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,