Dawn French and Dame Darcey Brussell reunited last December to discuss their famous ballet sketch on The Vicar of Dibley 25 years ago.
The sketch still serves as a reminder that dance is for everyone.
The comedian and the former Strictly Come Dancing judge teamed up online to chat about the scene and share what they learned from their years of dance classes as part of a festive fundraiser for the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).
The iconic moment from the BBC sitcom shows ballet star Dame Darcey performing an elegant ballet routine in which French joins to mimic but adds her unique comedic spin to the performance.
After becoming exasperated by Dame Darcey’s movements, French begins leading the dance with her own moves instead.
French said: “When I came to work on this sketch with Darcey, everything I knew about ballet was what I had loved as a child at ballet class.
“My brother remembers this as little hippopotamuses running about – but in my head I was beautiful, lithe, free, I could express myself and I was appreciated by everybody, and I was able to be as unique as I wanted to be inside this discipline.
“It freed me up to feel graceful, and to feel fit, and it made me very happy. Through Darcey, I got to enter this world again and live vicariously through her and through these sketches.
“It was so wonderful to reminisce with Darcey about this for the Royal Academy of Dance. To this day, I am grateful for having taken dance classes.”
French played Rev. Geraldine Granger in the hit BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, which ran from 1994 to 2000 and then aired intermittently for specials until the most recent in 2020.
In the hilarious reunion conversation, the pair also talked about what they learned from each other as well as their respective crafts. They also shared some backstage stories from making the famous ballet sketch.
Dame Darcey, president of RAD, added:
“There is so much comedy in ballet and we forget about that. You have to have range and be diverse, so this performance in The Vicar Of Dibley was a huge step in my career.
“Through my conversation with Dawn, I was reminded that dance really helps break down barriers. It’s an experience. It’s not always ‘the show’.
“It’s how you feel and how it changes how you express yourself. It is there for everybody. This sketch 25 years ago helped to demonstrate that and it is a message I continue to share with the Royal Academy of Dance.
“I really realised the opportunity to revisit these wonderful – and very funny – memories with Dawn, and to hear how ballet and dance have played such a pivotal role in her life and career.”
You can also watch a clip of their discussion in the video below.
Here’s a video of Geraldine Granger meeting Darcey Brussell for the first time.
And you can enjoy the full sketch in the video below.
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- “Dawn French and Darcey Bussell reminisce over Vicar Of Dibley ballet sketch” The Irish News.