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The Stylist 16: Dawn French


Dawn French is known as a comedian, an actor and a writer. But has she got any tattoos? Read on to find out.

Dawn's new book Oh Dear Silvia is published by Michael Joseph (£18.99). Dawn French will appear in conversation with Sue Perkins at The Criterion Theatre, Friday 26 October, 6pm. Tickets are £15 and include a signed copy of the book.

Photos: Steve Meddle and Ken McKay/ Rex Features

1. When was the last time you hid?

Two days ago, behind the sofa. I was hiding from my dog: it’s a game we play.

2. What’s in your handbag?

Specs, my purse, lots of pens, a big bottle of Laughter perfume from Space NK, a small Buddha in a green bag. He’s been everywhere with me, just for luck. No cake, sadly.

3. Do you have any tattoos, if so what?

I do. Two little stars on my inner right wrist. Jennifer [Saunders] has the same stars on her ankle. We got them done is a slightly impetuous mood on the very last night of our last tour. They were to celebrate the 30 years we’ve worked together, one for each of us.

4. Sedan chair: good idea or a bad idea?

Very bad idea! Never, ever, even if my legs were cut off! Also, the whole concept is a bit 200 years ago. I’d have something motorised now if the need arose.

5. What are you most ashamed of?

Of putting a girl’s head in a suitcase and then sitting on the suitcase. I was 14 and she was being really irritating. I said I was going to do it and she carried on being irritating, so I did. Still, not something I’m very proud of.

6. Is the world getting better, or worse?

That’s very hard to answer. It’s certainly getting faster, although whether that’s better is not certain. Really I should plump for better. I am an optimist, so I shall say better.

7. Cheese or chocolate?

That isn’t even a question! Why do you need to ask? It’s so obvious. Chocolate.

8. What was your finest hour?

In the year 2000, Len and I took our daughter out of school and went travelling for three months. We were home schooling her, although we don’t know much, but we were teaching her what we did. There was one day in Hawaii and she was standing on a beach in her little white bikini with her hands on her hips and shouting: “you’ve ruined my life!” And I looked at her and I thought: “I have not. Ruining your life is the last thing I’ve done. I’m alright at this parenting lark.” It was the sheer ridiculousness of the situation!

9. What does feminism means to you?

Freedom. The freedom to be equal.

10. Which part of your home do you like best?

It’s actually just outside my house, right by the sea. There’s an old gun turret called The Lookout. I like to go and sit in it and look out at the water.

11. What’s guaranteed to make you cry?

When my daughter sings. She has a really beautiful voice and she plays the piano.

12. What do you dream about at night?

I rarely remember my dreams. I do know I dream in very bright colours though. If I wake up remembering purples and reds and blues I know it was a good night.

13. Complete the sentence: Britain needs more…


14. Are you a lover or a fighter?

Both, in equal measure. I love a good physical fight. I started wrestling with my brother when we were young and I’ve never stopped.

15. Have you left the gas on?

Never! I’m a great one for home safety and security. I have gone back to check other people’s work though.

16. What question would you like to ask Stylist readers?

How awful will you feel if you don’t buy my book Oh Dear Silvia? Just think about it. Think about the guilt you will feel.



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