Victoria Wood OBE (born May 19, 1953) is a British comedian, actress, singer and writer. She has written and starred in sketches, plays and sitcoms, and her live stand-up comedy act is interspersed with songs of her own composition, which she accompanies on piano.
Wood was born in Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancashire, and studied drama at the University of Birmingham, beginning her showbusiness career as an undergraduate, appearing on the TV talent show 'New Faces'. Her first big break was as a novelty act on the BBC's consumer affairs programme That's Life! in 1976. Her first play, Talent (1978), won her an award for Most Promising New Writer, and she has since won many awards for her light entertainment performances.
Wood is often regarded as among the top sitcom writers in Britain due to her understanding of British culture and high command of the English language. Her sitcom dinnerladies is regarded, along with The Royle Family, as a prime example of dialogue-based TV comedy, where the focus is more on discussion between characters than story or action.
Wood married magician Geoffrey Durham in March 1980, but they separated in October 2002. They have two children, Grace and Henry.
She has starred in several series of her own, including:
Wood and Walters (1981) (with Julie Walters) Victoria Wood As Seen On TV (1984) Highlights of the series include: the classic spoof soap opera "Acorn Antiques" -- Mrs Overall (Julie Walters), the bad camera angles, Celia Imrie's superb sarcastic tone, the wobbly sets and the unforgettable line "...and 87p change. Enjoy your antiques!" The sarcastic BBC announcer (played by Susie Blake): "We'd like to apologise to our viewers in the North. It must be awful for you." Victoria Wood (1989) - A six part series featuring Victoria (playing herself) in several individual stories (such as 'We'd quite like to apologise' - set in a airport departure lounge and 'Pam' - set around a fictional talk show). Victoria again worked with Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston and Susie Blake who portrayed different characters in each episode A television film, Pat and Margaret starring Wood and Julie Walters as long-lost sisters with very different lifestyles. dinnerladies (sitcom) (1999) Acorn Antiques: The Musical Opened in 2005 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket for a limited period. It starred Julie Walters, Celie Imrie and Duncan Preston from the original 1984 series with Victoria Wood playing Julie Walters' "Mrs Overall" role for a couple of performances each week. The live stage show is due to go on UK tour in 2006. She was awarded the OBE in 1997, and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Sunderland in 1994.
In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, she was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. Also, most recently Victoria was voted as "Funniest Comedienne" by the readers of "Readers Digest".