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The Vicar of Dibley was a British sitcom created and written by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer; Curtis is one of Britain's most successful comedy writers for film and TV, his credits include Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Blackadder. The idea for the show came out of the 1992 decision by the protestant Church of England to allow women to become ministers. The role of Reverend Gealdine Grainger was written specifically for British comedian Dawn French, who starred in every episode of the show from 1994 to 2007.

During the first episodes of The Vicar of Dibley the plot revolves around the attitudes of the community of the small village of Dibley towards their first female minister. Geraldine quickly finds a friend in the character of Alice Tinker, played by Emma Chambers in whom she confides her personal thoughts and tries to teach about the world outside Dibley. The main opposition to Geraldine becoming the Vicar of the village comes from the conservative David Horton, the leader of the local council and main landowner in the area. Over the course of the three seasons Geraldine is accepted as a good Vicar who is both caring and fun for the people of Dibley; David's attitude changes so much he eventually declares his love for Geraldine despite the differences in their attitudes and backgrounds.

The ensemble cast provides much of the humor in the form of those taking part in the Parish council meetings; a recurring theme throughout the three seasons and numerous Christmas specials is Geraldine's search for love. The Vicar presides over various events in the lives of the villagers, including the wedding of Hugo and Alice, and the christening of their daughter, named Geraldine in honor of the Vicar. The 2006 Christmas specials acted as a finale to the show with the loose ends of the characters largely tied up.

The Vicar of Dibley has proved to be one of the most successful sitcoms in the history of British television and is regularly voted onto lists of the top sitcoms of all time.

The Vicar of Dibley is a Drama series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (25 episodes). The series first aired on April 8, 1996. It has mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0.

The Vicar of Dibley is available for streaming on the BBC America website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Vicar of Dibley on demand at Amazon Prime online.

BBC America
3 Seasons, 25 Episodes
April 8, 1996
Cast: Dawn French, Trevor Peacock, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, John Bluthal
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The Vicar of Dibley Full Episode Guide

  • During a blisteringly hot summer a drought is declared in Dibley but soon afterward, Water Board officials arrive and announce that the village is to be evacuated in order to make way for the site of a new reservoir. Geraldine leads the villagers in a mass protest, chaining themselves to the church, but it is Jim who ultimately saves the day.

  • For Christmas, Geraldine plans to stage a Nativity play in front of the church. David will play Herod and Owen wants to be the King. Alice and Hugo play Joseph and Mary and amazingly, learn to speak perfect Hebrew. During the play Alice goes into labor and gives birth, prompting an audience member to declare it is the most realistic Nativity play she's ever seen.

  • Alice and Hugo return from honeymoon, having been imprisoned for accidentally helping a drug smuggler. Alice is pregnant. Simon Horton has come to see Geraldine and they have great difficulty in spending time alone. Eventually Simon appears in a dressing gown and the villagers know he is sleeping with the vicar.

  • Lovebirds Alice and Hugo have been stuck in the 'Gazing Sappily at Each Other' phase of their relationship for nearly a decade now. Geraldine decides to play Cupid. Once they kiss, it proves even more difficult to pry them apart.

  • The parishioners are thinking about what they may give up for Lent. Mrs. Cropley makes the difficult decision to forgo lard and fish paste pancakes. For Geraldine, however, her true sacrifice is to give up her beloved chocolate.

  • Geraldine prepares Alice and Hugo's wedding day - a best man to sort out, and a bachelorette party to be had! Just when everything seems fine, Alice reveals a hitch that might complicate everything. Meanwhile, Geraldine has fallen hopelessly in love and worried her affections won't be reciprocated.

  • Geraldine finds herself in glare of publicity when articles appear in the press about Dibley's female Vicar. When Geraldine is asked to be Terry Wogan's guest on BBC Radio 2's Pause For Thought, she is suddenly in the exalted position of being more famous than Sister Wendy.

  • Geraldine sets up Radio Dibley in a bid to bring the community closer together. However it should prove interesting as Hugo only has two records for which to DJ, and Alice is busy trying to impress David enough to make him think she is a worthy wife for Hugo.

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