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Dawn French's Cornish bolthole is just 12 minutes from daughter Billie

The French and Saunders icon lives has stayed close to her 32-year-old daughter

Dawn French on a red carpet in black
Katie Daly
Lifestyle Writer
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National treasure Dawn French, known for keeping the nation laughing for the last three decades, steps out of the limelight for some time to herself from the luxury of her £2 million Cornish home. 

Dawn sold her former waterside home in Fowey for £6.6 million in 2021, which frankly can be compared to a castle. But now she lives in a seaside home with her husband of ten years Mark Bignell. She previously took to Instagram to show off the property's impressive study with enormous bay windows, salmon pink walls and a mahogany writing desk. 

Dawn French's pink writing room inside her Cornwall home© Instagram
Dawn showed off her pink writing room

The star of French and Saunders has been open about her relationship with her daughter Billie, 32, whom she shares with her ex-husband and fellow comedian Lenny Henry, 65, and has even revealed that she has chosen to live just 12 minutes away from Billie. Speaking of their relationship, Dawn told the Telegraph in 2015: "We could no longer live together - there would be murder. But we have to live nearby."

Opening up further about their relationship, Dawn told HELLO!: "[Our bond] is unbreakable. We have the same amount of mother/daughter friction that any mum and daughter have, it's no more or less. But I've learnt a lot about her. And she's learnt a lot about me." She added that her daughter is: "My biggest test and my biggest joy."

Dawn French, Lenny Henry and Family© J.Tregidgo
Dawn's daughter Billie at the wedding of Jools Holland in 2005

Dawn and her ex-husband adopted Billie in 1991 when she was just two weeks old. She has previously said that "the minute Billie arrived that was it for me. She fills everything I needed to be as a mother." At the age of 24, the star's daughter moved out of home with her mother telling the MailOnline that there were "frequent wars" between them. 

The Death on the Nile actress gave an insight into their relationship saying: "I expected that if you nurture [a child], like a tomato plant, it grows towards the light, and surely if your mum is someone who wants to have fun with you and have adventures and read with you and spend time with you, how could you ever have a war?".

Dawn with Lenny Henry in 2006© Getty
Dawn was married to Lenny Henry for 26 years

She added: "But I haven’t got a kid who wants to read with me and have adventures with me, I’ve got a different kind of kid who’s a different set of challenges and that’s been my lesson."

Dawn spoke about adopting Billie on Elizabeth Day's How To Fail podcast, revealing: "The minute we met her and she came into our lives - I think a week afterwards - you just hit the ground running.

"Suddenly there's a phone call. And it happened right in the middle of when we were about to make a French and Saunders series - we had the studios booked, we had the directors booked, we had all our crew booked, we were writing the series ready to go into the studio."

The mother-daughter pair have maintained a close relationship since they decided to live separately and on Billie's 30th birthday, Dawn took to Instagram to share an adorable childhood photo with a young Billie that was captioned: "This lil wriggler is 30yrs old today. My extraordinary ray. My greatest challenge & greatest blessing. Happy Birthday beautiful girl."

Dawn French with her baby daughter Billie in 1991© Instagram
Dawn with a young Billie

Billie's father and star of The Lenny Henry Show also lives away from his daughter. The comedian has settled down in south Oxfordshire with his casting director partner, Lisa Makin. He was given an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2016 in recognition of his contribution to British comedy and drama, as well as with his achievements in international charity work.

DISCOVER: Dawn French, 66, shares insight into recovery following major surgery with scar photo 

The Ab Fab writer and Comic Relief co-founder previously lived together in Berkshire in the quaint village of Spencers Wood in a home with an outdoor heated swimming pool, paddocks and an annexe.

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