Dawn French: ‘I won’t live long’

Dawn French has told of her firm belief that she will die young.

The Vicar of Dibley star said she was ‘resigned’ to the idea, and revealed she intends to move to Cornwall next month because she wants to spend the rest of her life there.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, French was asked if her impending 50th birthday was a ‘landmark’. She replied: “Definitely, because I’ve never thought I’d live to be very old. I’ve always felt that. So by 50 I want to be down there (Cornwall).”

The actress said she wants to die ‘slowly and nicely, in great surroundings, with my family. It is a bit shocking isn’t it?’

French said she was not ill and there was no history of early death in her family. She has one grandmother who is 99 and her mother is a ‘pretty good’ 74, she said.

But French revealed she had a long-held belief that it would not be the same for her. She said: “I don’t feel gloomy about it. I’m resigned to it. I don’t know why I feel so sure. I said it to my brother when I was about six.”

The star, who said she is not scared of death, added she had told her husband, comedian and actor Lenny Henry, that she doesn’t think she’ll be around for a long time. And while French said she was a logical person, and there was ‘not much logic’ to her belief, there were just ‘certain things’ she knew.

The star also revealed her insecurities about her long-term comic partner, Jennifer Saunders, meeting Henry for the first time, because of the fear he would fancy her instead.

Talking of the first night she had spent with Henry, French said he had been going out with a ‘lot of blondes’ – similar to Saunders. French said Saunders had turned up to work with her the following morning and she refused to let her in, because she wanted more time to get to know Henry, and didn’t want the pair to meet until she knew where the relationship stood.

Asked if she was worried Henry would fancy Saunders, the actress said: “There was a little bit of that, but I think it was more because he was ‘the one’ so everything was heightened.”

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