Dawn French Explains Why She 'Didn't Really Like' Comedy Partner Jennifer Saunders When They Met

The pair have worked together since meeting at drama school in the 80s.
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
David M. Benett via Getty Images

French and Saunders might be one of the UK’s most beloved comedy double acts, but things didn’t get off to the best of starts when they first met.

Dawn French has revealed she didn’t like “posh” Jennifer Saunders when they met at drama school.

Speaking on the Finding The Funny podcast (via The Mirror), Dawn said: “I didn’t really like Jen that much at the very beginning because she’s quite posh, or I thought she was but she’s not really. She had a whole friendship group of way out of my league sort of people, and then I had to share a flat with her.

“But as soon as I got rid of my prejudice about her, which I still have to this day - prejudice against posh people, they have to prove their worth to me - I thought, ‘She’s actually great.’”

The pair pictured back in 1986
The pair pictured back in 1986
Steve Rapport via Getty Images

Dawn continued: “We were just children together, enjoyed showing off for each other, and we’re sort of in love, really. Because we were friends first and this career came as a result of that we have been very careful to make sure the friendship is what is preserved.”

As a result, Dawn said they have never had a “full-on row”, adding: “We compromise, like a marriage, I guess.”

While French & Saunders’ hit sketch show has been on pause after running regularly for 20 years until 2007, the duo have continued to work together on a number of projects.

The latest will see them reprise their characters ‘The Extras’ from their show for a special Comic Relief sketch, set to air next Friday.

It will see the pair trying to blag a free fix from The Repair Shop team as they pay a visit to the famous barn from the hit BBC series.

Finding The Funny is available to stream on podcast platforms now, while Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day airs on Friday 18 March from 7pm on BBC One.


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