Dawn French forced to replace Jennifer with a puppet

Thursday July 7, 2011

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 WWI 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.

Photo: © Getty

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