top of page

Imagine: French & Saunders - Pointed, Bitchy, Bitter | Preview (BBC One)

imagine... profiles the UK’s most successful double act of the last 40 years, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, and explores their unique brand of comedy, based on satire, silliness and, above all, friendship.

French and Saunders’s relationship started when they were college flatmates, entertaining each other by playing pranks and inventing characters. Behind the scenes at a recording of their successful podcast, Titting About, it’s clear that they’re still sparking off each other to create comedy.

Alan Yentob charts their journey from the game-changing Comic Strip team, which helped launch the new Channel 4 in 1982, to their domination of BBC schedules over the decades and their recent ventures on the stage, the page and in film.

Dawn and Jennifer revisit the former site of the Comic Strip Club in Soho, where a group of young comedians revolutionised the comedy scene. Alongside interviews with Comic Strip comedians Alexei Sayle, Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer, Dawn and Jennifer tell the story of being the women in a team that would change the face of television.

Just five years after Dawn and Jennifer met, they would be part of The Comic Strip Presents… Five Go Mad in Dorset, shown on the launch night of the new Channel 4.

At the start of French and Saunders’s career, comedy was still firmly a male domain. Interviews with later generations of female comics like Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who Dawn and Jennifer encouraged when they were a young double act, reveal how empowering their presence on TV was at the time.

Dawn and Jennifer are joined by a cast of collaborators, including Dame Joanna Lumley, Ruby Wax, Richard Curtis and Alexei Sayle. These interviewees help to reveal the caustic wit behind their cosy exterior and show the huge impact that French and Saunders had on the generations of comedians that followed.


bottom of page