Vic­to­ria Wood

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by Lucy Man­gan

“In In­dia, if a man dies, the woman throws her­self on to the fu­neral pyre. If a man dies in this coun­try, the woman just drags her­self into the kitchen and says: ‘Seventy-two baps, Con­nie. You slice, I’ll spread.”

And there we are. The Bri­tish, as seen by Vic­to­ria Wood, in all their defin­ing emo­tional and lin­guis­tic par­si­mony. She saw the best, worst and ev­ery nu­ance in be­tween in us, beamed them through the prism of her tal­ent, and the re­sults pros­trated us with laugh­ter at the glory, ab­sur­dity and bleak­ness of our na­tional way of life. How can we not pub­licly recog­nise a woman who so recog­nised us?

Plans to put up a statue of her in her home town of Bury, pos­si­bly in char­ac­ter as Bren from Din­ner­ladies, have stalled, but it is hard to imag­ine that there won’t be one some­where in the north (“The north! The north! I never marched from Jar­row, but those men’s feet ache in my heart!”, as Jim Broad­bent,

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