The 'Humiliating' Sketch That Ended Iconic Show French And Saunders

The sketch featuring a famous American singer caused the pair to bin the series for good.
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Comedian Dawn French – one half of iconic comedy duo ‘French and Saunders’ – has revealed why decided to stop doing their self-titled comedy series.

Their hugely successful sketch show French and Saunders first aired in 1987, before it came to an abrupt halt in 2004.

When the show was on air, the piss-taking pair were well known for their hilarious parodies of hit films and daft sketches.

However, in an interview for a new BBC documentary exploring the history of the pair, French has shared that a sketch she performed alongside hit American singer Anastacia left her feeling ‘humiliated’ – and ultimately led to the end of the hit series.

In the bit, French dressed up in an outfit to do an impression of the singer and has explained that she felt the joke was on her for the first time.

She explained: “I looked in the mirror and I thought: ‘Yes, this isn’t it, this isn’t what Anastacia looks like.’

“But instead of finding it funny, I just thought: ‘Oh I don’t like it.’ It just felt like I wasn’t in control of the comedy. The joke was on me.

“I got in my car and just wept all the way home. I hated everything about the day and I’m never going to do it again. I’m never going to feel humiliated like that again.”

In the new interview, Saunders revealed that she didn’t realise the extent the effect the sketch had had on her comedy counterpart: “I didn’t know this was the reason.... I didn’t realise it was so traumatic that you decided to end the whole act.”

Imagine... French & Saunders: Pointed, Bitchy, Bitter is broadcast on Wednesday 27 December at 22:30 on BBC One or you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.


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