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French and Saunders destroy Judi Dench’s doll in Red Nose Day sketch

Steve Fletcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Jay Blades in a Comic Relief sketch (BBC/Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief)
Steve Fletcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Jay Blades in a Comic Relief sketch (BBC/Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief)

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders smashed the head of a doll owned by Dame Judi Dench in a Repair Shop comedy sketch for Red Nose Day.

The duo reprised their roles as The Extras – two perpetually overacting film extras – from their BBC sketch show in a bid to get a free fix from host Jay Blades and his team of skilled craftspeople.

At the beginning of the scene, the pair can be seen struggling to hold back their laughter as they profess their love for the programme and ask Blades to sort a repair.

However, things begin to go wrong after they present their special item of a toaster, which the furniture restorer and TV presenter refuses to repair.

 

The comedy duo become visibly upset as French’s character says: “That’s fine, it’s a family heirloom, who cares about it. We were going to cry but that’s fine.

“I’m very disappointed. This is not what I thought it was going to be.”

Dame Judi and her daughter Finty Williams then enter the workshop and also get flustered at the sight of Blades.

The veteran actress plays a character who is struggling with her memory and wants her old doll from her childhood repaired to help bring back her memories from her youth.

As the Repair Shop team are repairing the doll, they remove the head to have it mended but French and Saunders intervene and say they will personally bring the item over to another member of the team.

However, the duo begin sabotaging the operation by painting over the face and French attempts to do a trick she saw by magician Paul Daniels on the doll.

British Academy Film Awards 2022 – fundraising gala – London
Dame Judi Dench starred in the sketch alongside her daughter (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

French then places the head into a bag and takes a hammer to it, smashing it into pieces.

As Dame Judi and her daughter return to collect the doll, the team comes up with a quick fix plan by dressing up Repair Shop figure Steven Fletcher as a doll and putting his head in a box.

When the actress opens the box she becomes visibly emotional but appears not to see any issue as she says: “It’s just as I remember.”

When asked if she would like to take it home, Dame Judi tells them to keep it.

However, French says she will take the head home but adds that they can keep the body “for spares”.

Sir Lenny Henry, David Tennant, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon hosted the main Comic Relief fundraising show, which was broadcast from the BBC studios in Salford for the first time.

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