By Rees, Jasper
'I was born with a warped sense of humour and when I was carried home from being born it was Coronation Day and so I was called Victoria but you are not supposed to know who wrote this anyway it is about time I unleashed my pent-up emotions in a bitter comment on the state of our... society but it's not quite me so I think I shall write a heart-warming story with laughter behind the tears and tears behind the laughter which means hysterics to you Philistines...' From 'Pardon?' by Vicky Wood, Aged 14. Bury Grammar School (Girls) Magazine, 1967 Victoria Wood was a true pioneer among entertainers, earning her the rightful place as a national treasure time and time again. Wood's career was one of the most illustrious and wide-ranging in British comedy, and one of the greatest sadnesses following her death in 2016 was that she left the world without leaving her own full account of her life, having never written an autobiography. 'I will do it one day,' she told journalist and author Jasper Rees when he first met her in 2001. 'It would be about my childhood, about my first few years in showbusiness, which were really interesting and would make a really nice story.' Tragically for us that autobiography never came to pass, but now with complete and exclusive access to Victoria's extensive archive of personal and professional material, and with exclusive interviews with her family and closest friends - including Julie Walters, Dawn French, Celia Imrie and many others - Jasper Rees, who interviewed Victoria Wood more than anyone else, will finally tell her rich story in full.Read more
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Victoria Wood was a writer, actor, director, singer, composer and stand-up comedian. She first appeared on national television in 1974 on the talent show New Faces, and her debut stage play Talent was televised in 1979. In the 1980s her sketch show Wood and Walters was followed by the pioneering Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, which won four BAFTAs. As a stand-up performer she won two more BAFTAs for An Audience with Victoria Wood and, in the course of several national tours, sold out the Royal Albert Hall forty times. The 1990s brought more acclaim with the TV film Pat and Margaret and the canteen sitcom dinnerladies. In the following decade her much loved soap parody Acorn Antiques became a West End musical, while the wartime drama Housewife, 49 won two more BAFTAs. She filmed her stage musical That Day We Sang for television in 2014. Given an OBE in 1997, she was appointed a CBE in 2008. Since her death in 2016 at the age of 62, her work has continued to pulse through the British bloodstream. Jasper Rees is an arts journalist and author who has written for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and theartsdesk.com, which he co-founded. Previous books include I Found My Horn and Bred of Heaven, both of which were abridged for Radio 4's Book of the Week, and most recently a biography of Florence Foster Jenkins.
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