Vicar of Dibley star passes away aged 53, the BBC has announced.

The beeb announced the passing of the British actress following the broadcaster receiving the news from Chambers’ agent. Born in March 1964 in Doncaster she trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art alongside future Emmerdale and EastEnders actor Ross Kemp. As the 1980s gave way to the 90s Emma landed small television roles including on Thames Television’s cop show The Bill for ITV and BBC One drama’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’¬†Martin Chuzzlewit.

It will be however her role in BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley that Chambers will be best remembered. The character of Alice Horton, nee Tinker, became a viewer-favourite across three series and numerous specials between 1994 and 2007 alongside lead character Geraldine Grainger played by Dawn French. Alice was the kind, but naive, Verger in the village of Dibley. While best known for her regular scenes alongside French the character also found herself admired and later married to another nice-but-dim villager, the well-off Hugo Horton, the pair married onscreen in 1998.

Following the end of the regular run of The Vicar of Dibley, Chambers went onto appear in big-screen rom-com Notting Hill and BBC Drama How Do You Want Me? In a statement from her agent, the BBC announced that Emma had died from natural causes, the broadcaster noted she would be ‘greatly missed’. The agency statement also added ‘Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many.’

Chambers is survived by husband Ian Dunn who is also an established actor with parts in Coronation Street, Heartbeat and EastEnders to name only a few. The Vicar of Dibley is currently repeating on UKTV channel Gold.

Emma Chambers, 1964 – 2018

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