Let’s Do It – The Ballad of Barry and Freda (Live in Your Own Home)
Wood had a piercing gaze when it came to the foibles and frustrations of everyday life: while never offensive, she could cut uncomfortably close to households all over Britain. This Noel Coward-esque ditty is as hummable as it is humorous, and had the nation singing while doing the ironing:
“I’m yours completely,
“Beat me on the bottom with a Woman’s Weekly.”
Two Soups (As Seen on TV)
Julie Walters was both a great friend and constant professional partner, delivering some of Wood’s most stinging lines over the years. This classic sketch walks the line between parody and the downright grotesque.
Acorn Antiques (As Seen on TV)
This most frightfully British comedienne reached her hysterical, breathless peak with Acorn Antiques: a surreal parody of soap operas like Crossroads. Julie Walters stole the sketch as Mrs Overall, and the skit was eventually turned into a musical in 2005.
The Café Sketch (As Seen on TV)
“I never touch prawns…”
Victoria’s combination of the quotidian, compassion and cutting lines was crystallised in this late 90s sitcom. ”Tony Blair: Stick two poems up in a bus shelter and call it a university.” Somehow, it managed to sum up a decade.
Long before Strictly Come Dancing, the former Tory MP for Maidstone and the Weald experienced something of a resurgence off the back of Wood’s parody. It was the British version of Sarah Palin and Tina Fey.
Swimming the Channel (As Seen on TV)
Wood has a keen eye for Middle England, but she wasn’t a mere observational comic. This mockumentary is almost Python-esque, by playing a very silly premise very seriously.
Despite somewhat retreating from primetime in the new millennium, Wood remained as committed to Comic Relief as ever. Sketches like this in 2011 proved that the targets may change, but she was as sharp as ever.
Eric and Ernie (2011)
Wood co-created and starred in Eric and Ernie, Peter Bowker’s drama about Morecambe and Wise. It stood out from the crop of ‘tears of the clown’ dramas – covering everyone from Kenneth Williams to Tommy Cooper – by remembering to be both touching and funny – and Wood, as Eric’s mum Sadie, was both.
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