The Vicar of Dibley is a British sitcom which premiered on BBC One on 10 November 1994. From 1994 to 1998, two series and two specials had been produced and broadcast. No further series were produced. Following this, a number of specials were broadcast. Over the seasonal period between Christmas 1999 and early 2000, four specials aired. This collection of specials are often referred to as the third series, however, it was not produced as an official series. Another four specials were aired between 2004/2005 and 2006/2007. The series ended on 1 January 2007. This was, however, followed by three short Comic Relief episodes, aired on 16 March 2007, 15 March 2013 and 13 March 2015. In all, 20 episodes and six shorter Comic Relief specials have been produced.
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Ave. UK viewers|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||10 November 1994||15 December 1994||N/A|
|Specials||2||8 April 1996||25 December 1996||N/A|
|2||4||26 December 1997||22 January 1998||N/A|
|Seasonal Specials||4||24 December 1999||1 January 2000||13.53 million|
|A Very Dibley Christmas||2||25 December 2004||1 January 2005||12.05 million|
|A Wholly Holy Happy Ending||2||25 December 2006||1 January 2007||12.74 million|
Series and Specials
Series 1 (1994)
|1||"The Arrival"||30 minutes||Richard Curtis||10 November 1994|
When the 102-year-old vicar of Dibley's St. Barnabas dies, the villagers eagerly await his replacement. To their shock, the candidate turns out to be a woman. While David Horton tries to sack her, the other villagers grow to love their new vicar.First appearance of Alice Tinker, David Horton, Hugo Horton, Owen Newitt, Frank Pickle, Jim Trott, Letitia Cropley and Geraldine Granger
|2||"Songs of Praise"||30 minutes||Richard Curtis and Kit Hesketh-Harvey||17 November 1994|
The Songs of Praise team come to Dibley to film in St. Barnabas' Church. The townsfolk all want to be involved, while Geraldine falls for the show's producer Tristan Campbell (played by Peter Capaldi). Guest starring Pam Rhodes as herself.First appearance of Tristan Campbell, Doris Trott and Cecil
|3||"Community Spirit"||30 minutes||Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer||24 November 1994|
|Dibley has a fete and Geraldine is adamant about earning more than the £270 taken the previous year. So when Alice says she has a second cousin called Reg Dwight (played by Philip Whitchurch), Geraldine invites him thinking he is Elton John. Guest starring Kylie Minogue as herself.|
|4||"The Window and the Weather"||30 minutes||Richard Curtis||1 December 1994|
|A storm hits Dibley, smashing one of the church's stained glass windows. While everyone struggles to remember what the window depicted, David points out it will cost £11,000 to replace. The vicar then pursues one of David's wealthy friends, Daniel Frobisher, trying to persuade him to donate the money.|
|5||"Election"||30 minutes||Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer||8 December 1994|
David stands for re-election to the local council, but faces competition when the villagers declare that they want the vicar to run. She agrees not to stand as long as David makes a few election promises. Featuring the voice of Alistair McGowan.Last Appearance of Doris Trott
|6||"Animals"||30 minutes||Richard Curtis||15 December 1994|
|As Alice worries whether I Can't Believe It's Not Butter might actually be butter, Geraldine is visited by a distraught villager whose pet has died. Moved by how much people love their animal friends, Geraldine plans a special service for all the animals of the village, to be held in the church. Guest starring Moray Watson.|
|7||"The Easter Bunny"||40 minutes||Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer||8 April 1996|
|As Easter comes to Dibley, each council member gives up something for Lent: Geraldine, chocolate; David, being unpleasant; Hugo, lustful thoughts; Owen, swearing; Letitia, cooking "garbage"; Frank, being tiresome; and Jim, dithering. Sadness comes to Dibley as Letitia Cropley dies, and Geraldine promises to become the Dibley Easter Bunny, which involves dressing up as a rabbit.|
|8||"The Christmas Lunch Incident"||45 minutes||Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer||25 December 1996|
|When Geraldine is invited to four separate Christmas dinners, she hasn't the heart to say "no" so goes to all four. On Christmas evening, BBC producer Tristan Campbell (played by Peter Capaldi) comes round and asks the vicar to marry him. Guest starring Orla Brady, Mel Giedroyc and Carol MacReady.|
Series 2 (1997–1998)
|9||"Engagement"||40 minutes||26 December 1997|
