'A bright spark and loving friend'- Tributes to Dibley actress after death at 53

Emma Chambers had lived in Lymington since 2002 Credit: PA

Actress Emma Chambers - star of Notting Hill and The Vicar of Dibley - has died at her home in Lymington her agency has confirmed.

The 53-year-old was widely known for her portrayal of Alice Tinker in BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley between 1994 and 2007.

In a statement on Saturday her agency said that Chambers had died from natural causes.

It added that she would be "greatly missed".

In 1999, Chambers reached international audiences with her role as Honey Thacker in rom-com Notting Hill, starring alongside Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.

Co-stars Grant and Dawn French both paid tribute to her.

Emma Chambers at the Notting Hill premiere in 1999 Credit: PA

One of three children, Chambers was born in Doncaster in 1964, and educated at St Swithuns, in Winchester.

While her sister Sarah Doukas discovered Kate Moss and ran the Storm modelling agency with brother Simon, Chambers always knew she wanted to be an actress.

Her agent John Grant said: "We are very sad to announce the untimely death, from natural causes, of the acclaimed actress Emma Chambers.

"Over the years, Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work.

"She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed.

"At this difficult time we ask that the privacy of the family and loved ones be respected."

Hugh Grant called news of her death "very sad".

He wrote on Twitter: "Emma Chambers was a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress. Very sad news."

French described Chambers as "the most loyal" friend.

In a statement she said: "Emma was a very bright spark and the most loyal & loving friend anyone could wish for. I will miss her very much."

Credit: @Dawn_French

Emma Freud, wife of The Vicar of Dibley creator Richard Curtis, paid tribute to Chambers as a "great, great, comedy performer".

"We're very very sad. She was a great, great comedy performer, and a truly fine actress," Freud said on Twitter.

"And a tender, sweet, funny, unusual, loving human being."