The Vicar of Dibley actress Emma Chambers has died aged 53. A statement from her agency said she died from natural causes.

"Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many," the statement read. "She will be greatly missed,"

The actress was best known for playing the loveable Alice Tinker in the popular BBC1 comedy series which starred Dawn French.

Following reports of Chambers death, French shared a picture of the pair, writing affectionately: "I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers. I never minded. I loved her. A lot."

Chambers also starred in Notting Hill as Hugh Grant's quirky younger sister Honey and the girlfriend of Rhys Ifans' character Spike. She won international recognition for her memorable performance in the 1999 film, which also starred Hollywood actress Julia Roberts.

Paying tribute to his former co-star Grant expressed his sadness at the news of her passing: "Emma Chambers was a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress," he tweeted. "Very sad news."

Emma Freud, the wife of director Richard Curtis also paid an emotional tribute, recalling the "great comedy performer. "Our beautiful friend Emma Chambers has died at the age of 53," she tweeted.

"We're very very sad. She was a great, great comedy performer, and a truly fine actress. And a tender, sweet, funny, unusual, loving human being."

She also shared a video of Emma as Alice Tinker, adding: "How could you not love this girl. Emma Chambers... thank you for the brilliance."

Emma's Notting Hill co-star James Dreyfus added: "RIP the wonderful and talented Emma Chambers. Unique & unspeakably funny. Too young. Thoughts with her family. X"

Other celebrities shared their personal memories of the much-loved actress, with Jeremy Clarkson revealing that he had known her since she was a child.

"I'm sad about Emma Chambers. Knew her when she was a kid in Doncaster. She was very funny," he tweeted.

Emma is survived by her husband, fellow actor Ian Dunn, The Sun reports.