Saturday, 24 February 2018

RIP Emma Chambers

I'm heartbroken to hear the news that Vicar of Dibley actress Emma Chambers has passed away aged just 53.

Doncaster born Chambers played the delightfully dim Alice Tinker in the classic sitcom from 1994 to 2007. She was the perfect foil to Dawn French and became a much loved household name, winning a British Comedy Award for her performance in 1998. Also that year she starred as Charlotte Coleman's sister in Simon Nye's How Do You Want Me?, a wonderful sitcom (and an absolute favourite of mine) that launched Dylan Moran's career. The following year she played a sister again, this time Hugh Grant's sibling on the big screen for Notting Hill from Dibley writer Richard Curtis.

Other roles included Charity Pecksniff in the BBC's 1994 adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit and an against-type turn as Martha Thompson in Andrew Davies' 2000 adaptation of Kingsley Amis' Take a Girl Like You; a performance that cast aside her usual loveable ditzy demeanour. She also lent her voice to several animations but had seemingly retired from acting by the mid '00s, only returning to her role as Alice for numerous Dibley specials, often for Comic Relief. It will of course be the role of Alice Tinker that Chambers will be best remembered for, a performance that brought much laughter and love.

The actress died on Wednesday of natural causes and is survived by her husband, actor Ian Dunn.



  1. Far too young - Very sad to hear this news too. Also how bizarre that she played Hugh Grant's younger sister in Notting Hill, a kooky role similar to the one played by Charlotte Coleman in Four Weddings who was this time Hugh's flatmate. Poor Charlotte passed away at the incredibly young age of 33.

    1. When I next attempt to watch How Do You Want Me? I'm going to find it very hard: the notion that we now have a world without Coleman and Chambers is really sobering. As you say, another beautiful talent gone far too young. I did suspect whether there were some health issues responsible for her disappearing from the limelight though - although, having said that, no real details have been announced yet so I may be completely wrong.