In these challenging times, we’re all looking for something to top up our depleted reserves of joy and laughter. So this Christmas season, Dawn French is doing her part by reprising her role as Geraldine Grainger in a trio of short episodes called The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown.
“Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley, and back on your telly at Xmas," French said in a statement. "I couldn’t be happier. Bless you.”
During the lockdown, our favorite perky pastor has been busy composing inspiring monthly sermons concerning her thoughts on “life (and chocolate)”. This short-form series will be comprised of three 10-minute specials in which Ms. Grainger will deliver her sermons via Zoom. (Yes, I know she got married to Richard Armitage's Harry Kennedy years ago, but all the press releases refer to her by her maiden name.)
Also revealed by the network: "Geraldine will be helped by Hugo Horton (James Fleet) as well some of the local primary school children as the Vicar discusses all the important topics, including how it’s never a good idea to let Owen Newitt cut your hair, or make home-made wine.”
Unfortunately, the series has lost several original cast members since it was last on our screens regularly. While Emma Chambers (Alice Tinker), Roger Lloyd-Pack (Owen Newitt), and John Bluthal (Frank Pickle) have all passed away in recent years, it has been suggested that references will be made to these beloved characters and the actors who played them.
Debuting in 1994, the popular British sitcom introduced audiences to Geraldine, a self-described “babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom." Her flock of eccentric locals proved challenging, but they eventually became one happy, quirky family. Though the final full episode of The Vicar of Dibley premiered in 2007, French has donned the dog collar and cassock for several Comic Relief appearances over the past decade or so including this short video that was part of the Red Nose Day Big Night In in April of this year.
BBC One will air the installments of The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown in the U.K. weekly beginning on December 7. They will follow on the backend of vintage Vicar of Dibley reruns with a 30-minute compilation episode to be broadcast closer to Christmas Day.
There's no word at this time whether these mini specials will make it to US shores. The Vicar of Dibley series is available on BritBox and in past years the streaming service has aired new Christmas fare. So perhaps if we’re on our best behavior, Father Christmas will bring the magic of Dibley across the pond.
Do you think you’d watch The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown if it makes it to America?