Dawn French claims her late father helped her choose her husband from beyond the grave

The Vicar of Dibley star makes astonishing divine intervention claim

Dawn French has claimed her late father helped her to choose her husband Mark Bignell – by sending a message to her from beyond the grave.

The Vicar of Dibley star, 63, reckons her dad Denys dropped the divine hint in 2010 while she was meeting Mark for the first time.

And the actress, who had recently split from comedian Lenny Henry after 25 years of marriage, said she instantly went from being “not really that interested” to seeing Mark as a potential partner.

Mark Bignell
Mark Bignell is the husband of Dawn French (Credit:

How Dawn French met her husband Mark Bignell

Dawn’s dad tragically took his own life when the actress was just a teenager.

But it sounds like he’s still keeping an eye on his daughter – the actress seems adamant that her father helped her to choose her current husband.

She was introduced to Mark by her mother Roma, not long after Dawn and Lenny Henry went their separate ways.

Roma was running a family rehab centre that Mark ended up taking over.

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Dawn – who has played Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley since the BBC sitcom was first aired in 1994 – admits that she wasn’t too keen at first.

However, that all changed when something very strange occurred.

Lenny Henry
Dawn’s previous husband was Lenny Henry (Credit:

The Vicar of Dibley ties the knot

She told the Mirror: “[Mark] starts to talk about his children, his beloved children who went to live with him when he got divorced. And as he’s talking about his children – no word of a lie – behind him, out in the world, there was a cloud.

When I later told my mum, she said: ‘That is your dad saying, look at this man.’

“But the sun came out from behind the cloud and sunbeams like from God came in through the window and bounced off the wall ­back on him. I literally go from just listening, to oh my God, look at him.”

Read more: Dawn French admits she’s piled on the pounds after incredible weight-loss journey

Dawn said that she told Roma about her sudden feelings for Mark – who’s six years Dawn’s junior – but her mother tried to put her off, telling her that Mark was too young.

However, the Vicar of Dibley star revealed that her mother eventually had a change of heart and gave Dawn her blessing just before she died in 2012.

Dawn French The Vicar of Dibley
Dawn French has starred in The Vicar of Dibley for 27 years (Credit: BBC)

Roma apparently told Dawn she ­believed the sun shining through the clouds was a sign from Denys.

Dawn revealed: “When I later told my mum, she said: ‘That is your dad saying, look at this man.'”

Dawn and Mark tied the knot in Newquay in 2013, surrounded by guests including Jennifer Saunders, Richard Curtis and Alison Moyet.

And more than seven years on, they’re still together. So it sounds like Dawn’s dad got it right!

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