Comedienne Dawn French has enjoyed a long and successful career so far, but it turns out, she’s grateful for far more than just her hit TV shows and comedy career.
Dawn celebrated her 60th birthday just last month, and revealed to Australian programme Sunday Night, that she’s grateful to have reached the milestone – for a heartbreaking reason.
When asked whether reaching the landmark birthday fazed her, she simply replied, “Listen, I’m delighted to be 60.
“I’ve got plenty of mates that didn’t make it to 60, so I am grateful to be here.”
Most recently, Dawn has lost close friends including Victoria Wood in 2016, and comedian Rik Mayall, following his sudden death in 2014.
Tweeting about Victoria’s death just last year, she wrote, “All of us, bow down to Vic Wood. There will never be another. Fact.”
“She shaped my love for comedy. I’m broken today. A true Queen # RIPVictoriaWood.”
And following close friend Rik’s death, Dawn shared how the loss left her in “utter shock”.
At the time, she said, “He’s the first of our gang to die and so I’m certainly having a bit of a wake-up call.
“It just reminds me to live every minute properly – to properly inhabit my life as well as I can.”
During the interview, the actress also shared the lessons that her late father, Denys Vernon French, shared with her before his death when she was just a teenager.
She said, “Dad was very positive about me as a teenager and told me that I was gorgeous deserved the best, when it came to guys and stuff like that.
“And I remembered all that, you know, and that was my armour. Into my 50s, that armour has stood me in good stead.”
Dawn also reflected once again on her marriage to Lenny Henry during the interview, and some of the horrific racial abuse they faced during their time together.
The Vicar of Dibley star shared how people would often leave ‘excrement’ at her door, opposing the fact that she and Lenny had married and adopted a mixed-race daughter.
“There’s the big open, ignorant, cowardly attacks that are things like excrement on your door. We had that.
“We had words scratched into every panel of every car – very offensive derogatory, racist terminology.”