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Dawn French flooded with support after sharing surgery update amid pain struggle

The former Vicar of Dibley actress and comedian filled in her fans

dawn french comedian hair transformation fans react major
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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Dawn French recently shared her sadness at having to cancel a series of tour dates due to debilitating knee pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and an old injury. 

On Wednesday, though, the star expressed her relief as she begins her recovery following knee replacement surgery. 

The mum-of-one took to social media sites X and Instagram, where she posted a photo of her heavily bandaged leg in a hospital bed. 

WATCH: Dawn French sparks major fan reaction with new video of unbelievable transformation

On her Instagram Stories, the comedian and actress wrote: "It's done. New knee is in. Now we start healing..." On X, formerly known as Twitter, she captioned the same image: "New knee is in! [clapping emojis]." 

Dawn's fans rushed to wish her well and celebrate the good news, with their comments including: "Get well soon Dawn, you make the world a funnier place to be," "Woo-hoo. Sending fast and hassle free healing wishes," and: "You'll be trotting about in no time". 

Dawn French's bandaged leg in a hospital bed© Instagram
Dawn updated fans after her surgery

Others added: "Get well soon," "Take it kneesy Dawn..." and: "Speedy recovery!" The multi-talented performer helmed the hugely popular BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley in the 1990s, but while she's remembered for the comedy joy the show brought to viewers, it inspired an injury that sadly left Dawn in agonising pain for years. 

The 65-year-old recently revealed that a stunt where she appeared to fall into a huge puddle almost led to Dawn undergoing a knee replacement much sooner. The comedian was asked to recreate the classic scene in 2009 while covering for Paul O'Grady on his chat show, and while it garnered adoration from Dawn's fans, it resulted in years of pain. 

Dawn French smiling in a black jacket and dress© Getty
The star has battled chronic pain for years

She recounted the ordeal during a recent stage performance in Exeter, telling her fans how the TV show set about recreating the scene. "They constructed a 10ft-high hill out of scaffolding covered in AstroTurf. The idea was that there was a long enough drop for me to disappear into.

"Then some bright spark had the idea of having a shallow silicone membrane containing two inches of water on top so that, as I jumped through, the water would splash up and look like a deep puddle." 

dawn french in black dress on blue sofa © Shutterstock
Dawn is perhaps best known for her starring role in The Vicar of Dibley

Dawn added that the stunt hadn't been thought through properly, explaining: "But what was I falling onto? The answer is absolutely nothing. 

"Except for 10ft below there were two very thin crash mats in a film studio with a flat concrete floor. Any fool would know this was a disaster in the making. Any fool but me." 

Dawn French on set with Jennifer Saunders© 20th Century Studios/Moviestore/Shutterstock
With friend and former comedy partner Jennifer Saunders

The 65-year-old shared a photo with her audience of herself about to jump into the puddle, saying: "This is actually quite an emotional picture. This is the last time that my body is actually intact. This is the last time I had two functioning legs. 

"I went 10ft down and plump onto the two crash mats. One leg twisted very awkwardly underneath me and I landed very heavily. I heard the worst twanging noise you could ever imagine." 

Dawn French with flower earrings and edgy grey hairdo© Instagram
Dawn had to cancel tour dates due to her knee pain

Dawn managed her pain by using a crutch, but it became unbearable in 2017, and she sought the advice of a surgeon, who told her she'd eventually need a knee replacement but for the time being, steroid injections would help with the pain.

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