As Ade Edmondson‘s partner in comedy and life for over 35 years, it‘s clear that wife Jennifer Saunders has been integral to his successful comedy career. But just how vital is her influence? Let‘s take a deeper dive into their relationship history, creative collaborations, and shared personal challenges to understand Jennifer‘s immeasurable impact.
A Love Story Forged in Laughter
Ade and Jennifer first met in 1981 at London‘s famous Comic Strip Club, a breeding ground for Britain‘s best alternative comedians. Though coming from starkly different upbringings, their instant shared connection was a love of humour.
As Ade described it in his memoir:
"We couldn’t believe our luck, finding each other at the start of the eighties comedy boom. Both of us lived solely for our work. We bounced ideas around and off each other like racquetballs."
After working together on TV and radio skits, 23-year-old Ade found himself smitten by 22-year-old Jennifer‘s wit and talent. Their personal relationship soon flourished alongside their creative one.
They married in 1985 and eventually settled down to raise three daughters – Ella, Beattie and Freya – who‘ve all grown up to work in creative industries. Home life for the couple has been filled with laughter, music, good food and wine…and plenty of comedy.
Comedy Legends in Their Own Right
Both individually successful, Ade and Jennifer‘s CVs read like a who‘s who of British comedy:
Jennifer Saunders Highlights
Wrote and starred in sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2012) as fashion PR agent Edina Monsoon
Won 2 BAFTAs, 4 British Comedy Awards, 1 Emmy
Other iconic roles: Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2, Lady Whiteadder in Blackadder
Ade Edmondson Highlights
Starred in anarchic sitcom The Young Ones (1982-84) as punk Vyvyan
Co-created and starred in Bottom (1991–1995) with Rik Mayall
Appeared on numerous comedy panel shows like Celebrity Mastermind, Taskmaster, Have I Got News For You
Played dramatic roles in EastEnders, Holby City, Jonathan Creek
But together, they‘ve forged an even stronger comedy legacy through seamless collaboration.
Partners in Comedy
Ade and Jennifer‘s personal and professional lives have long been intertwined. They frequently guest-starred on each other‘s shows, bounced ideas off one another, and provided honest feedback.
Some of their most memorable joint projects include:
French & Saunders Sketch Show (1987-2007) – This long-running BBC sketch series starred the duo playing variouscharacters in absurdist and parodic skits.
The Supergrass (1985) – They both starred in this Comic Strip film directed by Peter Richardson, a parody of police/crime movies.
Guest Roles – Jennifer appeared on The Young Ones and Bottom, while Ade guest-starred in Jennifer‘s smash hit Absolutely Fabulous.
As Jennifer told The Telegraph in 2008:
"We make each other laugh more than anybody else. Sense of humour has kept us together – being daft has been the adhesive."
Withstanding the Tests of Time
After 35+ years together, Ade and Jennifer have proven their relationship can withstand substantial hardships.
In July 2010, Jennifer announced she had breast cancer and was undergoing treatment, with Ade supporting her throughout. In 2022, Jennifer shared that she was "still cancer-free 12 years later", crediting Ade‘s steadfast devotion during her recovery.
Professionally, their popularity has endured ups and downs over 40+ year careers. But unwavering support for each other‘s creativity has been constant, even when the media or critics didn‘t approve.
The Essence of Their Success – Laughing Through Thick and Thin
While Ade is undeniably a talented performer in his own right, Jennifer has enhanced his career in countless ways:
Creative Synergy – Together they generate innovative ideas that may not have emerged individually. Like all great duos, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Trust – Jennifer respects Ade‘s artistic vision and gives honest feedback to strengthen it. Ade knows her opinion comes from a place of love.
Shared Humor – Their naturally similar senses of humor, timing and direction have been Ade‘s touchstone.
Work/Life Balance – The security of their marriage provides a foundation for taking creative risks.
Mutual Understanding – Having her own demanding career, Jennifer intrinsically understands the pressures Ade faces.
Laughter Through Hard Times – Humor has glued them together through ups, downs, tragedies and triumphs.
So in many ways, Jennifer is the essence behind Ade‘s enduring success. Her humor and heart have enriched his comedy creations as well as their relationship. She remains an essential pillar of his happiness – and his ability to keep making us laugh.