Dawn French Explains Why She Gave Strictly Come Dancing The Brush-Off

And don't expect to see Dawn's comedy parter Jennifer Saunders on that famous dance floor either.

Dawn French has admitted she has been invited to compete on Strictly Come Dancing, but despite wanting to take part, turned the offer down.

Speaking on her brilliantly-titled new podcast Titting Around, Dawn told her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders that she’d have loved to take part on the BBC dance show, but feared that if she signed up she’d be considered a comedy act.

They’ve approached me in a circling way before now about it,” the Vicar Of Dibley star explained. “If I did it, I’d want to properly dance. I’d want to be taken seriously and you can’t. At this age, you’re not taken seriously.”

Dawn French
Dawn French
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Dawn added that she feels, as a comedian, that producers would want to “shoot her out of a cannonball like Ann Widdecombe”.

“I don’t want that,” she added. “I want the nicest dresses, the most elegant other dancer and to take it seriously, and nobody would want that.”

Jennifer agreed with Dawn’s point, saying: “We know we’d be with Anton Du Beke. We wouldn’t get Aljaz or any of the nice ones.

“We’re up for making people laugh. We’re not up to be laughed at, that’s the big difference.”

Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, pictured in 2012
Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, pictured in 2012
Dave M. Benett via Getty Images

However, unlike her comedy partner, Jennifer said she would “never” want to be on Strictly under any circumstances, stating that being on the show would make her “cringe”.

She explained: “I can’t dance. I’ve got no rhythm. I’d do it if it wasn’t for the background films… Please don’t make me do your silly films and your stupid jokes and skip off with a dancer hand-in-hand.

“I like watching it. I’m not saying I don’t like watching it. But I have to say, being on it would make me cringe.”

The new series of Strictly launches later this month, with contestants including stand-up comedian Bill Bailey, former home secretary Jacqui Smith and actor Caroline Quentin.

Listen to French & Saunders’ podcast Titting Around in full on Audible.

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