Dawn French initially turned down her famous role in Tv comedy The Vicar Of Dibley because she didn't think her part was very funny.

The Harry Potter star played local village priest Geraldine Granger in the long-running British sitcom, but French admits she was worried audiences wouldn't be amused by such a holy lead character.

She tells BBC Radio 4, "I thought, 'How on earth do you play a central character who's so blooming good?' I thought, 'Where are the flaws? Where is the monster in this woman?' That's what I understand comedy to be."

French also reveals she would have preferred to take on the role of the vicar's dim-witted sidekick Alice, played by Emma Chambers, but show creator Richard Curtis refused.

She adds, "Alice was a very funny character from the off. But anyway, he (Curtis) wouldn't let me play it."

The show proved to be a massive hit and ran for 13 years before it came to an end in 2007. The Vicar of Dibley also attracted a huge celebrity following and featured cameo appearances from stars including Johnny Depp and Kylie Minogue.