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Dawn French in The Vicar Of Dibley

The Vicar Of Dibley dials in

The Vicar Of Dibley dials in

Geraldine Grainger – and God –  have entered the chat…

By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer

Join Geraldine Grainger for three new ten-minute shows, or should we say Zoom sessions, in The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown. She has been getting to grips with technology to deliver sermons to her parishioners (and us) during lockdown.


Original writers Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew Archer are back on board to provide us with some tongue-in-cheek life lessons, delivered by the inimitable Dawn French as the nation’s favourite vicar.

As she grapples with a healthy dose of technical difficulties (“you’re on mute” is a familiar phrase we’ve all come to loathe) and chocolate chat, Geraldine is joined by Hugo Horton (James Fleet) and the local primary-school children. She discusses how it’s never a good idea to let Owen Newitt (the late Roger Lloyd-Pack) cut your hair or to make home-made wine.


She pays tribute to the dearly departed Alice Tinker (the late Emma Chambers), who has left a lasting impression on the village. The biggest highlight, however, is Geraldine singing along to The Sound Of Music on a hill above Dibley.  


Places of worship, many of which have had to close in 2020, really have been adapting in 2020, just like Geraldine. She wasn’t going to let lockdown prevent her from spreading the Lord’s word! Whether it’s delivering sermons or gathering people together for Ramadan rituals online, Zoom and other video-based chat apps have been a different type of saviour during a difficult time!


Stars came together (albeit virtually) and entertained us in a completely new way that might have even spawned a new genre all of its own. Here are a few other shows and shorts that perfected the art of lockdown…



Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Part of what’s so brilliant about this David Tennant and Michael Sheen collaboration is that it isn’t entirely clear where they end and their characters begin. The Good Omens stars play two actors whose West End show has been delayed because of the pandemic, but their director has told them to continue rehearsing online. Their bromance really shines through when viewed through this intimate lens that allows us to see inside their homes and their minds. Can we have their Zoom contact details, please?


The Space Between

Find it on YouTube (CH 198)

Waitress star David Hunter and singer-songwriter Caroline Kay’s The Space Between was created, composed and filmed in isolation. The pair never met in person, but delivered a beautiful and emotional 14-minute “musical short,” which raised money for the Theatre Artists Fund. They capture the frustration and love of a couple separated by lockdown in painstaking detail – from the messages left unsent, to the difficult conversations held over video chat. We’re not crying – you’re crying!


Derry Girls

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

When times are hard during the Troubles in 1990s Northern Ireland, it’s important to keep spirits high, and Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and her friends certainly know how to do that. In this short video, Erin and Orla (Louis Harland) are isolating in an airing cupboard in 1996, describing the video as “the most important thing we’ve ever had to do”. Although we would absolutely love full episodes dedicated to the Derry Girls during lockdown, this clip gives a nice glimpse into what it would be like – a lot of bickering, dramatics, humour and… Coco Pops.


Stath Lets Flats: Lockdowned

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

The devil is truly in the detail here. Stath (Jamie Demetriou) pops up with the screenname “stath da killa,” while dialling in from the toilet, and his sister Sophie (Jamie’s real-life sister Natasia) is called “SoFi MuSic SoNGs DrInKs.” The rest of the Michael & Eagle lettings team (and a few others) join the call to brainstorm how they can let flats without actually taking people to view them. Dean (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) mentions the show that united everyone during lockdown – Tiger King – and Carole (Katy Wix) delivers the best line of the eight-minute episode: “I’m a key worker. I literally work with keys.”


Isolation Stories

Find it in Apps & Games > ITV Hub

It might not be immediately obvious how Isolation Stories was filmed, but the actors featured, including Sheridan Smith and Robert Glenister, and their families did all the filming themselves in their own homes, with a director giving advice via Zoom. The short dramas aired on screens just one month after executive producer and writer Jeff Pope (A Confession) had the idea. With storylines including a woman dealing with pregnancy, a therapist seeing clients over video chat and a grandfather entertaining his grandchildren from outside the window, these lockdown tales are equal parts relatable, funny and heart-wrenching.


When is the BBC’s The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown on TV?

The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown airs on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) on Mondays at 8.50pm, with the first episode screening on 7 December. It is also available in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer.


The three-part series will subsequently air every week until Monday 21 December.

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Image credits: The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown © BBC