Dawn French (pictured) says she finds city life too ‘overwhelming’
She retreated to the fresh air and serenity of the countryside a decade ago.
And it seems that Dawn French won’t be leaving any time soon.
The 60-year-old actress and comedy star says she finds city life too ‘overwhelming’.
Miss French, who lives in a £3million mansion in Cornwall, said she struggled to cope when confronted with distressing issues such as homelessness.
‘My problem with being in busy places… I find that I get quite upset by constantly seeing difficult things’, she said.
‘So I’ve been a bit cowardly in a way because I find it… when I go to London and I see, I look at people’s faces and I think ‘Oh, she’s cold. Oh that person hasn’t got anywhere to go tonight. Oh God, they’re dealing with something, oh God, he looks like he’s off his face, oh dear’.
‘And my insides are just upset all the time.’ As well as recoiling from the harsh reality of city life, she also struggled with the fear of missing out on the cultural riches available when she lived closer to the capital.
Miss French, who lives in a £3million mansion in Cornwall (pictured), said she struggled to cope when confronted with distressing issues such as homelessness
She told Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast: ‘Plus added to that I feel ‘I should be at that play, oh God I should be seeing that person, oh God I haven’t tried that – somebody said they make great pasta in there, I should go there for my lunch’ and I just find the clutter of it overwhelming.
‘I think I’m not meant for a city… that isn’t the real me. The real me is quiet.’
Speaking at her 40-room Grade II-listed mansion, where the podcast was recorded, she added: ‘There is, without a doubt, beauty here. I can do nothing but connect with that.
‘It makes me calm, it makes me happier and it sort of enthuses my mind with better ways of thinking.’
Miss French moved to Cornwall with her first husband Sir Lenny Henry and their adopted daughter Billie, now 26.
Miss French moved to Cornwall with her first husband Sir Lenny Henry (pictured together) and their adopted daughter Billie, now 26
When their marriage broke down two years later, the Vicar of Dibley star remained in the house. She now lives there with her second husband Mark Bignell.
She told how she had to arrange to go on tour with her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders to foot the bill when she bought the property.
‘It was in a bit of a state and I thought ‘Oh, I’m going to need a bit of dosh to do this up’, she said.
‘I called Jennifer and I said, ‘Look I’ve seen this place and I know I want to live there but we’ve got to go on tour, how about it?’
And she said something like ‘Oh yes, I’m doing my conservatory, OK yes.’ And that was seriously how we made the decision to go on tour.’