The comedian Dawn French recently gave an interview to the Big Issue magazine to mark her 60th birthday, and in it she explained how she lost her virginity on a beach in Cornwall.
Dawn explained that the sexual encounter took place in a tent on Gwithian Sands when she was 18 years old to a ‘lovely boy’, and that they went for a swim in the sea and had a Fab lolly afterwards.
The star, who lives in Fowey, Cornwall, also went into great detail about other personal aspects of her life, including the death of her father who committed suicide when she was just 18 years old.
In the interview, Dawn says:
“I was angry, confused, bewildered, sad, blaming all the wrong people, including myself. But as time has gone on I’ve learned about mental health, and understood that if my dad had perhaps lived in a time when he didn’t feel so ashamed of his depression, it might have been very different.”
“Most of the time he was a cheerful, funny, adventurous, happy dad. Then there were times when he withdrew into a dark room, but I just thought he had a migraine.”
She also opens up about her divorce from Lenny Henry describing it as ‘waking up to the inevitable’. The Vicar of Dibley star left fans shocked in April 2010 when she and Lenny announced they were separating after 25 years of marriage.
“That’s a slow, painful process, when you finally start listening to your inner instinct. You must never ignore voices in your heart. We all know them, suppress them like mad, but sometimes they are the truth. So it was sad.”
“But we handled it by acknowledging that we were both in a bit of pain… we thought, let’s finish this as it started, as friends.”
The comedian is now happily married to Mark Bignall, the boss of a Cornish charity that her mother founded before she passed away. The wedding was held at the Scarlet Hotel, near Newquay.
Dawn also talks about her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, who went on to find success with Absolutely Fabulous, saying:
“Until then, Jennifer and I had been utterly linked in everything that we did. I was made very aware that, in comedy terms, she was a completely individual, separate person. With her own powers. That really shocked me.”
“I sent her a bunch of flowers when she won a Bafta saying, ‘Congratulations you c***’.”