'She radiates beauty' | Official portrait for Dawn French's 60th birthday © Trevor Leighton

'She radiates beauty'

Official portrait for Dawn French's 60th birthday

comedy You might expect it more of monarchs than comics – but Dawn French has commissioned this official portrait to mark her 60th birthday.

The picture was taken by comedy photographer Trevor Leighton, who has been a friend of the comedian for more than 35 years.

And he called it ‘her best photograph yet – not because of my talent, but because Dawn radiates beauty.’

Leighton said: ‘I first photographed Dawn back in 1981.  I had been commissioned by Honey magazine to photograph her in her house in Shepherds Bush which she shared with a certain Jennifer Saunders.  They were a part of the alternative comedy scene and had just joined The Comic Strip.

‘Sometimes in life things happen that you can’t explain, my relationship with Dawn is one of them - something happened that day which was to change my life.  Little did I know how important she was going to be as a friend, agony aunt, physiotherapist and God Mother to my children. Dawn is a rare breed of person, who is always there for you anytime day or night, her generosity holds no bounds, her love is unconditional.’

Dawn – who turns 60 today – told of their first meeting in the foreword of Leighton’s 2001 coffee table book The Jokers: 'Spotty Trevor was sent along to our student house to take a snap of me looking female and alternative, but mainly female.  

‘He was quite nervous. This could have been because of his fear of my rapier wit, but was more likely because of his fear of my industrial and rather threateningly huge bosoms.'

French was also given a giant Cornish pasty to celebrate her birthday when she appeared on Loose Women this morning:

Published: 11 Oct 2017

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