Fans to choose 'character' memorial to Victoria Wood

Fans of Victoria Wood will be able to choose the character for the planned statue of the late comedian.

The star’s brother Chris Foote Wood has launched a campaign to erect a life-size memorial in the centre of Bury in Lancashire as a permanent tribute to his sister, who died of cancer in April aged 62.

And he has now said that Victoria’s fans can pick between two of her best-loved characters for the statue – Brenda ‘Bren’ Furlong from Dinnerladies or Kimberley’s Friend.

An online vote will decide which of the two will be the basis of the solid bronze piece.

Chris said: “From the start I wanted Victoria’s fans to choose which character they would like to see portrayed.

“We had to rule out her at the piano because a piano in solid bronze would cost as much again as the statue itself.

“So it will be down to two of Victoria’s most popular characters, Bren from Dinnerladies in her canteen smock or Kimberley’s Friend in mac and beret.”

Chris has set up an online crowdfunding appeal to help pay for the statue.

With the help of a £1,000 donation from Dame Judi Dench, he has raised nearly £18,000 of his £20,000 target.

He has also gained the support of Bury Council, which has agreed to provide the site and do ongoing maintenance, but the cost of the actual statue must be met by fans.

If all goes to plan, the memorial will be built in Library Gardens in Manchester Road by May or June next year.

The poll to decide which character the memorial should be is being run by Bury Council.

Council leader Rishi Shori said: “I’m really pleased that Bury Council has been able to support this project.

“Victoria Wood is one of the borough’s most famous daughters and it is only fitting that there should be a permanent tribute in her home town. I hope when the sculpture is finally installed it will provide inspiration to others to follow their dreams.”

The poll opens at noon on Tuesday September 27 and closes at noon on Monday October 17. To vote, visit www.bury.gov.uk/victoria.

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