Dawn French opens up on poignant Alice Tinker eulogy featuring in The Vicar of Dibley specials

The upcoming specials will include a tribute to Alice Tinker, who was played by the late Emma Chambers.

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Dawn French is returning to screens this festive season, reprising her iconic role as Geraldine Granger for The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown.


The series of short specials begin airing next week, but there are some of the original cast who are sadly no longer with us.

Speaking about the episodes on Lorraine this morning, French said there will be a tribute to Alice Tinker, who was played by Emma Chambers, who died in 2018 at the age of 53.

“We asked ourselves, and by we I mean [writers] Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer and I asked ourselves, ‘What would Geraldine be doing in the lockdown?’” French said. “And of course she would be on the webcam talking to her parishioners so that’s what we have done.

“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.

“We have tried to be light and funny but we also try to remember those who aren’t with us anymore.”

Opening up on the moment which remembers Chambers’ beloved character Alice, she continued: “There is a eulogy to Alice there which wasn’t very easy for me to film which was important for me to do.”

The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown will also feature a nod to the classic post-credits scenes which saw Geraldine tell Alice a joke she didn’t understand.

“We do have Hugo Horton, Alice’s husband, he is there with me, James Fleet plays him,” French explained, “and there is a lovely moment when I tell a joke to him and fingers crossed he might get it at last.”


The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown begins Monday 7th December at 8:50pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out out TV Guide.