Dawn French nearly turned down The Vicar of Dibley

Dawn French admits she nearly turned down 'The Vicar of Dibley' because she didn't think her titular character would be funny enough, and she wanted to portray Alice Tinker

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Dawn French

Dawn French

Dawn French nearly turned down 'The Vicar of Dibley'.

The 55-year-old actress - who starred as reverend Geraldine Granger, the titular character in the BBC comedy series, for 13 years - was initially cautious about taking on the role because she didn't think the role would be funny enough.

She said: "I thought, 'How on earth do you play a central character who's so blooming good?'

"I thought, 'Where are the flaws? Where is the monster in this woman?' That's what I understand comedy to be."

Dawn admits she was keen to portray her alter-ego's best friend and verger Alice Tinker - who was eventually played by Emma Chambers - but creator Richard Curtis wouldn't let her take on the role.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, she added: "Alice was a very funny character from the off. But anyway, [Richard] wouldn't let me play it."

The programme ran for 13 years from 1994 to 2007 and featured cameo appearances from Johnny Depp, Kylie Minogue and Rachel Hunter.

The show's final episode was broadcast on New Year's Day in 2007 and attracted an audience of 12.8 million.

Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes

  • Directed by: Michael Grandage
  • Written by: Dawn French

Much-loved comedian (and writer and actor) out on a solo tour with a show about the lessons life has taught her. Best known as half of French & Saunders, French also played the titular Vicar of Dibley, hosted Dawn French's Girls Who Do Comedy, has popped up on stage and on the silver screen, plus was the face of…

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