Dawn French reveals the real reason she’s 'refused' to do Strictly Come Dancing

Dawn French attends the Glamour Women of The Year awards 2017
(Image credit: Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic via Getty)

Comedy legend Dawn French has shared the reason she reportedly 'turned down' the chance to take part in Strictly Come Dancing - and it's all to do with her career.

Dawn French, who relocated to Cornwall in 2006, is perhaps best known for her brilliant performances and writing talents on everything from French & Saunders to The Vicar of Dibley. Beloved by fans for her witty turn-of-phrase and comic timing, it’s her ability to bring humour and warmth that makes Dawn such an icon. 

In recent years she’s also showcased her talents with novel-writing, but now it seems that some of the most memorable moments of career could be the reason she’ll never undertake one of the nation’s best-loved programmes. 

In her upcoming appearance on The Graham Norton Show, the star shared the red sofa with none other than Strictly Come Dancing professional Johannes Radebe. He and John Whaite were Strictly finalists 2021 after wowing week after week. Ultimately they became runners-up after Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice were crowned champions. 

But it seems neither Johannes, nor any of his fellow Strictly professionals, will get to put their dance teaching skills to test with Dawn anytime soon. According to Digital Spy, the comedian, actor and writer explained that she’d fear people would expect her to be the “funny one”. 

She reportedly said, “I might have been asked to do Strictly, but I fear I would be regarded as the funny one and made to do silly things.”

Dawn revealed that instead of being made to do “silly” dances after being perceived a certain way, she’d want to take competing on Strictly really “seriously”.

"I take dancing seriously and I would like to do proper dancing,” she is said to have continued. 

Though not confirmed, Dawn’s revelation seems to suggest that she was asked to do Strictly in the past, only to turn it down. In light of her amazing career and comedic works, it seems she feels that this could influence people to expect a similar level of hilarity from any Strictly performance. 

However, fans might be keeping their fingers crossed that Dawn could one day change her mind about competition. After all, comedian Bill Bailey defied initial expectations to win the hit show with Oti Mabuse in 2020…

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders attend the Glamour Women of The Year Awards 2017

But whilst Strictly might not be in Dawn’s future right now, she did reveal she’s preparing for something very exciting later this year. 

"There are no plans at the moment," she said when asked about a French & Saunders reunion, but it seems Red Nose Day and Comic Relief will be getting some Dawn and Jennifer magic in 2022.

"But we are doing something for Comic Relief this year. I think the time for the sketch show is over, but Jen and I are like kids when we get together and have lots of fun thinking about it – the likes of Line of Duty, Killing Eve and The Crown are just begging for it!" Dawn declared.

With that on the cards for 2022, it looks set to be a pretty good year indeed for Dawn French fans!

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.