15/12/2020 07:58 GMT | Updated 15/12/2020 08:30 GMT

The Vicar Of Dibley’s Heartbreaking Tribute To Alice Tinker Following Death Of Actor Emma Chambers Leaves Viewers In Pieces

Dawn French, as vicar Geraldine Granger, fought back tears as she remembered her “own darling dumb blonde”.

The Vicar Of Dibley’s latest 10 minute special left viewers in tears on Monday night after the long-running show paid tribute to one of its most-loved characters.

Dawn French, as vicar Geraldine Granger, fought back tears as she remembered Alice Tinker, following the death of actor Emma Chambers from a heart attack in 2018 at the age of 53.

In the heartbreaking scene, Geraldine spoke to camera in a poignant dedication to her best friend, revealing she had died of cancer three years ago, after initially getting excited about a “positive test result”.

The Vicar Of Dibley's Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers) and Geraldine Granger (Dawn French)

“Who is the person I have loved most in my life?,” Geraldine asked. “Well, I’m very fond of my handsome husband, but in the end it has got to be her. My own darling dumb blonde.

“She had one husband, six children, and three brain cells, but so much love in her heart she could defrost a frozen pizza on a Christmas day. 

“She wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but when we lost her, all our lights went out.”

Choking back tears, Geraldine continued: “I believe in eternal life in heaven, but I also believe in eternal life on earth, because those who die are eternally here, alive in our memories, and who we are, because of how they changed us.

“Someone who’s final request was her coffin to be carried by six people dressed as Peppa Pig will never be forgotten.”

She concluded: “Message for the day: Love the ones you’re with, especially in these hardest of times.”

The moving tribute left viewers in pieces who quickly praised the scene...

After the episode had aired, Dawn also took to Twitter to share her own tribute to her former co-star and friend.

“Miss her,” she tweeted. “And all those we’ve lost.”

Ahead of the special tribute episode, Dawn spoke of the difficulty she had filming it, revealing it took seven attempts.

Emma Chambers died in 2018

“Along with all the silly, funny stuff, there is a moment where we pay tribute to Alice and that was not easy to film,” Dawn said.

“Honestly, I had to do it seven times. I didn’t get through it once without tears but it’s really important to remember this is where real life and Dibley come together.

“[Writers] Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer have got this skill of making stuff funny and light but also being truthful and honest.”

Dawn also admitted she has still not been able to watch the emotional episode, which is one of the three new specials.