French kissing in Buckinghamshire
The Vicar of Dibley stars Dawn French, who you'll probably know as long-time comedy partner of Jennifer Saunders. The Vicar of Dibley is filmed in the Buckinghamshire village of Turville, not far from French and then husband Lenny Henry's own home.
Will the congregation please stand
As one might expect from a show written by "Four Notting Hills and a Blackadder" creator Richard Curtis, Dibley is overflowing with magnetic characters, some sympathetic and some not so much. While the show's main character per se is undoubtedly French's splendidly avuncular Rev Gerry Granger, much of the narrative revolves around her hapless verger Alice Tinker's quasi-romance with local councillor's son Hugo Horton. Honestly, arrested development isn't the half of it.
The actors responsible for portraying Alice and Hugo have their own respectable pedigrees. Alice is Emma Chambers, who first worked with Richard Curtis to play Hugh Grant's dippy sister in Notting Hill. Hugo is played by James Fleet, who was wonderfully irritating as the money-grubbing John Dashwood in Sense and Sensiblility. He showed up in Four Weddings too, surprise surprise. If you can see through his impenetrable beard, you should also be able to make out Roger Lloyd Pack (aka Trigger from Only Fools and Horses) playing sheep farmer Owen Newitt.
No no no no no no yes
In what seems to be a recurring Richard Curtis trick (witness also the vicar in Four Weddings and Adrian Edmonson's Baron von Richtoven in Blackadder Goes Forth), The Vicar of Dibley boasts one character with a curious speech impediment, thus rendering the actor in question the most memorable voice of the series. Jim Trott, played in full Last of the Summer Wine mode by Trevor Peacock, has a terrible but uniquely idiosyncratic stutter, resulting in frequent ejaculations of the sort exhibited above.
Dibley to the future
Despite its success as the most watched UK show on Christmas Day 1999 and being awarded an International Emmy in 2001, series creator Richard Curtis has no plans to revive The Vicar. However, Curtis recently gave the public an update on Gerry in a Radio Times interview. Apparently she is now considering becoming a lesbian to lend her support to gays in the clergy. Either that or celebrating pipping Rowan Williams to the post of Archbishop of Canterbury!