Archbishop Justin Welby puts Vicar of Dibley on Easter Sunday radio playlist


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The Independent Culture

The Archbishop of Canterbury will play the theme tune from the BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley when he makes his radio presenting debut on Easter Sunday.

The Most Rev Justin Welby will host the Classic FM breakfast programme as a one-off Easter special playing a selection of classical favourites and music inspired by the Easter story.

The play list includes composer Howard Goodall's setting of Psalm 23, "The Lord is My Shepherd", the theme tune to the hit series The Vicar of Dibley, starring Dawn French. Mr Goodall is currently composer-in-residence at Classic FM.

On the show, Archbishop Welby, who is spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion as well as head of the Church of England, will praise French's portrayal of clergy life.

"As someone who has been a member of the clergy for over 20 years, I can't help but have a fondness for this piece of music," Mr Welby will tell listeners.

"I was a parish priest for 10 years, both in urban areas and in rural ones, and Dawn French's portrayal of life in the clergy is a mixture of enormously humorous and occasionally quite painfully close to the bone."

The archbishop will also tell listeners that he is not "one of the world's great musicians, certainly not one of the clergy world's great musicians."

"In fact it was said that in one of the cathedrals where I worked that the choir used to draw lots to see who had to sit next to me because I put them off so badly," he said.