Dawn French got dirty jokes in Vicar of Dibley by making them ‘family friendly’

Dawn French has revealed she got away with telling filthy jokes on Vicar of Dibley by hiding them in a family "friendly" way.

The 63-year-old actress, who plays Reverend Geraldine Kennedy, returned to our screens this week for the first of three 10-minute specials of the BBC comedy.

She admitted: "We have said more outrageous things on that programme which is seemingly cosy and seemingly very British and very friendly and all generations are welcome.

"That’s what it looks like but in the middle of it there’s people talking about bestiality, there’s characters talking about having sex with trans people, there’s all kinds of things going on that show that there are mentions of, full on sex jokes that are very edgy and there’s quite a lot of politics on that show.

"She [Vicar] is a bit creepy and far too interested in lust, she’s interested in food, she’s interested in her own self-promotion.

"I’ve met people very like her, some women."

The sitcom began in 1994 and ran for three seasons, with several Christmas and other seasonal specials, until 2007.

And Dawn admitted her sadness at returning to the set this year without many of the original cast including Alice Tinker played by Emma Chambers, who died in 2018.

Owen Newitt, played by Roger Lloyd-Pack, and Frank Pickle, played by John Bluthal, have also passed away.

The star added: "It was strange to be back there because now and there is very few of us remaining of the Dibley gang.

"There was me, James Fleet, who plays Hugo and Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer and Jon Plowman who always produced it.

"It was very bittersweet because when you’ve lost so many of your darlings and realise how long the show has been running for and how much you love that family.

"One of the little episodes is a tribute to Alice.

"One of the great things about Dibley is it can be as sad or happy as you like. But to get through that film about her was very hard."

Dawn, who lives in Cornwall, also ruled out having a full series of the show and a movie version.

She added: "No there is something about the half hours that is the right length for Dibley and something about TV.

"It’s a splendid thing and loads more people see things on telly.

"Movies have to be 90 mins and have to have a beginning and a middle and an end.

"Look at all the mistakes people have made. Even Morcombe and Wise made a movie that wasn’t very good."

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