Dawn French has revealed that she almost turned down her starring role in The Vicar Of Dibley because she did not think it was funny enough.

The star, who won millions of viewers in the 13 years she played the title character in Richard Curtis's hit sitcom, said she wanted the role of the dopey verger, Alice, which was eventually taken by Emma Chambers.

Speaking on Radio 4's Desert Islands Discs, she told host Kirsty Young: "When Richard showed me the part, or explained it to me, 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. However, Alice was a very funny character from the off, but anyway he wouldn't let me play it."

She also talked about the end of her marriage to fellow comic Lenny Henry, saying: "Those last few months were pretty much like the first few months, we were good friends".

She said: "It was a tribute to the way we'd been married the way we accomplished it".