Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 17:59 UK

Bafta honour French and Saunders

French and Saunders
The pair met in 1978 at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are to receive a Bafta Fellowship at the academy's 2009 television awards.

They will be the second double-act to win the prestigious award, following Morecambe and Wise, who were honoured in 1999.

As well as their BBC sketch series, the duo are also responsible for Absolutely Fabulous and Vicar of Dibley.

They were last seen on Comic Relief, spoofing the hit Mamma Mia! movie.

The sketch ended with Saunders, in character as Meryl Streep, saying to her comedy partner: "I thought we'd retired?". The duo performed a stage show, Still Alive, billed as their swansong at the end of 2008.

Their 27-year-long television career began as part of the alternative comedy troupe The Comic Strip, which ran in tandem with their ITV series Girls On Top - a female version of The Young Ones, also starring Ruby Wax and Tracey Ullman.

French and Saunders
The duo pricked the pomposity of many Hollywood blockbusters

But they are probably best known for their movie parodies - where Silence Of The Lambs featured comedy act The Krankies, and The Exorcist which contained the line: "Your mother sucks jelly babies in hell".

Vicar of Dibley creator Richard Curtis described the pair as the UK's "best ever double act".

He said: "The great thing about French and Saunders is that they have never lost that edginess and weirdness. You often watch them and think they are profoundly strange.

"They started under the banner of alternative comedy but when they moved to BBC One in the 1980s they saw no reason why they should tone down the act or constrain themselves."

Joanna Lumley, who starred opposite Saunders in Absolutely Fabulous, said: "It is brilliant news. I obviously know them and adore them and I can't think of anyone more worthy of the honour."

The Bafta TV Awards take place on Sunday, 26 April and will be broadcast on BBC One.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Ab Fab director Spiers dies at 63
08 Dec 08 |  Entertainment
French and Saunders spoof rapped
04 May 05 |  Entertainment
French and Saunders reunite on TV
20 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
Dawn French takes Potter role
10 Apr 03 |  Entertainment
French and Saunders' best impressions
17 Apr 02 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific