Dawn French opens up about her father’s death

Dawn French opens up about her father’s death

The pain of losing a loved one at any age is difficult to come to terms with and recover from. Losing someone when you are young however can have a devastating effect on lives, and when Dawn French lost her father, Denys French, when she was just 19-years-old she admits it changed the way she viewed life.

During Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast, Dawn revealed that she feared she might also die young. After recently celebrating her 60th birthday, Dawn has realised how her perspectives on life have changed.

"Until quite recently, I think I've always thought that I wouldn't make old bones,” she explained.

“Being 19 and losing your dad made me think, 'Oh God maybe we don't live very long'."

Read more about Dawn's latest series, Delicious

She continued: "I grasped any opportunity I could, but I was aware that I thought, 'I need to get old enough to grow my daughter in to her twenties at least, then she'd manage without me after that'.

"I was thinking like that, which is ridiculous.
"It's possibly to do with losing my dad so early... Thinking life is a bit fragile and it can be a bit temporary, and we've just got to be mindful of that."


She actually adopted her daughter, Billie, with her ex-husband Lenny Henry, following a long struggle with infertility in 1991. Dawn reveals that this was also a very difficult time in her life and that she struggled to come to terms with it.

"I knew I wanted to definitely be a mother that was a very strong instinct,' she said.

"Then what happened was my body wouldn't let me be a mother and everything kept failing all the time for all sorts of reasons.

"We had to make a big decision, to put aside IVF and go for adoption."