David Francis Matthew Horton MBE is a main character in the BBC Television series The Vicar of Dibley played by Gary Waldhorn. He is the Head of the Parish Council in Dibley, and has also been a local councillor for the Conservative Party. David lives at Dibley Manor with his assets worth a monetary value of £5 million (in the spring of 2000). He is the father of Hugo Horton and later the father in law of Alice Tinker who gives birth to ten children, providing David with ten grandchildren, the eldest being Geraldine on 24th December 1999. His relationship with the Vicar has changed from an initial refusal to cooperate to one of a great friendship.
David seems to have origins from a wealthy background (it is indicated that he inherited Dibley Manor by means of his son Hugo set to inherit his estate by means of passing it down). He was in private education where he was bullied by, amongst others, the future Bishop of Mulberry who "used to shave (David) with a blunt razor" (It is implied that is why David turned out to be bald in adult life). He took over as leader of the Parish Council after the predecessor, his father's cousin (also called David Horton) died. Since taking over, he has never missed a single meeting, even going to the length of holding a meeting in the maternity ward when his wife was giving birth to Hugo (where the naming of his son was put in 'Any Other Business'). David was married but his wife left him shortly after giving birth to Hugo. David was apparently a cruel father to Hugo, as Hugo states to Geraldine, he "shouted a lot, called me a cretin and caned me when I wet the bed". David seemed to relish his superiority over Hugo by winning "every game of tennis, every game of backgammon and every game of chess" as well as beating his guests at eating the most sprouts at Christmas (until Geraldine does so in 1996). He does however let his son partake in the Parish Council meetings despite rejections from the other members who described Hugo as "an absolute congenitalled idiot".
The First Season
At the time of Rev. Pottle's death, the Parish council that David presided over consisted of himself, his son Hugo, Frank Pickle who would jot down the minutes, Jim Trott, Letitia Cropley and Owen Newitt who would frequently be late due to various incidents at his farm. The meetings prior to the Vicar's arrival were considerably shorter with the members "doing whatever you (David) said". There was also a tendency for David to reject planning permission for everyone other than his or Hugo's benefit (for instance rejecting the building of a new barn for the Herberts but allowing his son the building of a conservatory "for his South American flower collection" (pool table)). David is the first person to greet the Vicar and his initial reaction of amusement towards a female Vicar quickly turns to horror. He tries to get the bishop to reconsider the appointment humourously stating to Hugo that "if Jesus wanted women to spread the gospel he would've appointed them. It's Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, not Sharon, Tracy, Tara and Debbie!" He organises an emergency council meeting to confirm the removal of Geraldine but is prevented from doing so by the others who realise they haven't voted on the matter and decide upon giving the Vicar a chance.
In 'Songs of Praise', David is reluctant to allow Songs of Praise to film in the village claiming "the BBC don't care about religion". His opinion changes when he meets Ruth, the camerawoman and develops feelings for her. After the service, she writes down her phone number for David which turns out to be the same number as given to Geraldine by Tristran Campbell, the director.
Daughter in law-Alice Tinker
Grandchildren-Geraldine (Born 24th December 1999)
5 unnamed granddaughters
4 unnamed grandsons
He hates Letitia Cropley's recipes. In "The Easter Bunny" episode, when Letitia cooked pancakes (lard and fish paste) and one of them was plain pancakes "with just a hint of liver," things went wrong.
Letitia Cropley: Now these ones are lard and fish paste, and these are the plain ones.
(Everyone except David and Letitia take some)
Letitia Cropley: (Sitting down) With just a hint of liver.
(They gag and stop moving)
Letitia Cropley: Would you like one, Mr. Chairman?
David Horton: I'd sooner eat my own scrotum, thank you.