She’s coming up for 50, she and Jennifer Saunders are celebrating a quarter of a century of their partnership and we’re all gearing up for A Basket O’ French & Saunders, which might just be the last ever F&S programme. Please say it isn’t so!
Dawnie talked to me-me-me about how silly Madonna is being not going on the show, apologising to Harry Potter, being mates with Geri Spice and the idea of doing it with Kylie…
So, you and Jen: have you ever done girl-on-girl, or not?
I’ve never done girl-on-girl but when Jennifer and I toured in Australia we had a few opportunities but we were quite afraid so we pretended to be together. We did quite a lot of hand-holding in Australia. I think it’s because the particular girls who came onto us there were quite forceful. So we thought, ‘We need protection’, and we found it in each other.
Not even a snog?
Oh, I’ve kissed Jennifer a lot…
We were in a play where we had to have a big snog every night. But we only used tongues when we were passing a message.
Did you ever get a funny tingle?
No, no funny tingles. She’s a rubbish kisser…
Have you ever bumped into any of the celebrities you’ve taken the piss out of and got a slap?
I don’t think anyone’s had a go. Don’t think they were hard enough. We did meet a few of them but the one I didn’t meet was Sonia and I had the feeling for a while that she was running scared of me because I kept turning up at things and they’d say, ‘Sonia was supposed to be here but she’s dropped out.’ But I would hate it if any of our parodies bullied anyone. I got my come-uppance when I was asked to be in Harry Potter and I went to meet all three of them and they were being so nice that I was shamed and was apologising to them for just being a bit cheeky.
And you’ve actually worked with the Spice Girls…
It was when they just started and they were so excited and positive, not irritating at all, just a delight. I still know Geri and Victoria and Emma has worked with Jennifer quite a lot. I haven’t seen much of Scary Spice or Sporty, although she did come and see a couple of things that we did. But Geri I’m in constant contact with. She’s a bit ditsy but fantastically focussed. She’s a really complex person.
But you’ve never got your hands on Madonna…
What is it with Madonna? What is her problem? We’ve asked her over a thousand times. We started asking her at the very beginning and it is very foolish of her not to come on because if she doesn’t come on we have to tell jokes about her. And we can’t understand that the more vicious – not vicious, the more intrepid our jokes are… you think, ‘Why isn’t she coming on?’ and Jennifer says, ‘Why don’t you think about the jokes we did about her last time?’ She’s sent us an e-mail and we got a fax from her and we’ve had little messages from people saying she likes us a lot and would like to but she hasn’t been able to. One time we got really close and then she had to go to LA. Could have been true. Who knows? I think she’s afraid of the awesome talent she’d have to rub up against. I think she’s a bit of a tart, because she has now shown her full affection to Ricky Gervais for no other reason, I suspect, than that he was the fashionable thing. And I think she should just look at who’s got the longevity and consider how much further her career might have got had she bothered to turn up. It’s been over a hundred years, since the Boer War, that we’ve been going. I can’t believe it. The fool!
But you got your hands on Kylie…
I am a huge fan of Kylie’s. She sleeps in a matchbox: did you know that? She is a great girl, Kylie and I’ve come across her a lot over the years. She came on French & Saunders a few times, she was in Vicar of Dibley, I’ve been in things that she’s done… We’re not friends but she’s a real ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of a girl. Like Tinkerbell. Like a little Bambi thing. And when she came along to do Vicar of Dibley, I noticed all the boys going literally wobbly. And she is no taller than an inch. You have to be really careful not to stand on her when she’s on the set.
Would you do it with Kylie?
I think I would break Kylie so I don’t want to force it on her. I just want to cuddle her.
A Bucket o’ French & Saunders is on BBC1 at 9pm on 7th September. French & Saunders’ Farewell Tour sets off next Spring *sobs*
'Jennifer Saunders is a crap snog!' Dawn French - exclusive! ,