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Dawn French looks sensational in striking new portrait in honour of her 60th birthday

The Vicar of Dibley star turned 60 on Wednesday

by Sharnaz Shahid

Happy Birthday Dawn French! The British comedian has turned 60, and in honour of the special milestone, celebrity photographer Trevor Leighton has unveiled a striking portrait of the star. The black-and-white picture sees The Vicar of Dibley actress radiate a gorgeous glow, whilst showing off her natural beauty. "Thank you darling heart.@trevorleighton took this pic at my house. He clever," tweeted the beloved television star. The pair go way back to when Trevor first photographed Dawn in a house she shared with comedy partner Jennifer Saunders in London's Shepherds Bush in 1981.

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Dawn French's 60th birthday portrait was taken by celebrity photographer Trevor Leighton

Speaking about their friendship, Trevor revealed: "Sometimes in life things happen that you can’t explain, my relationship with Dawn is one of them - something happened that day which was to change my life. Little did I know how important she was going to be as a friend, agony aunt, physiotherapist and God Mother to my children. Dawn is a rare breed of person, who is always there for you anytime day or night, her generosity holds no bounds, her love is unconditional." He added: "Dawn called me recently to ask if I would photograph her for her 60th birthday portrait - this was such an honour which could not be turned down - so no pressure there! But guess what, I think it's her best photograph yet. Not because of my talent, but because Dawn radiates beauty - it's simple, the camera loves her."

STORY: Dawn French shocks fans with youthful appearance on The One Show

Earlier this week, Dawn opened up about her 60th birthday plans during an appearance on The One Show. She shared: "I'm not a big one for parties, they're not my favourite thing. I'll sit down with my kid, my old man, my bro and my best friend and we'll drink too much probably. Then we'll do some kissing and some crying and that's how we'll celebrate." Her appearance comes three months after she showed off the results of her weight loss in a photo shared on Twitter. Dawn lost more than seven-and-a-half stone as she prepared to have a hysterectomy back in 2014.

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STORY: French and Saunders are back! 

Dawn - who has just released her new book, Me.You.A Diary - recently opened up about her weight loss during her 30 Million Minutes tour. She told the audience: "When I was due to have my hysterectomy the doctor told me that if I could lose some weight before the op, they would be able to do it via keyhole, and I would recover in three weeks or so. Otherwise it would be big open surgery, and three months to recover. So, I set about dropping a few stone. No magic wand, just tiny, joyless low-cal eating and lots more walking for weeks and weeks. It was grim. I lost seven-and-a-half stone. I could have the keyhole surgery. Great. That’s all it was, practical."

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