongoing and I wouldn’t ever want to let anyone down,’ she said. “So I think the more that we can do to boost and support, the better!’

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders’ Comic Relief performances over the years

Their reprisal of The Extras might be the latest Comic Relief sketch to land on our screens this year, but it’s far from Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders’ only Red Nose Day performance. 

Over the years the popular duo have combined their comedic and acting skills. After all, who could forget their brilliant Mamma Mia extravaganza back in 2009, based on the film of the popular musical? Here Jennifer took on Meryl Streep's famous role as Donna whilst Dawn played Julie Walters' character Rosie.

And their equally fabulous follow-up in 2019 where they parodied Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again was just as epic and saw them joined by everyone from Hollywood actor Carey Mulligan to The Inbetweeners' star Joe Thomas and Tom Hollander.

The pair even joined forces in a Red Nose Day episode back in 2015 for a special sketch episode of Dawn’s comedy, The Vicar of Dibley, where Jennifer appeared as the Reverend Jen. 

And their Spice Girls Who Do You Think You Are sketch in 2012 saw them take on the legendary characters of Posh Sugar and Ginger Sugar as part of new band The Sugar Lumps alongside the Spice Girls themselves for a very special performance.

Red Nose Day 2022 will air at 7pm on BBC One on Friday 18th March.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!