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Dawn French reveals setback in emotional post amid painful health condition

The Vicar of Dibley star has spoken openly about her arthritis 

Dawn French smiling in a black jacket and dress
Megan Bull
Megan BullTV Writer
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Dawn French has been forced to cancel her remaining tour dates, following a setback with her arthritis. Sharing an update with fans on Friday, the actress, 66, revealed that her knee has become increasingly painful, affecting her ability to walk. 

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"Hello folks. It's with a massively heavy heart and furious [expletive] that I have to admit defeat and postpone all of my remaining tour dates from tonight onwards," she began. 

"My stupid selfish ol' arthritic knee has totally given up & won't let me walk. I am swearing a lot. I am bereft to let you down. Sorry. On the upside, I can have the op I so desperately need, earlier than planned. Ouch. And sorry again. We are working hard to reschedule all the dates. Bear with…" 

dawn french weight loss© Photo: Getty Images
Dawn has been inundated with messages of support

Shortly after posting, Dawn was inundated with messages of support. Among them, Loose Women star Ruth Langsford wrote: "Poor you…hope you manage to get in for that op soon. Have a good, [expletive] swear!" 

"Rest up and wishing you a speedy recovery Queen," commented one fan. "Tell the surgeon to look after you as you're such a national treasure (absolutely true). Wishing you a speedy recovery," added a second. 

In recent years, Dawn has spoken openly about her health condition, and in 2020, the comedian reflected on how painful her arthritis can be. 

WATCH: Dawn French shares rare glimpse of garden at her new Cornwall home

Speaking to Radio Times, she said: "It's a privilege to get older, but it's not for wusses. Things go a bit wrong… your rheumatoid arthritis knee stops you walking your dog a long way every morning, you know you've got to have a little op on that at some point, and you've got to take six weeks off… But ultimately, it ain't so bad." 

dawn french scan© Photo: Instagram
The star shares regular updates on her arthritis treatment on Instagram

On occasion, Dawn has also posted photos from her MRI scans, which are typically used to detect arthritis, as well as assisting with monitoring treatments and pain-relieving therapies. 

MORE: Dawn French's royal-worthy garden at £2m home with rarely-pictured husband Mark revealed

READ: Why Lenny Henry and Dawn French divorced after 25-year marriage

Following her diagnosis, Dawn has worked to improve her arthritis with physiotherapy. In August, the Vicar of Dibley star shared a photo of her feet and knees, with an exercise ball gripped between her legs. "Glamorous start to the day when you have a crumbly knee," she penned, before explaining that she has osteoarthritis.

Feet and legs and an exercise ball© Instagram
Dawn has osteoarthritis in her knee

According to the NHS, osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff, with the ailment being the most common type of arthritis in the UK. The knees, hips and small joints of the hands are areas most commonly affected by the condition, so Dawn isn't alone in her pain.

Osteoarthritis can be caused by age, overuse of joints and obesity, with treatments including regular exercise and physiotherapy.

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