Monday, July 19, 1999 Published at 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Lenny and Dawn: still a double act
Lenny picks up his CBE earlier this year, accompanied by Dawn
Troubled comedy couple Lenny Henry and Dawn French proved they were still a double act by spending the weekend together with Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam.
The pair, rocked by recent allegations about Lenny's private life, were guests of the UK's most famous peacemaker at her official residence, Hillsborough Castle, near Belfast.
Lenny and Dawn, who took along their seven-year-old daughter Billie, enjoyed lunch at a local pub with Dr Mowlam and were given a personal tour of her estate.
"They have come for a quiet weekend to get away from it all," Dr Mowlam told reporters.
Actress Sinead Cusack, actor-turned MEP Michael Cashman, and Culture Secretary Chris Smith were also on the guest list.
Allegations rock marriage
Married for 15 years, the two stars were considered to have one of the strongest partnerships in showbusiness until recent newspaper allegations.
Lenny, 40, came under fire for reportedly spending the night with a female fan in a York hotel and for allegedly making advances to lapdancers whilst on a 12-hour drinking session.
Soon afterwards Lenny, who is currently starring in BBC One's Hope and Glory series, checked into London's £3,000 a week Priory clinic, which specialises in treatment for depression.
Despite the recent strains, the two comics were reported to look happy and relaxed together and were pictured walking hand-in-hand to meet Dr Mowlam.
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