Manchester Evening News

Statue to late comedy legend Victoria Wood unveiled in her hometown Bury

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 17/05/2019 19:23:41 Paul Britton
a group of people smiling for the camera: The Victoria Wood statue was unveiled on Friday © PA/M.E.N.The Victoria Wood statue was unveiled on Friday

A bronze statue to much-loved comedy legend Victoria Wood has been unveiled in her hometown Bury.

Prestwich-born Victoria was 62 when she died from cancer in April, 2016.

After a long fundraising campaign, the life-size statue was unveiled at a ceremony by her close friend and comic actor Ted Robbins.

The tribute will stand proud at Library Gardens off Silver Street in the town centre, a spot Victoria walked past on her way to Bury Grammar School for Girls as a youngster.

a close up of a man: The statue was unveiled after a fundraising campaign © PAThe statue was unveiled after a fundraising campaign

Her brother Chris Foote Wood, who championed the fundraising drive, addressed hundreds gathered to watch the unveiling and dressed as his sister's comic character Kimberley, complete with a yellow beret.

He said: "It's been a fantastic privilege to be the brother of the great Victoria Wood.

"I've always been in awe of her. I believe that Victoria Wood was one of the greatest entertainment talents ever.

"Outside of her work, she wanted nothing more than to enjoy a quiet life with friends and family and to bring up her two children.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Actor Ted Robbins, a close friend, hailed a 'shy show-off' © ABNM PhotographyActor Ted Robbins, a close friend, hailed a 'shy show-off'

"She has left us a great legacy of performance.

"It's been incredible and very special that we've been able to do this through a crowdfunding campaign.

"Every donation has been gratefully accepted.

"It's helped us on our way to achieving this beautiful sculpture in honour of Victoria's life.

"The love that Victoria Wood fans still have for her comes across in waves.

a group of people holding wine glasses: Ted Robbins and Chris Foote Wood © PATed Robbins and Chris Foote Wood

"It's been a great feeling for me. I didn't know how it was going to be received but I would say Victoria is just as much loved and admired as she ever was when she was performing."

Ted Robbins described the comedienne as a 'shy show-off' and a 'real genius'.

He said: " It's so moving for me to think I was at the very start of Victoria's career.

"She'd love all the people. She'd love to talk to them and say 'ooh that's a nice cagoule'."

The multi Bafta award-winning comedienne, writer and actor found fame in the 1980s and was best known for her BBC sketch Acorn Antiques with Julie Walters, the comedy series Dinnerladies and Victoria Wood as Seen On TV.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Hundreds gathered for the unveiling ceremony © PAHundreds gathered for the unveiling ceremony

Over more than three decades, Victoria was responsible for some of the funniest and most original writing, both on stage and screen, that the UK has ever produced and grew to be one of the nation's most respected and loved comediennes.

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She won five Baftas in total, including two for her one-off ITV drama Housewife, and was also a popular stand-up artist.

Victoria Wood smiling for the camera: Victoria Wood as Bred in Dinnerladies © BBC/Richard KendalVictoria Wood as Bred in Dinnerladies

Created by Graham Ibbeson, who sculpted the famous memorial to Eric Morecambe in Morecambe and Laurel and Hardy in Ulverston, Lancashire, the statue captures a smiling Victoria wearing a long coat and clutching a microphone.

Her left hand is clenched shut, a technique Victoria is believed to have often used to help her remember a line or a part of her act.

Even Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench, who played 'M' in the James Bond films, backed the campaign in person by donating £1,000.

a person holding a phone: On stage in 1987 © ITV Picture DeskOn stage in 1987

Bury council leader Rishi Shori also addressed crowds at the unveiling and the Rev Kate McKenna, of Bury Unitarian Church, gave a dedication.

The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band meanwhile played the Dinnerladies theme and the Ballad of Barry and Freda - Let's Do It, from one of her sketches.

Coun Shori said: "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."

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17. toukokuuta 2019 22:23:41 Categories: Manchester Evening News

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