My Review (5 stars out of 5)
In this authorised biography, the life and work of entertainer, writer, actor, comedienne and – in all likelihood – the funniest woman on TV, Victoria Wood, is laid bare in all its hysterical, heart-warming and often poignant detail. The audiobook version includes VW’s hilarious classic, the Ballad of Barry and Freda.
Outside of the UK, Victoria Wood may not have been a household name, but her particular brand of northern humour entertained us Brits for many years. From her early days working with Julie Walters (Wood and Walters) to the brilliant Dinnerladies, her comedy writing has no equal. However, Wood also wrote and acted in serious dramas too, including The Day We Sang, Eric and Ernie and Housewife 49. Following her death in 2016, Victoria’s estate asked journalist and author Jasper Rees to write a biography. Taken from his many interviews with her and with excerpts from her diaries and those of many of the people who knew and worked with her, we are given an insight into the highs and lows of Wood’s life, with excerpts from many of her sketches and songs:
“Stop pouting/Stop shouting/You know I pulled a muscle when I did that grouting/I can’t do it/I can’t do it tonight.”
(From the Ballad of Barry and Freda)
The audiobook is narrated by some of VW’s closest friends and colleagues, including Julie Walters, Anne Reid, Duncan Preston, Susie Blake, Celia Imrie, Kate Robbins and David Threlfall.
An engaging and sometimes heart-breaking account of one of Britain’s most talented entertainers.