Dawn French's Vicar of Dibley tribute to Alice was actually her own message to late star Emma Chambers

DAWN French has revealed her Vicar of Dibley tribute to Alice on the show was really a message to late star Emma Chambers.

The 63-year-old actress explained that getting the scene in the can took 17 takes – because she was so overcome with emotion.

Emma, who played ditzy Alice in the BBC sitcom, which has been revived for a lockdown mini-series, died from natural causes in 2018.

Dawn explained: "We hadn't had an opportunity to say goodbye to her and this was our chance.

"We made sure that the character had also died but everybody knows that Emma has died. So I suppose in my tribute it was Geraldine talking about Alice and me talking about Emma."

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning, Dawn added: "That's is why it took 17 takes to do.

"The one that made it to screen was the one with the least crying because I was just a blubbering mess.

"That is the thing about Vicar of Dibley, it's very inclusive that way. It can be silly and light and it can address issues of the day and it can be warm."

Emma, who played the role of church verger Emma Tinker from 1994 to 2007, died aged 53.

She also starred in movie Notting Hill as Honey, the younger sister of Hugh Grant's character William Thacker.

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