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Actress, writer and comedian Dawn French may come across as bubbly, outgoing and confident. But you might be surprised to learn that the star has recently revealed she considers herself to be a “functioning introvert.”
The comment came during this week’s Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware. French shared the deeply personal revelation and admitted that she first came to realise this was the case when she first began writing books.
Speaking on the podcast she said that what she discovered as she started to write was “that it was quiet and just me on my own in my own head.” She added, “What I think I’ve discovered about myself through my writing is that I’m a kind of functioning introvert. That’s who I really am.”
Referencing the public perception of her as a confident extrovert, French suggested that, “People are very surprised by that. But I know a lot of extroverts are not really.”
Addressing her career as an entertainer, French discussed with Jessie and Lennie how most of her life has been “about being collaborations, in a double act, in a group, a bit jazz hands”. She then went on to express that this is something she greatly enjoys, saying, “Don’t get me wrong, I love that part.”
What has writing taught her?
Despite needing little “pools” of showing off and going out to connect with people from time to time, the comedian and writer then went on to explain that she is in fact quite “hermity” at home in Cornwall. This is something her husband Mark Bignell and daughter Billie have come to understand as French revealed, “I’m very at home with the door shut and writing.”
In fact, though she has achieved great success throughout her career on stage and on screen, French confesses, “That is my biggest love and I came to it quite late.”
It just goes to show that even the people who seem the most confident have moments of shyness. French’s revelation is as relatable as it is brave.
Today Dawn French is perhaps best known for starring and writing in the BBC comedy sketch show, French and Saunders with comedy partner Jennifer Saunders. And her wonderful portrayal of vicar Geraldine in the beloved sitcom, The Vicar of Dibley, will never be forgotten.
But with her latest book, Because of You, already another bestseller, it may not be long before her writing success overtakes them both.
Table Manners is available to listen to on all major podcast streaming platforms.