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The Vicar of Dibley to return for one-off special, Dawn French confirms

The comedienne will reprise her role as Geraldine Granger for a coronavirus telethon special this Thursday.

By Tim Heap

Dawn French has confirmed the return of her beloved sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, after first teasing it on Sunday night (10 April).

The comedienne – famous for her partnership with Jennifer Saunders – tweeted a close-up photo of herself wearing a dog collar, with the cryptic caption, “Hmmm. Something interestin (sic) this way comes…. Thurs @BBCOne 7-10pm #BigNightIn”.

Then, last night, she appeared briefly on The One Show, in character as Dibley’s vicar Geraldine Granger.

“Thank goodness for modern technology,” she joked. “Last night I had the first meeting of the Dibley Parish Council conducted by an app called Zoom.

“And I have to tell you, it was the best parish council meeting I’ve ever had, largely because none of the other councillors know how to get onto Zoom!

“So it was just me, on my own, making all the decisions, which was lovely.”

Geraldine will be making an appearance as part of the BBC’s one-off remote fundraiser The Big Night In, where Children in Need and Comic Relief will come together for the first time to raise money to fight against the coronavirus pandemic and support charities that are struggling during the crisis.

Confirming her participation in the live stream, French said in a statement: “I’m back in the dog collar, back in the vicarage, and back on your telly as part of The Big Night In. Be there, or go to hell. Literally. I have some sway.”

The three-hour telethon, hosted by French’s ex-husband Lenny Henry, as well as Matt Baker, Zoe Ball, Davina McCall and Paddy McGuinness, will also include performances from special guests including Catherine Tate, Peter Kay and Little Britain’s David Walliams and Matt Lucas.

Created with Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Love Actually), The Vicar of Dibley first aired from 1994 to 1998, but has been revived for a series of special episodes or sketches over the past 20 years.

French last reprised her role as Geraldine for Comic Relief in 2015.

Netflix UK recently added the sitcom to its roster of programmes – there’s still time to bingewatch it all before Thursday night’s return to Dibley.