Actor and writer Dawn French was born in Holyhead, Wales in 1957, and went on to be educated at the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1977. Here, she met her future comedy partner Jennifer Saunders. Both had similar RAF backgrounds growing up and were raised near the same base. They shared a flat whilst at college and were encouraged to delve into comedy. As they chatted and became friends, they began performing together.
French made her television debut on the Channel 4 series The Comic Strip Presents, which showcased the work of performers such as herself and Saunders, Rik Mayall, Robbie Coltrane and Adrian Edmondson. Her work with Jennifer Saunders saw the pair land their own TV show, French and Saunders, on the BBC in 1987. The series was a sketch show that also spoofed many pop culture references, such as the Harry Potter films.
French has also had a successful career in her own right, most notably playing The Reverend Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley on the BBC, which Richard Curtis wrote for her. Despite only 20 episodes being recorded, the show is a British comedy standard. Dawn French made her pantomime debut in the London Palladium production of Snow White as The Wicked Queen.