Dawn Roma French (born 11 October 1957) is a British actress, writer and comedian. In her career, she has been nominated for six BAFTA awards and also won a Fellowship BAFTA along with Jennifer Saunders. She is best-known for starring in and writing her comedy sketch show, French and Saunders, alongside her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, and for playing the lead role of Geraldine Grainger in the sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.
French is known for her larger figure and for her efforts to promote the notion that “big” can be beautiful. As a result, she has her own line of clothes, ‘Sixteen47‘, taking its name from the statistic that 47% of the British female population are at least a size 16. The line aims to produce clothes designed to look flattering on larger women.
Due to her admitted chocoholism, she was chosen as the face of Terry’s Chocolate Orange, using the slogan “It’s not Terry’s, it’s mine”, which was replaced with “Don’t tap it, whack it!”
As of August 2007, French has been dropped as the face of Terry’s Chocolate Orange, causing speculation that Terry’s regarded her as an unsuitable role model because of her size. The company stated “After such a long partnership we feel that the campaign has run its course and we are in the process of developing different work.”
Her voice can be heard advertising the Tesco’s “Every Little Helps” promotion.