I’m a big fan of the Vicar of Dibley. Shame they’re not making any new ones now. Funny, gentle, inoffensive – bit like the impression I have of its writer and star Dawn French, though I have never met her.
Over the years, I have also liked a lot of what Lenny Henry has done – though I think perhaps he peaked too early with Tiswas in the late 1970s.
For years, these two modern-day pillars of British comedy were pillars of a modern-day family – married, apparently happy and quietly raising a family – so it was some shock when they announced a few months ago that they were to split after 25 years together.
Like all couples, they had their ups and downs. Lenny was reported in 1999 to have had an affair, but they had always seemed dignified in the face of adversity. However, it seemed finally to have got the better of them.
This week their ex-marriage was back in the paper when Dawn admitted that their split had been easy and they had moved from husband and wife to good friends with no animosity.
"I am amazed by us - there is no war, we have turned out to be the best of friends," she is reported to have said.
The proclamation has led some social commentators and media types to suggest she is talking rubbish and that that is impossible. The reasoning would be that if they get on that well, why did they split up?
But why not? Picking up on theme from last week that “divorce doesn’t have to be…”, it doesn’t have to be confrontational and nasty. Admittedly, that is by far the more common, but it doesn’t have to be. Looking for an amicable settlement can save money, time and heartache, and is better for any children involved.
It probably takes more effort though. So well done to Dawn and Lenny. Let’s hope they’re an inspiration to divorcing couples everywhere.
The amicable Divorce Solicitor