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Lenny Henry And Dawn French

Lenny Henry and Dawn FrenchTwenty five years and counting.

They met in 1982 and Dawn recalls how Lenny's mum had her own little test to see if she was the right girl for her son. When the young woman came round, she piled Jamaican food onto her plate. 'If I could get through it, then I was in the family' said Dawn.

It seems Dawn passed the test because the couple became engaged in 1983 and married in 1984 at St Paul's in Covent garden. A pigeon flew into the church and landed on Lenny's head during the service. Despite the trials and tribulations of marriage the couple are still together some twenty-five years later.

As a mixed race couple they have encountered their share of difficulties in spite of their celebrity. When they moved to their first home they were the targets of a hate campaign by racists.

Trying to adopt a child also brought more difficulties when adoption authorities' insisted that Dawn was too fat to be a good mother. She was forced to lose six stone – an ordeal that put her off dieting for good.

In November of 1991 the couple adopted a mixed-race baby girl who they named Billie.

Lenny said 'being a parent is the most difficult and demanding 'role' he's ever had'.

Dawn said 'motherhood has tested me beyond belief'

Despite problems a few years ago when Lenny was dealing with the death of his mother, the couple are still very much in love.

Dawn on Lenny: 'I'm constantly reminded of how much in love with him I am. I have little moments, perhaps, when I'm not noticing it. Then I might drive away to work and I do have this aching feeling of missing him that just so reminds me of what I have, what I've come to expect. We've been married 21 years, together 25. It's been a long haul.'

Lenny on Dawn: 'My marriage is a very, very wonderful thing. She makes me laugh a lot, intentionally. She's a very funny woman, on and off stage. She's good at listening too, and tells me off when I tell corny jokes.'

Other celebrity couples:
David Bowie and Iman
Bruce Forsyth and Wilnelia Merced
Michael and Shakira Caine
Seal and Heidi Klum

Visit Lenny Henry's website:


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