Dawn of a new era as comedian joins AGT

Australia's Got Talent 2013 judges, from left, Timomatic, Dawn French, host Julia Morris, Kyle Sandilands and Gerri Halliwell.
Australia's Got Talent 2013 judges, from left, Timomatic, Dawn French, host Julia Morris, Kyle Sandilands and Gerri Halliwell. Contributed by Channel 9/WIN

SHE'S cheeky, smart and a comedy legend in her native UK.

Dawn French has emerged from her self-imposed writing sabbatical and has chosen Australia for her first foray into reality TV on Nine's revamped Australia's Got Talent.

Best known for her starring roles in TV comedies French and Saunders and The Vicar of Dibley, the funny woman is sure to give fellow AGT judge Kyle Sandilands and host Julia Morris a run for their money in the humour stakes.

Australia's Got Talent - Nine/WIN - Sunday at 6.30pm

Amid a busy filming schedule, French sat down to answer some questions from The Guide.

Q: This is the first reality talent show you've been involved with, why now and why Australia's Got Talent here in Australia?

A: I have been writing for the last couple of years, and that has required me to be disciplined with my time.

I have said no to almost every offer that came my way, but now the time is right, the country is right, and I want to come out to play!


Q: How was the audition tour and what can you say generally about the acts you saw audition?

A: Some of the acts we saw on the audition tour have caused me to get therapy to recover from.

I have seen things no middle-aged sex kitten should ever have to witness.

But I have come through it and I am ready to open my eyes again.

I also saw acts that lifted my heart, made me laugh, and made me cry, so ... bring it on!


Q: Is it hard to say no to individuals or acts that have the courage to get on stage to audition?

A: Yes. I particularly found it hard to say no to kids. So I put them all through. I put 5000 kids through.

We had to be tough though, and whittled them down to 4999.


Q: What do you think about your fellow judges Geri, Timomatic and Kyle?

A: I couldn't be happier with my fellow judges.

Sorry if you were expecting massive arguments, but we actually like each other a lot and have decided to go forward as a family.

An actual family.

Kyle and I will be mum and dad, and Geri and Tim will be our naughty adolescent teens.

Ha ha ha. That would be hilarious.

Kyle would insist that we adopt One Direction as our babies.


Q: How do you fit into the dynamic of the judging panel? Are you the "nice one"?

A: Not sure if I'm "nice". I tried not to be unkind. Or bite anyone. Or spit.

I did, however, swear a lot, but only under my breath, no one will ever know.


Q: And how do you get along with the host Julia Morris? She's a crack-up!

A: Julia Morris is, as I see it, the foremost funny person in Oz. How lucky are we to have her!

She is also nurturing and understanding, so the perfect fit for this show.

In fact, on reflection, she is frankly, too funny and I may have to have her killed. Enjoy her while I let you.


Q: Finally, How are you enjoying Australia so far? What's been the most exciting or surprising experience you've had outside of the show?

A: I swam with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef. I saw some great drag acts, and I ate more Tim Tams than a Tim Tam taster. Yum bloody yum!