THE first day of 2007 may already have seen the highest rated TV show of the year.
Dawn French’s farewell as The Vicar of Dibley last night attracted a massive 12.3 million viewers.
That’s just 200,000 less than the highest rated non-sporting programme of 2006 – an episode of Coronation Street last March.
The New Year’s Day finale saw Geraldine Granger married in her pyjamas and leopard print slippers.
She survived Owen’s explosive devices and the Dalek bridesmaids to wed accountant Harry.
Viewers saw her walking on air at the end of the episode, to the sound of Fill My Little World by The Feeling.
Then it was “Goodbye and God Bless” from the classic comedy, with some behind the scenes footage and Alice finally getting one of Geraldine’s post-titles jokes.
I drove through “Dibley” last week and it was crowded with visitors after the first part of the final story was screened on Christmas Day.
Back at home I put on an old episode of Marple, which was also filmed in the village – featuring the pub where Geraldine and Harry had their first date.
And then I caught an ITV repeat of Goodnight Mister Tom – again shot in the same place.
The Vicar of Dibley has given her last sermon, but the tourists will be around for a good few years yet.
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