|Geraldine plays cupid with Alice and Hugo, but when David finds out they are seeing each other he threatens to disinherit Hugo. Meanwhile, after Geraldine gives Owen his very first kiss out of pity, he proposes marriage much to her dismay.|
|10||"Dibley Live"||30 minutes||8 January 1998|
|To mark the 650th anniversary of St. Barnabus's Church, the villagers set up a radio station for a week and Geraldine holds a competition for the best DJ. Frank comes out as gay during his turn as DJ, but no one except Geraldine is listening. Alice competes against David in the village quiz.|
|11||"Celebrity Vicar"||30 minutes||15 January 1998|
|Geraldine is invited to appear on Pause for Thought with Terry Wogan, where she meets ballerina Darcey Bussell. As media opportunities keep pouring in, fame goes to her head with unfortunate consequences for the other villagers.|
|12||"Love and Marriage"||30 minutes||22 January 1998|
Alice and Hugo are married, with Jim as best man and children dressed as Teletubbies. Meanwhile, Geraldine is attracted to David's brother from Liverpool, Simon (played by Clive Mantle). During her hen night, Alice also reveals the shocking identity of her biological father. Guest starring Geraldine McNulty.First appearance of Simon Horton and from this episode on, Alice is known as Alice Horton
Seasonal Specials (1999–2000)
|13||"Autumn"||40 minutes||13.08 million||24 December 1999|
|Hugo and Alice return from their honeymoon, and Alice is pregnant. Meanwhile, David's brother Simon (played by Clive Mantle) and Geraldine start seeing each other. However, when he says he's got a woman back in Liverpool, she is so devastated that she refuses to attend any services and offers her resignation.|
|14||"Winter"||40 minutes||14.17 million||25 December 1999|
|Geraldine wants to organise a Christmas show that no one will forget, and Alice suggests holding it at a real farm. At the event, at Owen's farm, Alice plays Mary and in the middle of the performance gives birth. The child is later named Geraldine after the Vicar.|
|15||"Spring"||40 minutes||14.37 million||27 December 1999|
|The Bishop of Mulberry is to officiate at the christening of Alice and Hugo's baby. Geraldine and Owen are to be the godparents, while Frank and Jim act as god-grandparents. When an amazed David finds that he and Geraldine are well-matched, he asks her to marry him. When he goes to some considerable lengths to demonstrate that he is prepared to change himself for her, she consents. Sense prevails, however, and Geraldine manages to extricate herself from the nuptials. Guest starring Sean Bean as himself, Richard Griffiths and Nina Wadia.|
|16||"Summer"||40 minutes||12.49 million||1 January 2000|
|Dibley is in the middle of a drought, but when the water company decides to solve the problem by turning Dibley into a reservoir, Geraldine chains herself to the Church in protest. Meanwhile, the villagers want to build a millennium statue. Guest starring Martyn Lewis, Jeremy Paxman and Roger Sloman.|
A Very Dibley Christmas (2004–2005)
|17||"Merry Christmas"||55 minutes||12.52 million||25 December 2004|
It is Geraldine's 10th Christmas at Dibley, and to celebrate they hold a competition to see who can write the best Christmas carol. Meanwhile, at a party to celebrate her anniversary, David invites the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams (played by Brian Perkins), around. Also, Alice and Geraldine discuss who they would want to sleep with if they were gay and Alice then informs the parish council that Geraldine is gay when she sees a nearly naked Rachel Hunter in the vicarage. After her anniversary party goes terribly wrong, Geraldine drinks three bottles of wine but when the Vicar turns up at the midnight mass, she is shown to be completely drunk.Last appearance of Cecil
|18||"Happy New Year"||40 minutes||11.57 million||1 January 2005|
The villagers want to celebrate Geraldine's 40th birthday, so they buy her a ticket to a speed dating evening. However, when she goes it turns out that most of the dates are the other villagers. When the Vicar goes home without a man, Hugo offers to sleep with her and impregnate her so she can have a baby. Meanwhile, Geraldine is trying to get the villagers enthusiastic about the 20th anniversary of Live Aid and encourages them to write to the Prime Minister about the Make Poverty History campaign. However, when they show no interest, she shows them a short video depicting two poverty-stricken children. Guest starring Miranda Hart and Cristian Solimeno.Note: This is the only episode in the series not to feature the closing credits or a joke afterwards. The joke is instead told at the beginning of this episode.
