Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

French plans double act with puppet

Dawn French has been busy writing her second novel
Dawn French has been busy writing her second novel

Dawn French is returning to the stage in a new double act - with a puppet.

The comic star said she came up with the idea because she wanted to continue touring but long-term partner Jennifer Saunders did not.

She told Mark Goodier on Smooth Radio: "I can't resist it. I don't think Jennifer wants to, so no more French and Saunders touring but I want to do a one woman show, in fact I'm planning one now and I've got to write it and I want to do it with a puppet, they are called Handspring puppets, the ones who made puppets for War Horse, serious puppets with four people operating it."

Life-sized puppet horses were used in the original stage production of the First World War story which is now being made into a film by Steven Spielberg.

French and Saunders worked together for 30 years until bowing out with a series of live shows in 2008, although they reunited last year for a series of BBC Radio 2 shows over the festive season.

Their last TV series, A Bucket O' French And Saunders, was broadcast in 2007 and they upped the partnership with their Still Alive Tour.

Dawn - who announced her split from husband Lenny Henry last year - went on to star in Roger And Val Just Got In and published her first novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous.

Jennifer has recently been treated for breast cancer. The process, which ended in March, saw her undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy after a number of malignant lumps were found.

:: The full interview will be on Smooth Radio at 11.30 on Thursday.

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