Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders reunite for 'Funny Women' comedy special

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07:  Jennifer Saunders (L), winner of the Outstanding Contribution award, and Dawn French attend the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards in Berkeley Square Gardens on June 7, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French are reuniting for a new TV comedy special. (Getty Images)

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are teaming up to front a new TV special celebrating women in comedy.

The comic duo are to host French and Saunders: Funny Women on UKTV Gold, a two-hour special due to air on Saturday, 17 July at 9pm.

French, 62, and Saunders, 63, promised viewers are in for "a proper treat."

It is the first time the pair have appeared together on the small screen since 2009. They will appear together in Kenneth Branagh's movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, coming to cinemas later this year.

The last original episode of their hit sketch show French and Saunders aired on the BBC in 2005 and the two performed a live tour together in 2008.

Read more: Jennifer Saunders turned down OBE so as not to make 'mockery' of honour

French and Saunders met at drama college in London and the two became friends and launched a successful comedy career together in the 80s.

As well as their award-winning sketch show French And Saunders, Saunders is best known for starring with Joanna Lumley — who accepted her own OBE in 1995 — in long-running sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, while French has her own hit sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.

English actors and comedians Dawn French (left) and Jennifer Saunders, as 'French & Saunders' perform their 'Friendly Advice' at Comic Relief Utterly Utterly Live, Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 1986. (Photo by Steve Rapport/Getty Images)
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders began performing sketches as a double act in the 1980s. (Getty Images)

The pair worked together on BBC sit com Jam & Jerusalem which aired on BBC One from 2006 to 2009 and French made an appearance in the Absolutely Fabulous movie in 2016.

Saunders recently revealed the reason the pair decided to turn down an OBE from the Queen in 2001 was because she did not want to make a "mockery" of her own father's honour.

She said: "My father, Robert, was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and was awarded a CBE.

LONDON - APRIL 26: Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French pose in the press room at the BAFTA Television Awards 2009 held at The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on April 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French collecting TV Bafta awards in 2009. (Getty Images)

"He got it and he deserved it. He worked really hard and he was a brilliant man and he did an awful lot. But we just jumped up on stage, messed about, and made money.'

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"We thought, 'there's a lot of people who deserve these things' and for us to get it sort of made it a mockery.

"There are people who work for the NHS or do great charity work and we hadn't really done anything. It was silly."

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