This festive period, Dawn French has returned to BBC One as Geraldine Granger for a series of The Vicar of Dibley lockdown specials. And she isn’t the only one as a handful of other notable faces from the hit sitcom have also lent a helping hand to the vicar, including Hugo Horton (played by James Fleet). And following the death of Alice Tinker star Emma Chambers in 2018, Hugo paid a special mention to his on-screen wife – leaving barely a dry eye among viewers.
During tonight’s The Vicar of Dibley: In Lockdown, Geraldine focussed on face coverings and praising the NHS.
Geraldine gave a humorous account of the number of unorthodox face coverings members of the public have been wearing before thanking the National Health Service for its hard work amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Without the NHS, all of us would be losers,” she said as she signed off. “This is my message to you: bless the NHS.”
Soon after, Hugo popped up on-screen to deliver another segment from his own home, and fans were quick to spot an adorable nod to Alice.
As Hugo spoke to BBC viewers, a framed photo of Hugo and Alice on their wedding day could be spotted behind him.
And soon after, Hugo addressed Alice directly, retelling her favourite joke.
“I’ll finish with a joke because my wife used to say: ‘Go on Hugz, Crimewatch isn’t as funny as it used to be. Tell me a joke.’”
Letting out a giggle, Hugo continued: “I reckon we all need cheering up now.
The sweet moment encapsulated perfectly the adorable relationship Alice and Hugo had during their time together on the sitcom.
And it didn’t take long for fans to weigh in with their thoughts on Alice’s mention as they were left in tears by the sweet tribute to Emma’s character.
“Not that it takes much,” one fan said on Twitter. “But Hugo telling us Alice’s favourite joke just set me off for a little cry #vicarofdibley.”
A second echoed: “Well, the Vicar of Dibley lockdown special was very very short. Aww, we miss Emma Chambers Aka Alice. @Dawn_French #VicarofDibley #TheVicarofDibley.”