Dawn French as Rev Geraldine Granger

Dawn French as Geraldine Granger

Following the death of the 102-year-old Reverend Pottle, the vicar of the fictional St Barnabas church in the rural parish of Dibley in Oxfordshire, the Church of England shocked the entire village by assigning a woman, Rev Geraldine Granger, played superbly by Dawn French, as the replacement. Rev Granger's character was inspired by Rev Joy Carroll, the first woman ordained by the Church of England following an internal rule change in 1992.

After an uncertain start, the majority of the zany villagers eventually came to like and admire Rev Granger, with the exception of the most powerful man in the parish, David Horton, millionaire gentleman farmer and chairman of the Parish Council.

The early episodes of The Vicar of Dibley focused mainly on David attempts to thwart Rev Granger's initiatives and upstaging her at every turn. However, over time, the series began to explore the other primary characters in the series and their relationships as the two main characters made an uneasy truce.

Written by Richard Curtis, the celebrated writer of feature films such as Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, as well as TV shows like Mr. Bean and Blackadder, the sitcom masterfully blends authentic rural England with a group of madcap characters and crazy plot devices using clever writing dripping with sly wit and over-the-top slapstick.

Further on in the series, the Victorian porn loving Horton, whose wife left him for being a bad cook, fell in love with Rev Granger and proposed marriage. To win her favour, David even abandoned his conservative beliefs and joined the Labour Party. The Vicar initially accepted the proposal, but changed her mind soon after.

The Vicar of Dibley, which had huge, erratic gaps between episodes (sometimes stretching to several years), was regularly graced by high profile celebrities like Sir Elton John, Sting, Johnny Depp, Emma Watson, the Duchess of York and Madonna - a testament to its stature.

The show's last appearance was in March 2015 as a 10-minute short, where Rev Granger, after an Ice Bucket Challenge gone awry, learned of an offer to become Bishop. However, don't count The Vicar of Dibley out yet - it might yet make another appearance in the future, at least according to French.


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When the ancient vicar of Dibley dies suddenly, the parishioners are surprised to find that the Bishop has appointed a woman as their new vicar.

Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French), the new vicar, is aided (sort of) by the verger, Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers) and opposed at practically every turn by David Horton (Gary Waldhorn).

The parish council, chaired by David Horton, also includes David's son Hugo (James Fleet), Frank Pickle (John Bluthal), Owen Newitt (Roger Lloyd Pack) and Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock).

Liz Smith appeared in the first series as Letitia Cropley, famous for some VERY unusual culinary 'masterpieces'.

Series: 3
Episodes: 20
Transmitted: 1994-2006
Channel: BBC1

BBC Television

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