Rowan Atkinson, the comedian famed for his portrayal of comedy vicars, was this week expecting a backlash, after accusing Church of England clergy of being smug, arrogant, and conceited.
In an interview in Saturday’s Times, Mr Atkinson said: “I used to think that the vicars that I played . . . were unreasonable satires on well-meaning individuals but, actually, so many of the clerics that I’ve met, particularly the Church of England clerics, are people of such extraÂordinary smugness and arrogance and conceitedness who are extraÂordinÂarily presumptuous about the significance of their position in society. Increasingly, I believe that all the mud that Richard Curtis and I threw at them through endless sketches that we’ve done is more than deserved.”