Watch: Dawn French explain how The Vicar Of Dibley will have a serious note this Christmas
Dawn French has revealed the Christmas special of The Vicar of Dibley remember the actors who passed away since the sitcom ended in 1998.
The hit BBC sitcom is returning with a series of 10-minute lockdown specials over the festive season, and will pay a special tribute to its past stars - such as Emma Chambers, who played Alice Tinker.
French, 63, revealed on The One Show: “There are silly jokes, but we also pay a tribute to those who aren’t with us anymore, so you know, Dibley has always been able to wrap its arms around the truth as well as being silly and funny.”
Chambers tragically died aged 53 from a sudden heart attack in 2018.
Other original Vicar Of Dibley cast members who are no longer with us are John Bluthal, who played Frank Pickle. He died in November 2018 at the age of 89.
Roger Lloyd-Pack who played Owen Newitt died at the age of 69 in 2014 while Letitia Cropley actor Liz Smith, whose character died in the 1996 Easter special, passed away in 2016 aged 96.
French said they wanted to acknowledge that the coronavirus pandemic has been a sad time, with many people losing their lives.
But she added: “Like everything in Dibley, there’s funny silly stuff, you know, there’s stuff about people getting stuck in the church when they were flower arranging when this lockdown started, so they’re still in the church now.”
The comedian said of the new episodes: “Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer who write The Vicar of Dibley and I - we decided, what would Geraldine be doing at Christmas? She would be zooming her parishioners and ministering to them like that, so that’s what we’ve done.
“The first one is 10 minutes long but it’s three little sermons, so it takes us all the way through the lockdown from March all the way up to Christmas.
“It’s a cross between a newsletter, community notices and a sermon for everybody that’s there.”