Dawn French leads tributes to The Vicar Of Dibley co-star John Bluthal

PA Library photo Dawn French as the Vicar of Dibley for BBC 1. : The woman who inspired the television show the Vicar of Dibl
PA Library photo Dawn French as the Vicar of Dibley for BBC 1. : The woman who inspired the television show the Vicar of Dibley was today, Friday 14th June 2002, calling on the Scottish Episcopal Church to open its door to women bishops in an historic vote. Joy Carroll was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in the UK and became the model for Dawn French's character in the hit BBC series. The pioneering priest hopes her intervention will encourage people at the church's General Synod, being held in Edinburgh, to back the move. Ms Carroll, one of the most prominent women clerics in the Anglican Church worldwide, said it was $an incredibly exciting vote. See PA 0430 RELIGION Bishops. PA Photos

The Vicar of Dibley actor John Bluthal has died, aged 89.

Dawn French has led the tributes to her co-star, who played Frank Pickle in the comedy series.

The comic actress posted a heartfelt message on Twitter after Bluthal’s talent agency announced the news online.

French said: “Tons of happy laughs remembered today. Cheeky, naughty, hilarious.  Bye darlin Bluey.”

The post was accompanied by an image of Bluthal in the show, in which he played the secretary for the parish council.

Talent agency The Artist’s Partnership wrote: “We’re sad to announce our wonderful client John Bluthal has passed away.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this time. John provided us all with years of laughter and entertainment. We will miss John hugely.”

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