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Dawn French's tribute to Jennifer Saunders sparks major fan reaction

The comedy duo are the best of friends

Gemma Strong

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are not only a beloved comedy partnership but they are also the very best of friends. So there was no way that Dawn was going to let Jennifer's birthday pass by without a little fanfare.

The Vicar of Dibley star shared two tributes – one on Instagram and one on Twitter – in celebration of Jennifer's 63rd birthday on 6 July. Posting a lovely headshot of Jennifer, Dawn tweeted: "Happy Bleddy Birthday to this ol maid, whomever she be…"

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She used the same photo on her Instagram post – albeit with a less tongue-in-cheek caption! "Happy birthday to m'darling chum," Dawn, 63, wrote. "Enjoying getting older alongside you, you bewty x."

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The posts sparked a major reaction amongst their fans, with a huge number sharing their own happy birthday messages with Jennifer. "Looking absolutely fabulous!" one quipped, while a second told the pair: "Both getting better with age!"

Dawn took to social media in celebration of Jennifer's birthday

Dawn and Jennifer first met in the 1970s at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London while studying on a drama teachers' course. Surprisingly, they did initially get on well; Jennifer has admitted she thought Dawn was a "cocky little upstart" who was too enthusiastic and confident. Dawn, meanwhile, considered Jennifer to be "snooty and uptight".

READ: Dawn French expresses heartache in emotional tribute to late father

MORE: Meet Jennifer Saunders's husband Adrian Edmondson

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The comedy duo are the best of friends

Speaking last year during lockdown, Dawn opened up about their special bond. "We see each other all the time anyway as friends. We're not very good on Zoom," she admitted. "I'd rather be on the phone to her or we text each other a lot.

"If we don't get to see each other much, we just pick up where we left off. There's never a guilty gap. It's not a friendship that you have to feed on a regular basis to keep it topped up. It's very secure."

Jennifer likely spent her birthday surrounded by her family. The star has been married to fellow comedian Adrian Edmondson since May 1985 and together they share three daughters – Ella, Beattie and Freya - and four grandchildren.

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