Dawn French can expect some post from actress Kirstie Alley, who’s set to follow in her footsteps on the US version of The Vicar of Dibley.

Kirstie says she’s penned the comedienne a letter. “I’m getting up the courage to send it to her,” she went on to explain, “it says I’ll never live up to what you’ve done, but people like me… sort of, and maybe I won’t screw it up, I hope I don’t.”

The show was a massive success in the UK, producers are hoping it’ll translate to an American audience. Kirstie says: “I think they did a really good job with The Office and I’m hoping that we can do that good a job on this.”

Kirstie explained why she was desperate to play the female vicar. “I think it’s the funniest show I’ve ever seen in my life, and it’s also uplifting. I just think it’s nothing short of brilliance.”

She added: “I love the fact you can actually watch this and start crying because there’s something sort of joyous without being sappy. You know it’s not touched by an angel, it’s just freakin’ hysterical and joyous at the same time. I’ve never seen a show like that.”