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Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders become the latest British entertainers to gain an Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award during a unique show, hosted by Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc and featuring chat, clips, celebrity video salutes and surprise special guests.
The event is being put on by Bristol’s annual Slapstick festival of visual and classic screen comedy to mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the French & Saunders BBC television series and acknowledge the duo’s 35 year body of screen comedy work, together and separately.
Slapstick Festival director Chris Daniels says: “We’re delighted that Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders will be joining the Aardman/Slapstick roll call of comedy legends, adding to a list which already includes Ken Dodd, Barry Cryer, Barry Humphries and June Whitfield. Together, they became the UK’s best known female comedy duo, setting an example which opened up opportunities for many other women comedians, among them our event’s host Mel Giedroyc whose double act with Sue Perkins got its TV break on French And Saunders".
"In addition, Dawn and Jennifer have individually been central to some our best loved TV shows, among them the long-running Absolutely Fabulous and The Vicar Of Dibley, and more recently as contributors to some of our most memorable comedy films, including Shrek 2, Minions and Sing!”
The Colston Hall show will feature on-stage chat, performance clips and live and video tributes from some of the duo’s many celebrity fans and co-stars in the run-up to the presentation of the award – a custom-made French and Saunders version of the Aardman character Morph.
Please note that the artists appearing may be subject to change.
The award-winning comedian and writer is a much-loved and well-established entertainer, both in her own right and as one half of the highly successful comedy duo, French & Saunders. While she has been involved in a number of television projects away from the partnership with Jennifer, Dawn is probably best known for her leading role in the hit TV sitcom 'The Vicar of Dibley'.
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One half of comedy duo French & Saunders and an original member of the Comic Strip, award-winning actress and writer Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, and Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names.
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French & Saunders
In a predominantly male dominated world of comedy double acts, from Morecambe & Wise to Reeves & Mortimer, it came as a breath of fresh air when female comics French & Saunders first burst onto the scene in the 80s. In recent years they've spent more time on their own projects, from Dawn's successful touring one-woman show '30 Million Minutes' to Jennifer's 'Absolutely Fabulous' movie, but they still occasionally reunite to give laughs together.
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Melanie Giedroyc is an English television presenter, actor, and writer. Giedroyc is best known for presenting comedy items alongside Sue Perkins. As Mel and Sue, after a few years writing for French & Saunders, they hosted a lunchtime show on Channel 4 called Light Lunch.
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- Colston Street
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