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Dawn French speaks out about racial abuse

Dawn French was married to comedian Lenny Henry for 25 years. Credit: Sunday Night - Channel 7

Dawn French has spoken candidly on Australian TV of the racial abuse she endured during her 25-year marriage to ex-husband Lenny Henry.

The actress and comedian, who lives in Cornwall, recalled a series of shocking attacks they suffered during their time together and called them 'cowardly acts'.

Excrement on your door, we had that. We had words scratched into every panel of every car- very offensive, derogatory and racist terminology.

That took me more by surprise really because it is everywhere. Only when you are married to a black man do you think, hang on, that guy just said that and thought it was okay to say.

– Dawn French, speaking on Sunday Night - Channel 7

Full interview with Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry is known the world over for his comic routines and larger then life personality. But in recent years, he's decided to take on some rather different roles.

He is currently in the West Country starring in a new production at Bath's Theatre Royal. The play, called 'Fences' deals with issues surrounding life as a black family in 1950s Pennsylvania.

He plays Troy Maxon, a once gifted athlete, denied his chance at the big time by the policies of segregation.

Watch the full interview with him below.