Lockdown Binge #3: The Vicar of Dibley


There are some people who find themselves turning to spirituality throughout these troubling occasions, whether or not that’s by tarot playing cards or live-streaming Sunday companies. However I’ve already discovered all of the religious solace I want in the mean time: in Daybreak French’s Geraldine Granger. 

That’s proper, for in the present day’s #StayAtHome sermon, I’m singing the praises of the heavenly Vicar of Dibley. Dangle onto your canine collars.

What’s The Vicar of Dibley about? 

And lo, it got here to move {that a} feminine vicar got here unto to the sleepy village of Dibley. And she or he was known as: Geraldine. And the glory of Geraldine shone round Dibley, and all of the villagers had been sore afraid… or extra precisely, horrified. 

As a result of again then, within the halcyon grainy-blurry previous of mid-90s telly, the Church of England had solely simply launched feminine vicars. And when Gerladine rocks up in her vivid yellow raincoat and Monica Geller-style printed waistcoat, the conservative Dibley parish council aren’t greatest happy with their new vicar.

“You had been anticipating a bloke – beard, Bible, unhealthy breath,” Geraldine says in the course of the pilot episode. “And as a substitute you bought a babe with a bob lower and a powerful bosom.”

The parish councillors – led by the rich and crusty David Horton – even ponder sacking her.

However, of course, the present known as “The Vicar of Dibley”, as a result of – spoiler alert – Dibley of course warms to their fabulous feminine vicar, who injects new life into the little village. 

How lengthy is The Vicar of Dibley? 

Three seasons and a slate of Christmas specials (together with “The Vicar in White”), with every episode clocking in round 40-50 minutes. 

How can I watch The Vicar of Dibley?

All ye Netflix subscribers: rejoice! For your complete field set is at the moment out there to binge-watch now. 

And BritBox subscribers, ye are additionally blessed with all 5 seasons (when you embrace the 2 units of mini Christmas seasons) out there to observe right here.

Sadly the Comedian Reduction shorts – together with those that includes a younger Johnny Depp and Sting – are lacking from each streaming platforms. We pray for rectification.

Why ought to I watch The Vicar of Dibley?

The Vicar of Dibley - Series 2 - Picture shows: Geraldine (Dawn French)

The Vicar of Dibley collection two. Image exhibits: Daybreak French as Geraldine. (Courtesy of UKTV)

Overlook this sinfully humorous sitcom at your individual peril – it’s the proper tonic for the occasions, directly nostalgic and prescient, with still-poignant classes available on sexism, physique positivity, and sex-positive clergy members. 

Plus, for the extra discerning members of the congregation, there’s a younger Richard Armitage to sit up for within the final season. Verily, your prayers have been answered. 

However for these uninitiated few who’re taking their first communion on the altar of Saint Geraldine, let’s lower to the chase: there’s a motive BBC execs preserve encouraging Daybreak French to don the black cassock “one final time” (see BBC One’s current Huge Night time In skit). The character is simply so – Lord forgive me – goddamn joyful. 

Overlook Fleabag’s Scorching Priest: Geraldine is the unique fascinating priest(ess), a left-leaning bonne vivante whose eccentric (learn: mad as hatters) fellow parish councillors virtually all fall in love together with her sooner or later or one other – even when it’s simply to admire her “pretty arse, Vicar”

Vicar of Dibley S1 - Picture shows Dawn French as Geraldine Granger

Vicar of Dibley collection one. Image exhibits Daybreak French as Geraldine Granger. (Courtesy of UKTV)

Among the many parish councillors, there’s a number of memorable characters. There’s the snooty David Horton (MBE, FRCS – and don’t you overlook it) and his bumbling grownup son, Hugo. 

There’s additionally foul-mouthed, inappropriate farmer Owen Newitt, and stuttering, sex-obsessed Jim Trott, whose fixed repetition of the phrase “no” will get him into bother – and whose Full Monty-inspired striptease  (full with tearaway crimson thong) throughout a village fundraiser at all times leaves me in hysterics. 

Then there’s walking-culinary-disaster Letitia Cropley, and Frank Pickle (“Britain’s most boring man”), whose coming-out by way of the Radio Dibley airwaves will deliver an sudden tear to the attention. 

Lastly there’s Geraldine’s gormless verger, Alice Tinker, completely satisfied of her personal potent sexual “attract”, and whose dim-witted and confused responses to Geraldine’s jokes virtually at all times spherical off every episode.

All through the present, the comedy blends intelligent, tongue-in-cheek quips and throughly British sarcasm with bathroom humour, soiled puns and pratfalls. 

The Vicar of Dibley - Series 2 - Picture shows: Dawn French as Geraldine, Gary Waldhorn as David Horton, James Fleet as Hugo Horton, Emma Chambers as Alice Tinker, John Blunthal as Frank Piggott, Trevor Peacock as Jim Spicer, Roger Lloyd Pack as Owen Newitt

The Vicar of Dibley. Image exhibits: Daybreak French as Geraldine, Gary Waldhorn as David Horton, James Fleet as Hugo Horton, Emma Chambers as Alice Tinker, John Blunthal as Frank Piggott, Trevor Peacock as Jim Spicer, Roger Lloyd Pack as Owen Newitt (Courtesy of UKTV)

Regardless of this being a “Lockdown Binge” suggestion, I haven’t technically been bingeing Vicar of Dibley – I’ve been rationing myself with a nightly episode, purely as a result of I need to stretch out the enjoyment for so long as potential. 

Even the opening credit make me smile: the hovering choral theme ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’; the scenic photographs of rural Oxfordshire; the humorous little vignettes within the early episodes that present ‘typical’ rural life, like a girl knitting straight from her sheep. (Oh, and one other factor: Geraldine’s Nineties-style knitwear. Particularly the cream jumper with crucifixes). 

The complete expertise is like being enveloped in a heat hug.

On the time of writing, I’ve simply completed the episode the place Geraldine meets Harry (Armitage), an accountant, “towny b*****d” – and her future husband. It’s a superb episode, together with a life drawing class, a Keeley Hawes cameo, Sense and Sensibility references, and a throwback to Geraldine’s iconic leap right into a seemingly bottomless muddy puddle. 

Vicar of Dibley S1 - Picture shows Emma Chambers as Alice Tinker and Dawn French as Geraldine Granger

Vicar of Dibley collection one – Image exhibits Emma Chambers as Alice Tinker and Daybreak French as Geraldine Granger. (Courtesy of UKTV)

I began my binge watch round Easter, starting with the episode the place Geraldine secretly clothes up as an Easter bunny – that means that I nonetheless have the primary few episodes to loop again to and watch after I attain the top of the final collection. 

Purists might disagree with my strategies and demand that I atone for my sins – however I’d argue that it makes it all of the extra enjoyable with the ability to watch the final ever episode, and know that you just nonetheless have some extra to go.

Amen to that. 

All three seasons and Christmas specials can be found to observe on Netflix and BritBox


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here