French and Saunders reunite

Radio 2 shows for Christmas

It has been less than two years since they officially ended their professional relationship – but Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are reuniting for a series of new radio shows.

The duo will present three Christmas and New Year specials for Radio 2, featuring a mix of chat and music.

The two-hour shows will be broadcast on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the New Year bank holiday on January 3.

And Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan suggested there could be more to come.

Describing them as ‘one of the greatest comedy double acts of our time’, Shennan said: ‘We hope to keep their inimitable brand of humour on Radio Two during 2011.”

French said: ‘I'm chuffed to blooming heck to be joining Radio 2, not least because I get to spend quality time with a) my comedy partner, Sassy Saunders, and b) our combined record collection – two of my favourite distractions.’

Saunders said: ‘I is delighted to be presenting a show on the wireless with me good pal Dawn French. We hopes to be doing talking and spinning an unusual mix of happening disc records and talking to guests if any agree to join us. What joy!’

The pair made their TV debut on The Comic Strip in 1982. Their TV series ended in 2007, and in 2008 they performed their last live tour together. their last official sketch together was their Mamma Mia! spoof, as part of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day in 2009.

The cancellation of Jam & Jerusalem by the BBC early this year would have closed all professional ties between the pair – until the Radio 2 offer came along.

The station has been building its comedy portfolio. Graham Norton, Alan Carr and Paul O'Grady already host weekend shows, while it has made comedy shows such as Rhod Gilbert's Bulging Barrel Of Laughs, Matt Lucas's And The Winner Is and The Jason Byrne Show.

Published: 14 Oct 2010

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