After well over a decade away from our screens, The Vicar of Dibley is returning to bring a little joy to 2020 with a series of lockdown specials.
Dawn French will return as the hilarious Geraldine Granger, who provides the residents in her quaint little village with counsel and support, all while getting herself into some ridiculous predicaments.
Co-starring in the new series is James Fleet, better known as the dim-witted Hugo Horton, who will be chatting with the vicar about his lockdown frustrations after being trapped at home with his stern father.
The first image from the lockdown series has been released by the BBC, showing a beaming Geraldine sat next to Hugo in her charming cottage.
Read on to see the exciting picture and for everything else you need to know about The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown.
When is The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown released?
The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown starts on BBC One on Monday 7th December at 8:50pm, following a repeat of a classic episode from the series.
The new series of Christmas specials will consist of three episodes in total, each one clocking in at 10 minutes long, which will be repeated as a half-hour show later in the festive season.
The Vicar of Dibley cast
The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown will not reunite the entire cast of the beloved sitcom, but rather focus on two particular characters from the original series.
Of course, Dawn French will star as Geraldine Granger, the eponymous vicar, and she’s excited to return to the role after such a long time away.
French said: “Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley and back on your telly at Xmas. I couldn’t be happier. Bless you.”
Joining her is James Fleet as Hugo Horton, the gormless on of Dibley parish councillor David, who has been locked down with his stern father for the duration of the pandemic – naturally, he’ll have some things to vent about.
Some fans have wondered how the special will handle the tragic death of Emma Chambers in 2018, who played Geraldine’s daft best friend Alice Tinker in the original series.
It appears that Alice will also have passed away, with a BBC press release describing the character as “very dearly departed” but still an “important presence in the village”.
Original cast member Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played farmer Owen Newitt, died in 2014, but his character will be mentioned as still being alive in one episode of the lockdown series, in which Geraldine reacts to a terrible haircut he has given her.
Where is The Vicar of Dibley filmed?
While Dibley is an entirely fictional creation imagined as being somewhere in Oxfordshire, the original series was actually filmed in the Buckinghamshire village of Turville.
Although its population was a minuscule 340 at the time of the 2011 census, it has long been a popular location for filming, welcoming several other television productions over the years including Midsomer Murders, Jonathan Creek and Killing Eve.
Is there a trailer for The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown?
Not just yet, but we do have this first look image of Dawn French and James Fleet back in character as Geraldine Granger and Hugo Horton, ahead of the series premiere.
The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown premieres on Monday 7th December. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.