Andrew Dipper

Victoria Wood dies aged 62

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Victoria Wood has died aged 62, her publicist has confirmed.

The much-loved comedian, originally from Prestwich in Greater Manchester, died after a short battle with cancer.

Her brother, former politician Chris Foote Ward, said that the world had been “robbed of one of its brightest talents”.

He said: “I learned today that my youngest sister Victoria has died after a short illness.

“It is a great shock, particularly as I am the eldest of the four children of Stanley and Helen Wood, and Victoria the youngest, 13 years younger than me.

“But more than that I feel that Victoria’s death has robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation.

“It wasn’t just that Victoria was hugely talented in so many different fields, she was also outstanding in her tremendous, single-minded drive and determination to pursue her chosen career.”

Paying tribute to Wood, actress and comedian Jennifer Saunders tweeted: “Cant believe Vic has gone. She was truly an inspiration and had so much left to to give and we won’t see it. She was so funny.#VictoriaWood.”

While Wood’s long-term manager Phil McIntyre, said: “Victoria has been a part of our lives as a friend, devoted mother and national treasure for 30 years. She was always modest, generous and undemanding.”

Wood started her career in 1974, winning the ATV talent show New Faces.

She established herself as a comedy star in the 1980s with the award-winning Victoria Wood As Seen on TV.

In 1990 her show Victoria Wood Up West earned her a 60-date sell-out season at the Strand Theatre in London before a six-week sell-out tour as she scooped Best Comedy Performer at the British Comedy Awards.

In 1998, she wrote and starred in the award-winning sitcom Dinnerladies, recording 16 episodes of the BBC classic.

After cutting her teeth in comedy, Wood took to acting and in 2006 she won two BAFTA awards for her one-off drama for ITV1, Housewife, 49, an adaptation of the real diaries of Nella Last.

Wood returned to television comedy for a one-off Christmas comedy sketch-show special, her first in 9 years, titled Victoria Wood’s Mid Life Christmas, transmitted on BBC One at 9pm on Christmas Eve 2009.

Victoria Wood: Seen On TV, a 90-minute documentary looking back on her career, was broadcast on BBC Two that year, whilst a behind-the-scenes special programme about Midlife Christmas, Victoria Wood: What Larks!, was broadcast on BBC One on 30 December.

Wood leaves behind two children, Grace and Henry, and a lifetime of great comedy moments.

RIP Victoria Wood.