By Jody Thompson
Shrinking woman: Dawn French looks like she has lost quite a lot of weight as she arrives at the 2011 Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Berkeley Square, London
She's long been a poster girl for the larger lady and has steadfastedly refused to diet - but could it be that Dawn French has finally decided to lose weight?
The Vicar Of Dibley star appeared decidedly slimmer as she graced the red carpet at the Glamour Woman Of The Year Awards in London last night and looked years younger than 53 into the bargain.
The funnygirl not only seemed more svelte figure-wise, but her face appeared to have more definition too.
Weight loss: The self-confessed chocaholic has definitely lost a few pounds, left, compared to this time last year, right, not long after her split from husband Lenny Henry was revealed
The smiley star - who has always proclaimed that big can be beautiful - was looking tanned and healthy in a bejewelled black tunic top with black trousers and black loafers.
And though it's said that a lot of women lose weight on the heartbreak diet, Miss French has hinted that she has a new man in her life following her divorce from Lenny Henry last year, so that can't be the reason...
Perhaps the comedienne, who has her own clothing range for the larger lady, called Sixteen47, has simply started doing more physical exercise.
Good time girls: Dawn French with friends Davina McCall and Tess Daly at the Glamour Awards after party last night
Winner: Dawn landed the Writer Of The Year Award at the bash for her books including last year's A Tiny Bit Marvellous
Beaming: The former Vicar Of Dibley star cuddled up to So You Think You Can Dance judge Louise Redknapp at the do too
The star, who played Geraldine Granger in the Vicar of Dibley for 13 years, was also seen leaving an Ann Summers sex shop in Soho last month.
Miss French had earlier been seen out shopping with a mystery man before she made her purchases, leaving the store with a big carrier bag of goodies.
While it is not clear whether she bought a present for a friend or something for herself, she has already hinted that she has a new beau who is not in showbusiness.
Saucy: Dawn was seen doing a spot of shopping at a Soho branch of sex shop Ann Summers last month
In a recent interview, she said: ‘I’m not lonely, let’s put it that way.
‘But it’s a difficult thing and I wouldn’t want any spotlight drawn to somebody not in the business.’
Miss French and Henry, 52, had their divorce finalised in October on the grounds of his ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
But in July last year, the actress who has just been guest starring in BBC2 surreal comedy Psychoville, insisted: ‘There is no war. We have turned out to be the best of friends.’
They split last summer after being married for 25 years.
Happy: The funnygirl was spotted with a mystery man on her shopping trip after hinting that she was seeing someone