‘Tis the season for Christmas TV and, this year, it’s the year we welcome back Dawn French as the beloved Vicar of Dibley.
It’s been 13 years since we last visited Dibley (if you don’t count the Comic Relief charity specials in 2013, 2015 and April 2020, of course) and a lot has happened since we left Geraldine Granger and her clan.
From her arrival way back in 1994, the country has fallen in love with Dawn French’s iconic portrayal of the jolly, down-to-earth female vicar over the years and, while some things have changed this time round, it’s still set to be just as fun this Christmas.
Here’s all you need to know before you settle down with a Christmas tipple and snacks to watch this year’s latest instalment. Will there be giant puddles? Will there be a mention of the adorable Alice Tinker? Are Geraldine and Harry still married?
Let us know your predictions in the comments below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Which members of the cast will be returning?
Sadly, the cast behind some of our favourite Vicar of Dibley characters have passed away, including Roger Lloyd-Pack who played Owen Newitt, John Bluthal who played Frank Pickle and Emma Chambers who played the one and only Alice Tinker.
It has been revealed, however, that we can expect to see an appearance or two from Alice’s husband Hugo Horton (played by James Fleet) but it’s not yet clear whether he or his vicar friend will mention any of their late cast members.
Usually, at the end of each episode, Dawn French’s character would share a joke with Alice Tinker – this is something fans will surely miss.
2. How many episodes will there be?
Three episodes have been confirmed, each lasting just 10 minutes, with a half-hour compilation of all three episodes to follow.
3. Will any of it be filmed in Devon/Cornwall?
Dawn French, who plays Geraldine, lives in Fowey but the Vicar of Dibley was actually filmed in the Buckinghamshire village of Turville near High Wycombe, where the likes of Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War have also been filmed.
It seems like the latest instalment will take place via Zoom sessions, though, so it may be that Dawn French is filming from the comfort of her home in Cornwall.
4. What happened last?
The last time we saw Geraldine and Co, she married accountant Harry Kennedy (played by Richard Armitage) in her pyjamas after Owen covered her wedding dress in mud and, in the later Comic Relief episodes, she attempts to get the role of Bishop.
5. What’s the story?
This time around, Geraldine will be delivering monthly sermons via Zoom – the communications software that many of us have been using for work meetings and family quizzes throughout lockdown.
Episode One will see the vicar offer her thoughts about lockdown and social distancing, as she tries to persuade her parisioners to use their time indoors to catch up on their Bible reading.
Episode Two will see her experience the joy of going outside again and remember her wonderful verger Alice.
And the final instalment will see Geraldine share her sermon with the one and only Hugo Horton, who updates us on his father.
6. When can I watch it?
The episodes are planned to air following repeat broadcasts of classic VoD episodes on BBC One in the run up to Christmas.
The first one will air on Monday, December 7, 2020, with the second and third airing on December 14 (at 8:55pm) and 21 (at 8:50pm), respectively.
If you’ve missed an episode, you can easily catch up on BBC iPlayer by clicking here.