French and Saunders: Funny Women — release date, premise and everything you need to know

French & Saunders: Funny Women - Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders pose side-by-side and smiling in the 'White Room' set used on French & Saunders
Dawn and Jennifer will be paying tribute to the funniest women in comedy (Image credit: ©UKTV/Joon/Zoe McConnell)

French and Saunders: Funny Women is a tribute to the funniest women of comedy, as chosen and discussed at length by comedy legends Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Over the course of two hours, they reflect on the women who influenced them, the ones they most admire and those who followed in their footsteps.

"It's about funny women who have influenced us, who we've admired from when we were kids, but also women who are carving out careers in comedy right now, who are just a genuine delight to learn about," says Jennifer. "There are bits of it that are kind of Gogglebox-like — they film us watching the clips and we can pause them and talk about them."

"We didn't want it to be somebody else's taste, either," adds Dawn. "If you're just shipped in to be a talking head, you're on somebody else's show — but our names are on it, so it has to be our choices. We want it to be a celebration as well. There are so many women now working in comedy, which is great!"

Here's everything you need to know about the show...

French and Saunders: Funny Women release date

French and Saunders: Funny Women airs on Saturday 17 July at 9 pm. It's a one-off, two-hour special.

What is the premise of French a Saunders: Funny Women?

The documentary sees the comic duo being tasked by their producer (who is eight years old) to put together a show that's informative, insightful, engaging and a celebration of women in comedy. Back on the set of the "White Room" — the setting for many iconic moments on their sketch show French and Saunders — Dawn and Jennifer put their heads together to think about all the women who inspired them, as well as the ones who came after them who they really admire.

They look back at classic clips of the women in question, often pausing the action to deliver an anecdote about the star and exploring how these women changed the way that the two of them looked at comedy.

Dawn and Jennifer sit at the table by the window in the White Room, looking through their notes, and Dawn has a sudden stroke of inspiration

Dawn and Jennifer return to their iconic White Room. (Image credit: ©UKTV/Joon/Zoe McConnell)

There are too many to list them all here— but you can definitely look forward to seeing clips featuring Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Jo Brand, Ruby Wax, Hylda Baker, Lucille Ball, Joan Rivers, Kathy Burke, Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy and Hannah Gadsby, to name just a handful.

Steven Perkins
Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and

Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and (opens in new tab), who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.