Dawn French says comedians should be free to say anything: 'You need to offend a tiny bit'

Jacob Stolworthy
·1-min read
 (BBC iPlayer)
(BBC iPlayer)

Dawn French has said that comedians should be able to say anything they want in stand-up shows.

The comedian appeared on BBC's The Andrew Marr Show when she expressed her “fear” for young comedians due to a “cancel culture” that’s currently rife in the comedy world.

She said that comedians need to "live on the edges of propriety" and “to offend a tiny bit to work out what's funny”.

The Vicar of Dibley star added: “My opinion is say what you want to say, be free to say anything, and everyone can be free to have a go at you, to challenge you or to tune out from you, and for any comedian that's the biggest punishment.”

French added: “If nobody wants to listen to you any more then I think you have got the message.”

The comedian was promoting her new novel Because of You, which is said to feature main characters of different ethnicities.

When Marr asked her whether a writer should be black in order to write black characters, French said: “If we started to police who you can write in fiction, I think that is a hiding to nowhere, really.”

She said it was “the norm for [her] to write any colour" she likes due to fact her “lived experience is in a multicultural family”.

French was previously married to comedian Sir Lenny Henry for 25 years. They separated in 2010.

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