TV & Movies

Dawn French shares photo with 'original Vicar of Dibley' who inspired sitcom

Dawn French has reunited with the ‘original’ Vicar of Dibley, Joy Carroll Wallis, the inspiration behind one of the most beloved UK sitcoms of all time. 

Joy was one of the very first women ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1994, a true trail-blazer who became the adviser and role model for Richard Curtis, who penned and created the series.

Dawn – who starred as vicar Geraldine Granger since the Vicar Of Dibley began in 1994 right up to its revival in 2020 – shared a photo, showing off her new hairdo and posing with Joy.

‘Love her,’ Dawn wrote alongside the selfie. ‘The original Vic of Dib. Joy Carroll Wallis. Still my darlin chum after all these years. The best kinda human.’

Joy previously hailed the Vicar of Dibley as being ‘incredibly important’. 

‘It helped the country, ordinary people sitting in their living rooms who may or may not go to church, it helped everybody receive women priests into the community and fabrics of society,’ she explained in previous interview for Principles TV.

Love her. @wallis_joy The original Vic of Dib. Joy Carroll Wallis. Still my darlin chum after all these years. The best kinda human.

‘The way that happened was Geraldine was not the figure you were supposed to laugh at in the Vicar of DIbley.’ 

She continued: ‘Geraldine was really smart and funny, she was almost this saintly person who put up with all these idiots around her, and you laughed at everybody else in the show.’ 

The Vicar of Dibley returned to BBC for a series of short films last year, titled The Vicar of Dibley in lockdown, with Geraldine marking various moments from the pandemic, including taking the knee to support BLack Lives Matter and paying tribute to the NHS. 

Appearing on This Morning, Dawn proposed an idea for another full series, telling hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: ‘Well she’s definitely in Dibley at the moment, she’s married and she’s in Dibley. 

‘But, you know, I’ve always said to Richard Curtis, “She’d make a great Bishop!”’

The Vicar of Dibley is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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