01/02/2013 08:42 GMT

Dawn French Bags Martin Clunes' Churchill Insurance Job

Dawn French has become the new face of Churchill Insurance, after the company dropped 'Men Behaving Badly' actor Martin Clunes.

Comedian French will front their four new TV adverts, the first of which shows 'The Vicar Of Dibley' star meeting the Churchill dog for the first time at Battersea Dogs Home - a charity that Churchill has a history of supporting.

The campaign was directed by Dominic Brigstoke, who has previously worked with Dawn on 'French & Saunders'.

Earlier this week, Clunes branded the car insurance company "rude" for dropping him from its adverts after he was disqualified from driving.

The 'Doc Martin' star featured in the lucrative television adverts alongside the company's trademark nodding dog for almost a year.

But Churchill axed Clunes in November after he accrued 12 points on his licence for speeding offences and magistrates banned him from driving.

He told the Radio Times that he had not expected to be dropped.

"I was very surprised by their reaction. It was neurotic and very heavy-handed," he said.

"Quite rude, actually. They never said goodbye. They never said thanks. They washed their hands of me completely."