A Wholly Holy Happy Ending (2006–2007)
|19||"The Handsome Stranger"||55 minutes||12.39 million||25 December 2006|
|Geraldine is annoyed when she learns that another townie has moved into Dibley, so she goes round to see Harry Kennedy (played by Richard Armitage), who is an accountant, and instantly falls for him and the attraction is mutual. However, she soon sees him with an attractive woman called Rosie (played by Keeley Hawes), but it later turns out she is Harry's sister. He proposes to Geraldine, and she accepts. Meanwhile, Geraldine starts a book club and an art class, but neither are very successful as no one reads the book or attempts to paint what they are asked to. Also, after reading The Da Vinci Code, Alice thinks that as her name rhymes with chalice she must be descended from Jesus.|
|20||"The Vicar in White"||55 minutes||13.08 million||1 January 2007|
Geraldine is looking forward to organising her own wedding to Harry (played by Richard Armitage), but the villagers insist on arranging it for her, thinking they are doing her a favour, and she doesn't have the heart to tell them otherwise. Hugo does a This Is Your Life for Geraldine, but this is interrupted by a power cut. The evening before the wedding, Owen, Jim and Jeremy Ogilvy (played by Hugh Bonneville), an old college friend whom Geraldine has chosen to conduct her wedding, all propose to her. On her wedding day, her white dress is ruined when Owen drives the car through a puddle and the dress is covered with mud. Geraldine then goes to the church in her pyjamas, and bridesmaid Alice is dressed as the Tenth Doctor with two Daleks: Geraldine and Harry are married. After the ceremony, Geraldine flies up into the sky as a sign of happiness.Alice understands the end joke, after Harry explains the complexities of wordplay to her.
Comic Relief specials
|N–A||"Ballykissdibley"||11 minutes||TBA||14 March 1997|
|In a vicar exchange programme, Father Peter Clifford (Stephen Tompkinson) from Ballykissangel comes to Dibley to face Alice's bizarre charity ideas and Owen's swearing.|
|N–A||"Celebrity Party"||14 minutes||TBA||12 March 1999|
|Geraldine graciously invites Johnny Depp and the other celebrities in tow to a party at the Vicarage as the BBC contact the Vicar asking if they can do a documentary all about the village. Alice starts preparing for the party but doesn't realise she has her dress on the wrong way round. The party begins, and so Johnny Depp comes round with a host of celebrity friends, including Madonna; the Duchess of York; and Robin Cook (who, it transpires, kissed Geraldine). Because the whole party occurred in the dark, David doesn't believe that the party actually happened; he says the next day that he thought Johnny Depp brought round a couple of impersonators instead in order to fool Geraldine. He's quickly corrected and leaves absolutely flabbergasted.|
|N–A||"Antiques Roadshow"||14 minutes||10.94 million[fn 1]||11 March 2005|
|When the Antiques Roadshow comes to Dibley, the villagers take along items to be valued. David is told that his "priceless" paintings are all worthless imitations, until he puts his fist through one in a fit of rage and is told he has just destroyed a valuable Manet. Jim thinks he is on Ready Steady Cook. However, when Alice goes to get her prized Papa Smurf model that her father gave her valued, Geraldine is forced to make the valuer, Hilary Kay, lie about its true worth. When Alice thinks she could sell it for its 'value', Geraldine must sell her TV and ring for Alice.|
|N–A||"Wife Swap"||9 minutes||9.73 million[fn 1]||16 March 2007|
Geraldine participates in a wife-swapping reality television show and gets to live with Sting. While Harry spends the week with Trudie Styler, Geraldine thinks that Sting is flirting with her. When it turns out he isn't she puts a cake in his face. Alice questions Sting's appearance in his band The Police comparing him to her uncle who was in the police.Last appearances of Alice and Harry.
|N–A||"Women Bishops"||10 minutes||9.87 million||3 March 2013|
Geraldine and the parishioners head to London to vote on allowing women to become bishops, but make the mistake of sending Jim to cast the vote. Meanwhile, Geraldine flirts with an attractive vicar (Damian Lewis) and Frank's failing hearing leads him to make some major slip-ups.Last appearances of Owen, Frank and David.
|N–A||"The Bishop of Dibley"||10 minutes||TBA||13 March 2015|
After taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge (which itself goes astray), Geraldine gets an offer to become Bishop. Confusion on her behalf, however, leaves her last in the running when other, more successful, candidates turn up for the interview process.Guest starring Richard Ayoade, Annette Crosbie, Maureen Lipman, Emma Watson, Ruth Jones, Jennifer Saunders and Fiona Bruce. The only regular cast members were Dawn French (Geraldine), James Fleet (Hugo), and Trevor Peacock (Jim).
- Viewing figures for the whole of that night's Comic Relief.
- "Vicar of Dibley to be resurrected". BBC. 3 January 2007.
- "BARB Top 10 2006". BARB. 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Barb Overnight Viewing Figures". Barb. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-07-15. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Vicar Of Dibley to return for Red Nose Day". British Comedy Guide. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.