I read a quote today that went something like, ‘Is George RR Martin writing the script for 2016?’ Too many people who enrich our lives have been lost this year, most far too soon. But that all goes without saying.
I always felt that Victoria Wood was a champion for those of us who were painfully shy in our youth. But she overcame it; big time. How could she not with her absolute genius talent bursting inside of her. Was there nothing this woman couldn’t do? She was a musician (self-taught), songwriter, comedian, dramatic writer and actor. And yet it was all so self-effacing. Quietly producing work that was quite frankly, genius.
Being an avid telly watcher myself I remember her from As Seen On TV . There’s a great quote from that: “I said to my friend – and she watches telly from Wincey Willis through to Gardener’s World into the Open University” (those were the days) “Do you think TV is killing the art of conversation?”
She said, “Errrrmmmm….”
She nailed all the modern quirks of TV – and some of the old ones. Acorn Antiques is particularly hilarious if you remember the 70s episodes of Crossroads. She obviously loved telly. Susie Blake’s continuity announcer (and my hubby is fascinated by them) is one of our favourites: “I apologise to viewers in The North. It must be awful for you.” I just watched her as Ena Sharples in Corrie knowing the fate of future characters. “You won’t be needing that (milk stout) Minnie Caldwell!”
And she had a repertory company of amazing actors to perform her brilliant words: Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston, the afore mentioned Susie Blake and of course, Julie Walters to name just a few.
She contributed so much to our telly lives. And she was always so… well I like to liken her to Alan Bennet.
We mustn’t forget Dinnerladies, Pat & Margaret, drama often pretending to be comedy I think. And of course, Housewife, 49 – an absolute gem.
I have many memories of the wonderful hours I must have spent in her ‘company’ since the 80s but two are always in my life:
Her quote about the conversions of Polytechnics to Universities:
“You just have to put a poster up in a bus stop now and you can call it a University” and – this is a family favourite – “Two soups?”
About 24 minutes in to her comedy special All Day Breakfast you’ll also see Alan Rickman! I would love to see Swim the Channel again. Over to you, BBC!
Bless you Victoria Wood. We’ll miss you.