Great Britain

Dawn French takes the knee and delivers Black Lives Matter sermon in The Vicar of Dibley Christmas episodes

serious sermon

DAWN French takes the knee and delivers a Black Lives Matter sermon in The Vicar of Dibley Christmas episodes.

Last month, it was confirmed the 63-year-old actress would be returning as beloved vicar Geraldine Granger - now Kennedy - in a series of Christmas Specials.

In one of the three 10-minutes episodes, Geraldine addresses the murder of George Floyd by American police officers and racism as a wider issue.

Geraldine is initially filmed emerging from lockdown by parishioner Owen Newitt for some fresh air, before things take a more serious turn as she admits to being preoccupied by the "horror show" of George Floyd's death.

Geraldine acknowledges that Dibley - the fictional Oxfordshire village the show is set in - isn't the most racially diverse, she says: "'I don't think it matters where you're from.

"I think it matters that you do something about it because Jesus would, wouldn't he? Until all lives matter the same, we are doing something very wrong."

"We need to focus on justice for a huge chunk of our countrymen and women who seem to have a very bad, weird deal from the day they're born."

She then visits the parish noticeboard and pins a homemade Black Lives Matter poster on it and then takes the knee.

The episode differs vastly from the rest of the series, which is written by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, as Geraldine discusses lockdown and jokes about virtual quizzes and consuming too much alcohol.

While some critics might argue the episode could be seen as the BBC undermining its position of being impartial on the issue of Black Lives Matter, a spokesperson for the Corporation has insisted this is not the case.

They told The Mail on Sunday: "Geraldine is a well-established fictional character of a much-loved comedy who gives her take on the key moments of the year.

"Audiences understand the difference between news and comedy content and the sermons do not breach the BBC's impartiality guidelines."

Back in 2005, the show was embroiled in an impartiality row after it included a storyline promoting the Make Poverty History campaign. The BBC later found it had breached editorial guidelines.

The Vicar of Dibley's Dawn French reveals her struggle to film late Emma Chambers tribute in emotional Christmas special scenes

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