The Vicar Of Dibley. Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

The Vicar Of Dibley

BBC One sitcom set around a local church. 20 episodes (3 series), 1994 - 2020. Stars Dawn French, Emma Chambers, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet and others.

Geraldine Grainger

AKA: Boadicea Geraldine Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Chim-Chimerney Chim-Chimerney Chim-Chim-Cheree Grainger.  Vicar.   Played by: Dawn French
The Vicar Of Dibley. Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Geraldine is the bouncy, bubbly, curvy female Vicar of Dibley. She has a keen sense of moral correctness and will stand up for injustice; she also has a deep love of the people of Dibley despite their many flaws! She has an even greater love of chocolate and ice-cream... especially when upset or angered.

Geraldine recounts in one episode her sense of calling into the ministry on one occasion when reading the Bible, and her beliefs are generally mainstream Christian; she has the occasional problem with persuading others of the same, for example she has to tell Alice that her mother doesn't need to wash the carpet for an apparent imminent second coming.

Her sexual ethics match village standards rather more closely than Biblical ethics, for she speaks very lustfully of any slightly eligible man who should visit the village, as well as flirting outrageously with them, and excuses away pre-marital sex whenever the opportunity of it should arise.

Her deep longing for a partner was revealed when she even considered marrying David! When she becomes love-struck, she does it big-style, and when she becomes depressed, ditto; the remedying of the latter tends to involve enormous quantities of chocolate and ice-cream. Nevertheless, Geraldine brought with her a great sense of vitality that was previously missing in the village and she's often acknowledged by the villagers for this.

Alice Tinker

AKA: Alice Horton.  Verger.   Played by: Emma Chambers
The Vicar Of Dibley. Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Alice is a few sandwiches (and cakes, and pork pies, and sausage rolls...) short of a picnic. She has a heart of gold but doesn't understand many of the common issues of life, nor Geraldine's jokes.

Alice's character develops when she falls in love with Hugo, has her first kiss, eventually marries and gives birth to several children. Her plethora of offspring and her work in the Sunday school but suit her childlike understanding of the world. In one episode, we meet her sister and her mother, who are even dippier than herself.

She's very sensitive and easily upset - but too thick to be easily offended! More amusing and key to the plot of the show is the way she's also easily confused, and has a vivid imagination surrounding what's normal (such as Teletubbie bridesmaids and pageboys). She's also usually an embarrassment to both Geraldine, who was quickly adapted as her best (only?) friend, and her father-in-law David.

David Horton

Played by: Gary Waldhorn
The Vicar Of Dibley. David Horton (Gary Waldhorn). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

David is one of those people who enjoys being in charge and assumes he is: he might even be described as being a bit power-trippy. He's a Cambridge educated, upper-class, multi-millionaire and although divorced, an upholder of stern traditional family values. He longs for tradition, law and order and the status quo.

David certainly isn't the most tolerant of people, and he doesn't suffer fools gladly - but nevertheless is constantly forced to, given his neighbours! He's the kind of person who enjoys doing good deeds, but only when it will benefit him in some way; either to make him look like a nice person or if the good deeds will further his own cause. He finds Geraldine difficult to get on with initially, because of her gender, progressive ideals and desire to try new things, but soon warms to her charms and dedication to the village.

He also can't stand Alice, and takes every opportunity to be horrible to her publicly. In fact, he's horrible to everyone publicly, including his son, when given the chance! Deep down, though, he's lacking contentment which he sees as only available in a second marriage - hopefully to Geraldine. Well, it is said that love and hate aren't very dissimilar emotions!

Hugo Horton

Played by: James Fleet
The Vicar Of Dibley. Hugo Horton (James Fleet). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Poor Hugo is the veritable puppet of his controlling father. He was brought up only by David for the majority of his childhood, and it becomes quickly apparent that that upbringing was emotionally abusive. He aims to avoid conflict, and always aims to please, but blossoms upon his romantic marriage to Alice.

Frank Pickle

Parish Clerk.   Played by: John Bluthal
The Vicar Of Dibley. Frank Pickle (John Bluthal). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Frank is very "English" and very "public school" in appearance: highly eccentric in both manner and dress, and outstandingly well-spoken. However, whilst he speaks exceptionally well linguistically, most of the Dibley inhabitants wish he would speak a little - no - a lot less, for he's intensely verbose and pedantic, and has been known to bore people to sleep and even to suicide when he speaks!

Despite admitting attraction to many a woman, we discover he's a closet homosexual - he dropped the occasional hint towards his leanings in several episodes before coming out in style on Radio Dibley. If only he wasn't so dull that no one had tuned in to his programme!

His strong memory of the uneventful, such as when the pub completely sold out of crisps but still had pork scratchings aplenty, or when the milkman was very slightly late, keeps his own interest but makes everyone else despair.

As Clerk of the Parish Council, he's keen to take minutes as accurately as possible, but has a habit of dithering about the finer detail of things, such as whether to minute someone saying nothing, so the minutes end up taking twice as long to record as the meeting itself!

Jim Trott

Played by: Trevor Peacock
The Vicar Of Dibley. Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Jim has a very unfortunate stutter, insofar as he precedes almost every statement with "No, no, no, no, no...". Needless to say the other residents find this annoying, time-consuming and confusing when trying to gain a straight answer from him! This aside, Jim spends a lot of time generally dithering anyway and so rarely manages to achieve much.

He often speaks of his sexual desire for all breathing females. We once meet his wife who has the opposite stutter to him, preceding every statement with "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes...": the perfect marriage?

Owen Newitt

Farmer.   Played by: Roger Lloyd Pack
The Vicar Of Dibley. Owen Newitt (Roger Lloyd Pack). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Owen is the local farmer, and has a slightly too close relationship - if not often a sadistic one - with his animals.

He regularly suffers with gastric health complaints and describes these in disgustingly graphic detail. He's a bachelor with broad tastes... he often hints at both desiring after and having had previous relationships with animals, as well as women.

Like many of the other male residents of the village, he lusts after Geraldine.

Letitia Cropley (Series 1)

Played by: Liz Smith
The Vicar Of Dibley. Letitia Cropley (Liz Smith). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Letitia is a very caring lady who longs to provide nourishing refreshment and sustenance to her close friends and neighbours, and ensures the church is full of attractive flower arrangements during Sunday worship.

The problem is her creativity could be described as rather eccentric: her mourning flower arrangement included pineapple! Her palette is a bit odd too, as she's created countless dishes which require, shall we say, an acquired taste? Parsnip brownies are at the more tame end of her repertoire! The villagers fear her cooking but eat it out of courtesy; unfortunately this only spurs her on to further ghastly creations!

Letitia dies in the 1996 Easter special.