The world of comedy is paying tribute to Victoria Wood, who has died of cancer aged 62, with many stars citing her as an inspiration.
James Corden said: “I’ll always feel incredibly grateful that I got to see Victoria Wood on TV and in theatres. She was so brilliantly talented. What a sad day.”
Ricky Gervais wrote: “RIP the brilliant Victoria Wood. So innovative, funny, and down-to-earth. This has not been a good year.”
Comedian and author, Katy Brand, wrote: “Thank you, Victoria. RIP.”
Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore, said the news was “difficult to absorb”.
Absolutely Fabulous actress, Jennifer Saunders, said: “Vic was simply one of the funniest writers and performers this country has ever produced. She was an inspiration and will be terribly missed.
Comedian Sarah Millican said she was “incredibly sad” and described Wood as a “true comedy icon”.
Fawlty Towers actor, John Cleese, said he was shocked by the news.
“I worked with her last year and was reminded of just what a superlative performer she was. Only 62!”, he tweeted.
Wood was one of the nation’s most-respected and loved comedians. But she was also a highly versatile entertainer, as much at home in drama and music as comedy. An accomplished writer, performer, and singer, she received many accolades, including Baftas and British Comedy Awards.
Born on May 19, 1953, in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, Wood was still a drama student at Birmingham University when she won talent series, New Faces.
In 1976, she became a regular on Esther Rantzen’s BBC consumer show, That’s Life! and supported Jasper Carrott on tour. That same year, Wood met her husband, magician, Geoffrey Durham. They wed in 1980, but separated in 2002. They had a son, Henry, and daughter, Grace.
Her first play, Talent, was adapted for television in 1979.
In 1985, Wood moved back to the BBC, for the series that would finally establish her as a television force: Victoria Wood — As Seen on TV.
Showcasing her skill for observational comedy and sharp characterisation, it also included her most memorable pastiche: ‘Acorn Antiques’.
This amusing homage to daytime soap operas became a series in its own right and a musical, and was a favourite with critics and viewers.
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