Let Them Eat Cake. Image shows from L to R: Lisette (Dawn French), Lisette (Dawn French), Colombine (Jennifer Saunders), Bouffant (Adrian Scarborough). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Let Them Eat Cake

BBC One sitcom set in the 1780s. 6 episodes (1 series) in 1999. Stars Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Scarborough, Alison Steadman and others.


Played by: Dawn French

Lisette is Colombine's plain-speaking maid with a veracious appetite for men. She is also the Comtesse's most trusted adviser who always manages to save her mistress from her own undoing. Lisette began as a prostitute on the streets of Paris before entering the service of the Comtesse de Vache and, despite her best efforts, has not managed to properly "house train" her Colombine or enlighten her to the plights of the poor masses.


AKA: Colombine, Comtesse de Vache.  Played by: Jennifer Saunders

Colombine is the wife of Henri, Comte de Vache, and one of the most feared and loathed women in the French court. Taking residence in the Palace of Versailles - while her husband remains at their country estate - she is personal friends to their Majesties, King Louis XVI and the Marie Antoinette. It is to the latter that she is responsible for providing the latest court gossip, though she is far from shy to use such information for her own advantage.


Bouffant is the private couturier to the Comtesse de Vache and representative of the Maison Bouffant. It is Bouffant's solemn duty to make Colombine the very epitome of French fashion in the court: from mildly extravagant"ship" wigs to stylish dresses that impede natural movement. Flamboyant gay Bouffant is best regarded in palace for knowing every "queen" in Europe rather than his fashion-sense.

Madame de Plonge

Played by: Alison Steadman

Madame de Plonge is a member of the lower aristocracy (although she possesses no title the King has promised her one) who is in residence of the Palace of Versailles. Best known for her vicious rivalry with the Comtesse de Vache she is equally known for her legion of lovers: from barons and marquises to gardeners and butchers. Not above using her own daughter she will stop at nothing until Colombine is disgraced and thrown out of Versailles.


Played by: Lucy Punch

Eveline de Plonge is the sweet and mostly innocent daughter of Madame de Plonge. The product of barely memorable union between the Madame de Plonge and one of her many lovers, Eveline is an antithesis of her mother in almost every way that counts. More importantly she never seems to know when to shut her mouth and stop talking.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette is the Queen consort to Louis XVI and most reviled person in the French court at Versailles. Using information gathered by the Comtesse de Vache the rat-loving (and God-fearing) Queen consort is left shame the decadent debauchery in her court. She is also fond of Voopee (and excremental Tirolean radish and onion salad).