Truth behind Dawn French and Comic Relief’s Lenny Henry’s shock marriage split after 25 years

webnexttech | Truth behind Dawn French and Comic Relief's Lenny Henry's shock marriage split after 25 years

Comedians Lenny Henry and Dawn French enjoyed a long marriage until their shock split in 2010. The Vicar of Dibley star and the Comic Relief founder became one of the most famous couples in comedy. They wed in what Lenny called a “fancy-schmancy chi-chi hall” in London’s Covent Garden in 1984. Lenny and Dawn met on the comedy circuit, doing what they both love. Yet after 25 years of marriage, they decided to call it a day. They announced their “entirely amicable” divorce in 2010, stating their intention to “maintain their close friendship”. The comedians vowed to both co-parent their daughter Billie and have rarely spoke about their split since. Here are the highs and lows of the comedians’ time together and what led to them going their separate ways. Lenny, 65, met Dawn, 66, when they were both members of alternative comedy collective, The Comic Strip in 1980. With its irreverent skits, the alternative comedy show launched both their careers as well as Dawn’s longtime collaborator Jennifer Saunders’ and her husband Adrian Edmondson’s. Dawn encouraged Lenny to move over to alternative comedy where he built a career as a stand-up performer and character comedian. After enjoying each other’s company, while getting up to hi-jinx with their comedy pals, the couple decided to make it official and married in London’s Covent Garden in 1984. Dawn and Lenny adopted their daughter Billie when she was just two weeks old. They had tried to have a baby on their own but it didn’t work out. Dawn shared with the Sunday Telegraph, “I had grief for a while. I did have miscarriages, so I’ve had grief about that as well. But the minute Billie arrived that was it for me. She fills everything I needed to be as a mother.” Dawn and Lenny loved being parents, and Dawn even said Billie was “the greatest achievement” of her life. Then, after being married for 25 years, Dawn and Lenny decided to split up in 2010. They told everyone in a joint statement: “The separation is entirely amicable and they fully intend to maintain their close friendship. Their priority is to commit to the future joint parenting of their daughter.” They didn’t say why they split up, but Lenny later said to the Express in 2016: “There’s generally a situation where one partner wants the marriage to finish more than the other. I think maybe one of us did, then the other one did, and then the other did over a period of time and then, in the end, we thought, ‘Oh, actually maybe we both do’. We knew it wasn’t possible to continue.” Reports had surfaced that Lenny was unfaithful to Dawn in 1999, which he has always denied. But Alison Boyer, who wrote about Dawn’s life, said the couple were growing apart even before they split up. She explained to The Mail: “[Dawn] and Lenny have long been moving in increasingly different directions and have spent little time together in the past two years.” Dawn previously shared with The Mirror that after their breakup, she and Lenny stayed close. She told them, “Remarkably, we seem to have shifted with relative ease from a 25-year marriage to a lasting friendship. I am amazed by us – there is no war, we’ve turned out to be the best of friends. There were lots of good years but one tricky last year.” She added: “This had been a very happy marriage for a very long time and you don’t stop looking after each other or caring for each other, whatever has happened.” In 2012, Dawn started dating Mark Bignell, who runs a charity helping people with drug and alcohol problems, which was started by Dawn’s late mum Felicity. She confessed how nervous she was to start dating again, saying: “I thought, ‘oh God, how repulsive. I’ll have to buy new pants’. Dating was hard and awkward because I’m not good at flirting. Then, suddenly, I met someone else. I started to take back control of my life.” “I know that I will make a good life for myself with all sorts of things to protect me. Including things, my new boyfriend is teaching me that I never knew before. Now my life is in Cornwall with him. I hope we will have a life together.” Dawn’s dreams came true when they got married in Cornwall, where Dawn was born, after only a year of dating in 2013. The small wedding was attended by those closest to the star, including Lenny. Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok, Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads .

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