Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French: maybe you don’t know these names but most British people do. Indeed, their sketch comedy television show has been on air for more than twenty years, making them one of the most popular comic duets in the UK.
The two women met at the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1978 and started to work together with other comedians of the so-called The Comic Strip, such as Adrian Edmonson (Saunder’s husband) and Peter Richardson. The group had its first experience on television in 1982 in the comedy programme called The Comic Strip Presents.... Later, the duet appeared on its own in the programmes The Tube, Girls On Top and Comic Relief.
French and Saunders was launched in 1987, and even though the show was not immediately successful, it didn’t take a long time for it to become a classic. The initial budget was rather low, but as the success grew, their projects became more and more ambitious.
The show, which is still aired and includes six series up to now, presents the two female comedians making parodies of famous movies and singers (Madonna being one of their favourites). Some of their most memorable sketches include that of two leeches excited about women and miming the sexual act, as well as their spoofs of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Star Wars.
Even if they have both had several individual projects since 1987, the show hasn’t lost its popularity and success; one piece of evidence of this is the tour which is scheduled for 2008.
Bruno and Quentin