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The Vicar of Dibley fans are all saying the same thing about the show's return

The beloved show will return for three specials

Jenni McKnight

The Vicar of Dibley is returning to TV this Christmas and we couldn't be any more excited!

The popular BBC One series will air three weekly ten-minute lockdown-inspired episodes, with a 30-minute compilation episode airing around Christmas.

MORE: Dawn French opens up about the 'shocking' death of friend Emma Chambers

Dawn French will reprise her role as Vicar Geraldine Grainger, with each episode seeing her record a series of sermons for her parishioners while they are isolating at home during lockdown.

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WATCH: Dawn French returns as Geraldine Grainger in The Vicar of Dibley

Throughout lockdown, Geraldine has been writing and delivering monthly sermons over Zoom, offering her musings on life, faith and of course chocolate.

Each special will air after repeats of episodes of the classic sitcom, with the entire series also set to be available on BBC iPlayer.

While it's certainly something to look forward to, many fans expressed their sadness over the fact that some of the show's much-loved characters would not be returning as a number of the castmates have sadly passed away.

MORE: Remembering Vicar of Dibley castmates who have sadly passed away

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The Vicar of Dibley is returning without some beloved characters

"So glad to hear this but it’s really sad, some of the much-loved characters will be missed by many," wrote one fan on Twitter.

Another said: "I’m very, very excited about The Vicar of Dibley returning this Christmas, but I fear it won’t be the same without the great Emma Chambers or the other late members of the beloved cast."

Emma Chambers played Alice Tinker (later Alice Horton) who was the Verger in the church alongside Geraldine. Sadly, in February 2018, Emma suffered a heart attack and passed away aged 53.

Other members of the cast who have passed include John Bluthal, Liz Smith and Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played Owen Newitt. In February 2014, Roger sadly died from pancreatic cancer aged 69.

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Emma Chambers sadly died in 2018

Dawn is clearly excited to reprise her role again though, saying: "Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley and back on your telly at Xmas. I couldn't be happier. Bless you."

Writer Richard Curtis added: "Like every village in the country, there's been a lot happening in Dibley this year - and Dawn has got a lot to say about it."

Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning for the BBC said: "This triple festive treat from the nation's favourite fun-loving vicar is the warm comedy hug we've all missed."

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