Dawn French has revealed she has lost seven and a half-stone with her slimming regime, but misses her old heavyweight body.

The actress, who is still getting used to her new shape, said she had never been unhappy with her size, and does not plan to lose any more weight.

In an interview with the new edition of Woman magazine, she said she also struggles to swim in the sea after shedding the pounds because she now feels the cold after losing her insulation.

Dawn will soon be seen on screen in a slimmer form for the new series of downbeat BBC comedy Roger & Val Have Just Got In, but she has lost a further three stone since then.

“When we filmed the series, I’d lost about 4st, but I’ve lost 7st 7lb now. I don’t want to lose much more, but it’s funny looking at Roger & Val – because I look so different now.”

Comic actress French has been large since she emerged in the public eye almost 30 years ago.

She said: “I have a great fondness for that other body. I knew it very well and I don’t know this one as well, not yet. I was never actually unhappy then so it’s not the case that I was miserable and I’m happy now.”

She told Woman: “The fact is, I’m still a fat woman. I’m still stones over my BMI index or whatever it’s called.

“I never even knew such a thing existed until people started telling me there was a weight you’re supposed to be.”