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Victoria Wood was one of the nation’s most respected and loved comedians. But she was also a high...

Obituary: Versatile Victoria Wood, one of the nation's favourite comedians

By 17:11:00

Victoria Wood was one of the nation’s most respected and loved comedians.

But she was also a highly versatile entertainer who was as much at home in drama and music as comedy.

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.

In that same year, Wood met her husband, magician Geoffrey Durham. They wed in 1980, but separated after 22 years of marriage. They had a son Henry and daughter Grace.

Her first play, Talent, was adapted for television in 1979.

It reunited her with Julie Walters, whom she met while auditioning at Manchester Polytechnic’s student theatre when she was 17 and began a lifelong partnership.

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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