Christmas time will bring with it an extra dose of comedy this year, as TV viewers this winter can expect three visits back to Dibley village.
Over the Christmas period, three new 10 minute episodes of The Vicar of Dibley will air on the BBC, as well as a 30 minute long compilation show of all three sermons.
The first Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown will broadcast on BBC One on 7 December at 8.50pm.
Dawn French will be reprising her role as Geraldine Grainger to deliver the sermons to her parishioners via Zoom. These will touch upon life and, of course, chocolate.
A delighted French said, "Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley and back on your telly at Christmas. I couldn't be happier. Bless you."
Talking about ‘important’ subjects
Program creator and writer Richard Curtis has returned to pen the three special episodes.
The vicar will be seen talking to local primary school children about “important topics,” and the specials will feature her musings on lockdown life.
Dawn French told Lorraine that she and the writers asked themselves 'What would Geraldine be doing in the lockdown.'
She said: “We have made nine little tiny films where she, through the power of Zoom, is connecting with everybody and it’s funny and silly as she is talking to folk. She is doing a sort of newsletter and a sermon."
There will also be a cameo from James Fleet, who played the role of Hugo Horton. In past episodes, Hugo was traditionally seen being bossed around by his father, David Horton.
Richard Curtis said, “Like every village in the country, there's been a lot happening in Dibley this year - and Dawn has got a lot to say about it."
Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning for the BBC added, “This triple festive treat from the nations favourite fun-loving vicar is the warm comedy hug we’ve all missed.”
A few missed faces from the village
The programme will be without some of its iconic characters, after actors Emma Chambers, Roger Lloyd Pack and John Bluthal passed away since the show finished in 2007.
Emma Chambers was best known for her role as Alice Springs Horton, who acted as Geraldine Grainger’s sidekick throughout the three seasons.
Dawn French revealed that there will be a special tribute to Emma Chamber's character in the first special. The actor passed away in 2018.
Roger Lloyd Pack, who also played Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, appeared in the Vicar of Dibley as the slightly unscrupulous but always hilarious Owen Newitt.
The Vicar of Dibley ran on BBC One from 1994 to 2007, and has since returned for occasional charity specials, including during the BBC's Big Night In earlier this year.