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Dawn French to dig out the dog collar for Vicar Of Dibley specials

DAWN FRENCH will reprise one of her most famous TV roles for the Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown.

The specials, in which the star returns as the parish of Dibley’s progressive, chocaholic vicar Geraldine Granger, will air on BBC One.

The comedy star, 63, said: ‘Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley and back on your telly at Xmas. I couldn’t be happier. Bless you.’

The sitcom’s creator, 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.’

Three short episodes — lasting just 10 minutes and in the form of Geraldine’s sermons — will air weekly, with a 30-minute compilation episode of all three scheduled over Christmas.

‘During lockdown, post lockdown and pre-another-lockdown, Geraldine has been writing and delivering monthly sermons to her parishioners via Zoom… when she can make it work,’ the BBC said.

‘These new thoughts on life (and chocolate) will air after repeat showings of classic episodes of The Vicar Of Dibley, this Christmas on BBC One.’

Dawn played Geraldine from 1994 to 2007, with the hit show ending with her marrying hunky Harry Kennedy, played by Richard Armitage.

But she revived the bubbly vicar for three Comic Relief specials and the BBC’s Big Night In charity event earlier this year.

Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning for the BBC, said: ‘This triple festive treat from the nation’s favourite fun-loving vicar is the warm comedy hug we’ve all missed.’

The new episodes will see Geraldine get help from Hugo Horton (James Fleet) as well as local primary school children, as the vicar discusses ‘all the important topics’ including how to make home-made wine.

All that’s missing wll be Dawn’s daffy sidekick Alice Tinker, played by Emma Chambers, who died of natural causes, aged 53, in 2018.

‘The very dearly departed Alice Tinker is also still an important presence in the village, with some residents still looking for lost buttons and the arrival of decimalisation,’ the BBC said.

Series one of The Vicar Of Dibley is available to watch on BBC iPlayer