Dawn French marries charity executive in star filled ceremony
Published 22/04/2013 | 09:53
The Vicar of Dibley star married for the second time in a Cornish seaside town at the weekend.
The comedienne reportedly rented out the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall for the celebrations, which were attended by around 100 guests.
Her new husband Mark Bignell is the chief executive of a charity, which helps recovering drug and alcohol abusers reintegrate into society and was founded by French’s late mother.
Among the celebrities present were Jennifer Saunders, French’s long-standing comedy partner, the comedienne Sue Perkins, the actress Kathy Burke and the screenwriter Richard Curtis.
The nuptials are said to have taken place in Fowey Hall, which is described on its website as "one of the most impressive family hotels in Cornwall" and "sophisticated yet uncomplicated, luxurious yet laid back, grand yet comfy".
Alison Moyet is said to have sung for them in the evening, as well as French’s adopted daughter Billie, from her previous marriage to Lenny Henry, the comedian.
It claims to be "perfect" for weddings and provides an "idyllic setting".
Bignell and French have been together since last January and the 55-year-old Vicar of Dibley star said she “started to claim my life back” after meeting him.
Although her television career stretches back more than three decades, French’s second husband claimed he did not know who she was when they met.
Their wedding party featured a firework display on the beach below the hotel, with red sparklers forming a heart around the letters D and M in the hotel garden, the Daily Mail reported.
A source told the newspaper: “The hotel looked stunning. They had rented out the whole place exclusively for the weekend.
“The wedding was up in the lounge with the white leather seats, looking out over the water.
“At about 9.30pm everyone went outside and watched fireworks from the hotel. They were on the beach below, big shells that went up to 400ft high in all different colours.”
The do was described as “quite small” but a “proper celebrity wedding”
French, who won millions of viewers in the 13 years she played the title character in Richard Curtis's hit sitcom, married Lenny Henry in 1984, but they divorced in 2010.
They have an adopted daughter called Billie.
Speaking on Radio 4's Desert Islands Discs last year, she talked about the end of her marriage to fellow comic Lenny Henry, saying: "Those last few months were pretty much like the first few months, we were good friends."
She added: "It was a tribute to the way we'd been married the way we accomplished it."