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.

Series 3, Episode 2 - Winter

It's Christmas - not to mention the turn of the Millennium - in Dibley, and the Vicar is determined to put on a festive show that will be talked about for years. With Hugo, Frank and Owen in charge, they don't get off to a good start, but plans for a special live nativity, with the actually pregnant Alice as Mary, are soon being made.

Further details

The Vicar Of Dibley. Image shows from L to R: Frank Pickle (John Bluthal), Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock), Owen Newitt (Roger Lloyd Pack). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

It's Christmas 1999, the dawn of a new millennium, so Geraldine thinks about the need for some seasonal entertainment in the village. The natural choice is some kind of nativity production, but that's far too clich├ęd, as apt as it may be. Alice wonders whether it might be possible to stage a 'live' nativity outdoors around the village; she then becomes too enthusiastic about this and suggests that the audience need to be shouting "He's behind you" to the wise men when looking for Jesus!

Geraldine jumps on the first half-decent idea her verger has had. Auditions immediately commence, but with all of Dibley's usual eccentricity: Frank auditions as a wise man and speaks in the voice of Stephen Hawking; Owen wants to play the King and so dresses as Elvis; and Jim also wants to audition for the King, so dresses as Martin Luther King! Meanwhile, Hugo lets on that David has his eye set on the part of God...

Alice and Hugo prepare very successfully for the roles of Mary and Joseph, (somehow) learning Hebrew perfectly. Geraldine casts David as Herod, who insists on bringing out the allegedly "nicer side of Herod"! The rehearsals happen with great chaos and misunderstanding, and the Vicar keeps having to step in to show Alice and Hugo in particular, how to perform.

On the evening of the play, things start going predictably and terribly awry. Animals run off, leading the Vicar as narrator to procede through Dibley on the back of a tractor, no one seems able to remember their lines or follow where the story has got to - and to top it off, Alice goes into labour, which causes mayhem and confusion on the stage but makes for the most realistic nativity since the real one!

The only question Alice has is, has she given birth to the Baby Jesus?

Broadcast details

Saturday 25th December 1999
40 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Dawn French Geraldine Grainger
Emma Chambers Alice Tinker
Gary Waldhorn David Horton
James Fleet Hugo Horton
John Bluthal Frank Pickle
Trevor Peacock Jim Trott
Roger Lloyd Pack Owen Newitt
Guest cast
Charles Pemberton Vet
Linda Beckett Woman at Nativity
Writing team
Richard Curtis Writer
Paul Mayhew-Archer Writer
Emma Freud Script Editor
Production team
Gareth Carrivick Director
Jon Plowman Producer
Margot Gavan Duffy Producer
Richard Curtis Executive Producer
Peter Bennett-Jones Executive Producer

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