Victoria Wood Biography Explores Her Painful Childhood

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Victoria Wood Biography Explores Her Painful Childhood

Victoria Wood’s best work had a comic breadth and energy few contemporaries could match.

When she died in 2016, for some fans it was as though a family member had been taken from them. Now an authorised biography looks at what lay behind her extraordinary and multifaceted talent.

Journalist Jasper Rees first interviewed Wood in 1999. It was the first of several encounters over the next decade.

“I was doing a piece on the second series of Dinnerladies, which had become a big hit. I went back two years later but this time the conversation turned to issues with her weight and quite a lot about childhood and her parents.

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“She said that one day she’d write about her early years in showbusiness but not about her childhood: she said she wasn’t ready to open that can of worms yet. I guess what she meant was her relationship with her mother Helen.”

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Rees’s biography of Wood is full of detail and insight. Only Wood herself could have revealed more about how an introverted young drama student fretting about her body image at Birmingham University became one of Britain’s great comic talents.

Parallels have been drawn with people as diverse as Joyce Grenfell, Morecambe and Wise and Noel Coward.

Yet no one else – female or male – has had such success across the board as a stand-up comedian, actress, sketch-writer, singer, composer, producer, screenwriter and playwright. Possibly the only ambition unfulfilled when she died from cancer aged 62 was to write a big film.

Victoria Wood Biography Explores Her Painful Childhood

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