THE Vicar of Dibley actress Dawn French admitted her personal struggles as she filmed a segment dedicated to Alice Tinker – played by sadly deceased Emma Chambers – in the show's Christmas Special.
Dawn, who will resume her role as Geraldine Grainger of the Parish of Dibley for three 10-minute episodes this festive period, spoke candidly of her emotions while recording the eulogy.
Previously, BBC bosses delighted Vicar of Dibley loyals as they confirmed there would be a reference to loveable Alice in the new instalments.
Actress Emma sadly passed away aged 53, in 2018, and bosses vowed her much-loved role was "still an important presence in the village".
Speaking on today's Lorraine, Dawn, 63, said of the fresh scripts: "We try to be light and funny but we also remember those who aren't with us any more, and there's a eulogy to Alice there, which wasn't very easy for me to film, but was important to do."
Host Lorraine Kelly added: "I bet, because she was fantastic wasn't she Emma," to which Dawn gushed: "Yeah."
Lorraine continued: "And she was taken away too soon – far too soon.
"I used to love the wee bit at the end where she (Geraldine) used to do the jokes and she (Alice) just didn't get them – you just used to feel better watching that show."
Giving a glimpse into the heart-warming scenes to come, Dawn then revealed: "We do have Hugo Horton, Alice's husband, and there is a lovely moment where I tell a joke to him and you know – fingers crossed he might get it at last!"
It was recently confirmed there will also be a touching tribute to those who died from coronavirus in the newly-penned scenes.
There will be three, 10-minute episodes spread over the holiday period.
A 30-minute compilation show of all three sermons will also air during the Christmas season on the BBC.
Geraldine will make her rib-tickling return in the midst of two lockdowns – an all too familiar scenario in real life – during which she has been writing and delivering her sermons online via Zoom.
They feature a funny balance of technical mishaps as well as her thoughts and feelings on lockdown life – and chocolate.
The new episodes will air after repeat showings of The Vicar of Dibley episodes on BBC One over Christmas.
Season one is currently available on BBC iPlayer.
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